Students return to growing GPC campus as class is back in session

Photo by Brian Giandelone

Photo by Brian Giandelone

COVINGTON -- More than 25,000 students headed to classes at Georgia Perimeter College on Monday. Many of those GPC students were from the Newton County area attending classes on the college's Newton Campus.

The campus, which is located on Cedar Lane off Ga. Highway 11 in eastern Newton County, hopes to serve its largest classes this semester, as some classes began Monday and others will begin their classes today.

"We're looking to work through steady growth over the next few years," said Alan Jackson, dean of Academic Services at GPC's Newton Campus. "Everything seems like it's going pretty well. We're just sorting through everything. We're very pleased with the process, and we hope (the students) are happy."

GPC officials won't release enrollment figures until Friday due to students still adding and dropping courses this week, but the college is expecting to serve more students than the 25,280 it enrolled across all campuses over spring semester.

"We're on track to have a record enrollment," said Beverly James, assistant director of Media Relations at GPC.

Last fall's enrollment was a record 25,549, an 8.6 percent increase over fall 2008 enrollment, she said.

Jackson said students new to the Newton Campus will be the first group who will get to experience two fully operational buildings at the college's Newton Campus, which opened a new building last fall.

"The campus is becoming more and more like fully functional and operational (colleges)," Jackson said. "It will give the students more opportunities, and those will keep expanding."

Georgia Perimeter College has begun some new programs this school year that allow students to earn a bachelor's degree from Georgia State University without leaving GPC.

The collaborative effort is a 2 Plus 2 Program, offered both at the Newton Campus and the Alpharetta Center.

The Newton Campus already offers an early childhood education bachelor of science in education degree through the 2 Plus 2 Program, and now it will offer a business administration degree with concentrations in marketing or managerial sciences.

The Alpharetta Center also will feature a business administration degree through the program and hopes to add an early childhood education program to its center in the future.

The college also is exploring other partnered programs, such as degrees in criminal justice and social work.

Web registration for all classes at GPC's Newton Campus will continue until today, and on-campus registration has been extended through Friday.

Georgia Perimeter College is the third largest institution of the University System of Georgia and offers courses on four campuses and several sites in metro Atlanta, including Clarkston, Decatur, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Tucker, Conyers and Newton, as well as online. The Newton Campus serves students in such areas as Newton, Rockdale, Walton, Morgan and Jasper counties.

Additional information about the college is available at www.gpc.edu.