Public Service Center



Educating, Empowering and Assisting the Community Through Outreach

Built in 1902, the Evans Building was donated to Fort Valley State university by the late Albert S. Evans family in July 1997. Prior to the building being gifted to the university, the facility once housed two banks, Bank of Fort Valley and the Citizens Bank. Additionally, it served as the site of the J.M. Elrod Co 5c & 10c store, Dr. Daniel Nathan’s medical practice, the Houser & Lee Insurance Company, the local post office, and several specialty stores.

Located in the heart of the central business district, this handsome three floor 21,500 square foot facility encompasses a spacious conference and training facility, an executive board room, and a state-of-the-art technology laboratory.

It serves as headquarters for the Rural Business Outreach Institute, the University Today Scholar Program and the FVSU Community Development Corporation.

  • RBOIlogo

    Mission & Purpose
    The Rural Business Outreach Institute (RBOI) has a mission to increase entrepreneurship in rural Georgia through assistance, support, and education.”
    Individuals are provided the necessary information, technical assistance, and financial support to start their own business, improve and expand their existing business, create employment opportunities, and develop programs to retain jobs.
    Check out the [RBOI brochure](/files/mainfiles/Rural_Business_Brochure.pdf) and request that you receive notification of upcoming workshops by sending your name, address and email to

    Created in 1995 through financial funding received from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Entrepreneurial Outreach Development Initiative for 1890 land-grant institutions, the program primarily serves the surrounding 17 “Tier 1” counties.

    Under the umbrella of the Institute, the Small Business Academy was created . This entity offers the community a Small Business Incubator, Entrepreneur Resource Center, Technology Laboratory and several entrepreneurial and youth programming opportunities.

    Since inception, the program has been successful in assisting 1,700 businesses and coordinating the approval of more that $3.2 million in loan approvals.

    Small Business Academy
    Small Business Academy encompasses 13,000 square feet of office space known as The Entrepreneurial Resource Center. This business incubator is devoted to providing office and training space in an environment in which businesses can grow, develop, and succeed at below-market rates.

    Check out the Entrepreneur Center Guidelines.


    Success Stories

    Peach County obtains Entrepreneur Friendly status


    Outline of Need: Peach County is in very much need of grants to improve on the efforts of entrepreneurship and economic development throughout the county.

    How Rural Business-Cooperative Helped: With the resources of Fort Valley State University’s Rural Business Outreach Institutes workshops, conferences, and seminars the county was eligible to receive the Entrepreneur Friendly status through the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

    The Results: This qualifies the county of Peach to apply for up to $25,000 in grant money to improve the economic development of Peach County and to offer more funding for entrepreneurs of the county.

    Rufus Crane

    Rufus Crane

    When Middle Georgia entrepreneur Rufus Crane wanted to expand his bookkeeping business, he turned to Fort Valley State University’s Rural Business Outreach Institute for help. The RBOI, which assists business owners in starting or expanding their operations, helped Crane find a small business loan through Wells Fargo.

    “This was an exciting moment for Mr. Crane and for me,” said Eddie Madison, RBOI’s program coordinator. “We were able to find additional funds to expand his business, while helping to create more jobs in Middle Georgia.”

    Crane, who was happy to close on his new loan said, “Mr. Madison provided clear and efficient service, and the terms were very easy to understand and the interest was low.”

    Hidden Acres Nursery

    Hidden Acres Bank Loan Signing

    On Oct. 24 W.F. White received a loan of $217,530 to start Hidden Acres Nursery, a wholesale nursery, with his son. Participating in the paperwork signing at SunMark Community Bank are (from left) Dollie Horton, Public Service Center director; Janice Nelson, executive director of the FVSU Foundation; David Rucker, attorney; Charlie Adams Jr.; W.F. White of Hidden Acres Nursery; and Jim McClarnon, SunMark Community Bank President.

    Outline of Need: W.F. White, a hardworking salesman at a local car dealership, wanted to start a wholesale nursery business with his son. Mr. White contacted the University’s Rural Business Outreach Institute (RBOI) to see how we could assist him in identifying alternative funding sources to help him start his own business. Most of our clients have already been denied by their banks prior to establishing a relationship with us. After a few consultations and words of encouragement, our office assisted in the development of a business plan and loan proposal. As a result, the same bank funded his loan proposal.

    How Rural Development Helped: Rural Business Outreach Institute guided Mr. White through the loan process from the initial consultation on down to the loan closing.

    The Results: Fort Valley State University Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) and SunMark Community Bank loaned Mr. White a total of $241,700. These funds enable the recipient to build a wholesale nursery and created five jobs for the local community.

    For more information contact,

    Kristie Kenney
    Rural Business Outreach Institute Coordinator
    Phone: (478) 825-6127

    Additional online resources

  • Purpose
    The University Today Scholars’ Program is Fort Valley State University’s unique college preparatory dual enrollment initiative designed to encourage academically talented high school juniors and seniors to earn college degree-level credit through the ACCEL or Move on When Ready Program as they simultaneously meet their high school graduation requirements. With tuition and a portion of fees financed through state funding, eligible students are well on their way to furthering their future and their education here at THE Fort Valley State University!

    University Today Scholars have the opportunity to take courses from the University’s core curriculum during the Fall and Spring semesters each year and jumpstart their college education. Courses cover the spectrum of the core academic curriculum with a primary focus upon enhancing research and analytical skills. Additional services provided include College Exploration Opportunities, assistance completing College Applications, identification of Scholarship Opportunities, Summer Employment Opportunities, assistance in Registering for Standardized Tests such as the SAT/ACT, Free SAT/ACT Preparatory Workshops, and tutorial assistance in our Academic Success Center. Throughout the course of their tenure in the program, scholars are provided with an infrastructure of continual support to maximize and ensure student success.

    Student Eligibility
    The University Today Scholars Program allows eligible students entering 11th or 12th grade and who are enrolled at a public or private high school, to enroll at Fort Valley State University as a dual enrolled student. Eligibility criteria for credit bearing courses require the following:

    • High School junior or senior status
    • Classification as a legal resident of the state of Georgia
    • U.S. Citizenship
    • Must not owe a refund on a State program
    • Must not already have a GED or high school diploma.


    • Minimum high school grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (core classes plus foreign language)
    • Minimum composite score of 970 on the SAT (Math and Verbal) or a 21 on the ACT


    • Minimum high school grade point average (GPA) of 3.25 (core classes plus foreign language)
    • Minimum composite score of 1,000 on the SAT (Math and Verbal) or a 23 on the ACT
    • Attendance at a Georgia public high school during the year prior to enrollment in the program
    • Letter of recommendation from high school principal and/or high school counselor granting prospective student permission to participate in MOWR

    Application Materials

    • FVSU Application
    • ACCEL Application (Online) – Must submit a copy of completed application to program office
    • Official High School Transcripts
    • Official SAT/ACT Test Scores
    • Records

    For More Information Contact:
    Dorethea Scott
    Phone: (478) 825-6060
    Fax: (478) 825-6139
    E-mail: or

  • Public Service Center
    General email:
    Office fax: (478) 825-6139
    Phone:(478) 825-6081

    Charles Jones
    Public Service Center Director
    Phone:(478) 825-6081

    Dorethea Scott
    University Today Scholars Program Coordinator
    Phone: (478) 825-6060

1005 State University Drive • Fort Valley, GA 31030 • 478-827-FVSU

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