GPC to close continuing ed center

COVINGTON - Georgia Perimeter College announced Thursday morning that it will close its Center for Continuing and Corporate Education on June 30.

"Like other colleges and universities across the nation, Georgia Perimeter College is at a point that we must make deeper financial reductions in order to weather this rough economic storm," said GPC President Anthony Tricoli in a press release.

The continuing education center offers dozens of classes through each of its campuses to about 6,000 students per year in areas such as academic and test preparation, business, corporate education and training, enrichment, health care, languages, professional development, recreation, technology and special programs and events. The college opened the center upon its inception and started offering a handful of classes at the Newton Campus in 2008.

As of press time Thursday, a college representative could not say how much money would be saved by the closure, but said 21 administrative jobs, plus contracted instructor positions, will be lost.

Georgia Perimeter will continue to offer some of the continuing education programs through completion for current participants, rather than end in June with most of the programs.

"Most of the programs we have are not single classes; they are certificate programs," said Jenn Banks Mason, coordinator of marketing and public relations. "We want to make sure everyone who's enrolled in the program is able to finish that out."

For instance, the pharmacy technician program will end in August - students will have the same instructor but may change class locations. GPC instructors will have information about any other affected classes, Mason said.

"While it is necessary to discontinue some elements of this program, the college is committed to preserving our academic quality and our positive relationship with the community," Tricoli said in the release.

GPC also plans to open a Center for Organizational Development at some point. Mason said that center is still in its early planning stages, but the college plans to create it as a small program that will focus on training and consulting for businesses and organizations.

More information about the program is available by calling 678-891-3016 or visiting the GPC Web site at www.gpc.edu.