COVINGTON -- Enrollment at Georgia Perimeter College continues to grow.
The school recently reported a record enrollment for the 2009-10 school year.
According to the University System of Georgia's 2009 fall enrollment report, GPC's enrollment grew by 1,741 students to 24,549, or 7.6 percent.
"The numbers tell our story; we are a college of first choice," said GPC President Anthony S. Tricoli in a press release.
This keeps GPC as the third largest institution in the USG, behind the University of Georgia and Georgia State University.
"Students and their families know that we are focused on their success, that we are committed to providing an affordable and accessible education and that we are passionate about providing the kind of education that is relevant for the 21st century," Tricoli said.
Although GPC -- which has a campus in Covington and a site in Conyers at the Rockdale Career Academy, as well as other sites around metro Atlanta -- has endured budget cuts and layoffs over the past year, it also recently began to offer Transfer Admission Guarantees in which students would attend GPC for two years and automatically be admitted to certain other USG four-year institutions, based upon their grades.
In Newton County, GPC's new student learning center will house a partnership with Georgia State University that allows students to earn a bachelor's degree in early childhood education through Georgia State University on the GPC Newton campus.
Additionally, the enrollment report showed that GPC has the state's largest Distance Learning Program, with 7,166 participants, which is up 17.9 percent from 2008. And GPC has Georgia's largest joint enrollment program with 769 high school students participating; the enrollment is more than at all other institutions in the USG.
According to a report from the Governor's Office of Student Achievement, GPC was the second most popular in-state choice for the graduating class of 2008 and was the top choice of high school students in DeKalb, Gwinnett and Rockdale counties.
In the state, a record 301,892 students enrolled this fall in the USG's 35 public colleges and universities, which include the University of Georgia, Georgia State University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Perimeter College, Gainesville State College, Georgia Gwinnett College, Clayton State University and Gordon College. The enrollment is an increase of 18,914 students from last fall.
Since fall 2006, enrollment in the USG has grown 16 percent, or by 41,947 students, according to the report.
"We added almost the equivalent of a Georgia Southern University (campus) since last fall," said USG Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr. in a press release. "The trend lines historically are up. ... We have exploding demand for public higher education as individuals prepare themselves for careers requiring a college education in a changing and uncertain economy."