MILLEDGEVILLE — Student enrollment at the local Central Georgia Technical College campus is slightly higher this semester, but the numbers are lower than anticipated.
The additional academic space created by the new Center for Health Sciences facility coupled with the introduction of new associate degree courses generated higher, more promising projections.
Student enrollment is at 541 for fall semester at the local campus.
“Enrollment should’ve been a couple more hundred students than that. I had hoped for at least 600 credit students this fall. With 541 students, that’s about 53 more students from last fall,” said Hank Griffeth, CGTC vice president of satellite operations. “The associate degree level classes filled up quickly and have remained full, but the diploma and certificate level classes appear to have waned a little bit. The associate degree level courses we haven’t offered in the past due to space did start this semester, which are basically our hard science courses. We were able to start those because they are individual courses and not complete programs.”
Griffeth said one of the reasons enrollment did not increase as anticipated this semester is due to program introduction delays resulting from the CGTC merger with Middle Georgia Technical College.
“The new complete programs we’re going to have in this building did not start because of what we’re having to do with SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) due to the merger [with Middle Georgia Technical College]. We had to provide SACS with a new prospectus stating information about the college merger and that it was going to be what SACS terms as substantive change,” Griffeth said. “The prospectus basically takes a snapshot of the program at the time overall, and until COC (Commission on Colleges) reaffirms our accreditation based on the information in our prospectus, we can’t enroll students in new programs.”
The CGTC-MGTC merger became effective July 1.
Griffeth said a prospectus was delivered to SACS by mid-July. A SACS team is slated to visit the local CGTC campus in November to evaluate the school for initial accreditation as an official merged institution.
“How that relates to our programs here is we’re not allowed to enroll students [into new programs] prior to that occurring,” Griffeth said. “With the new building opening, the merger happening and program development, while the timing is unfortunate, the merger was not a predictable piece when the building was planned or even during the construction of the building. It was pretty much unavoidable once the merger process started.”
Starting in January, new programs will be offered to students at the local campus, including pharmacy technology and clinical laboratory technology. The neuromuscular therapy and health care specialist classes will be offered for the first time at CGTC.
“It’s a typical trend to have lower enrollment in the spring than in the fall semester, but I’m hoping that trend will be bumped next semester at this campus,” Griffeth said. “The associate degree level anatomy and physiology classes we’re running is the first of a two-part sequence, so that will keep new students here. We will also have completely new programs, so I’m anticipating higher enrollment in spring than we did for the fall. New programs would’ve helped maximize enrollment this semester.”
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