MILLEDGEVILLE — Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC) campuses have seen an increase of student enrollment this summer semester including the Milledgeville campus, which increased by nearly 50 students from last year.
“This is the first time we’ve had an increase in three semesters. Our whole system has been decreasing, and I think that’s a direct effect with what’s been done with the HOPE scholarship and the economy,” said Hank Griffeth, CGTC vice president for satellite operations. “The economy is picking up a little bit, but in the world of post-secondary education, when the economy gets better, enrollment goes down because people are going to work.”
All classes formerly held in the 68,000 square foot main building have permanently moved into the new Center for Health Sciences facility. The college will introduce new programs to the local campus and CGTC overall in the fall semester, including neuromuscular therapy, pharmacy technology, health care specialist and clinical laboratory technology.
“This summer’s enrollment is 360, and last summer we had 314. I think a significant piece to that is that’s without our new programs. When the new programs come online, we will have an increase in enrollment,” Griffeth said. “We also had an increase at this campus and college wide in credit hours. Last summer semester, the 314 students registered for 2,251 credit hours. This summer the 360 students have registered for 2,419 credit hours.”
Enrollment is also expected to see a boost in the fall after CGTC and Middle Georgia Technical College merge to form the second largest technical college in the state with an 11-county service delivery area. The merger is set to become official July 1.
“We have no new full-time instructors hired yet. As we’re counting down to the final days of the merger being complete, we’re still using the merger as a means to place faculty and staff in positions where we need them. The consolidation has occurred in a manner where nobody lost their job due to the consolidation. Through attrition people have left, and typically those positions aren’t being refilled unless the student population warrants it,” Griffeth said. “At Middle Georgia Tech, they also had an increase in enrollment this summer compared to last summer. We anticipate an increasable [boost] in enrollment and credit hours.”
Milledgeville resident Susan Barker has been enrolled at CGTC for nearly two years and she’s on track toward earning a medical assistant certification. Barker likes how the new facility is more spacious and includes more up-to-date learning materials and resources needed in her medical assisting skills class.
“The lab is spacious and the seats are bigger. I like how it’s more like a medical office setting and I love the modernization part of the building as well,” Barker said after class Wednesday. “This college is wonderful with wonderful programs. It’s a great place where you can come in and in two years you can be certified. The teachers are great and they really help and encourage the students a lot.”
CGTC medical assisting 12-year instructor Norma Jackson said the facility is “such a blessing.”
“I have space where I can store supplies where before I had to store supplies in the classroom,” she said. “With the space and the freedom to move around, it’s easier to teach the students.”
What is now considered the old building is being remodeled for the adult education program, which will move from the mobile units outside.
“In the fall, we’re doing the first phase of redesigning the learning support classes where they are more self-paced than they have been in the past and requires additional computer labs. We will also be putting in a student fitness center with aerobic and fitness equipment in the building, which is funded by student wellness fees.”