GHC named a Top School for military and veterans education for fifth year in a row

top school graphic

Military Advanced Education & Transition (MAE&T) has awarded Georgia Highlands College the designation of a Top School in its 2018 Guide to Colleges & Universities, measuring best practices in military and veteran education. GHC was also recognized by MAE&T in the 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 editions.

The guide was recently released, and is available online at www.mae-kmi.com.

The guide presents results of a questionnaire of the military-supportive policies enacted at hundreds of institutions including private, public, for-profit, not-for-profit, four-year, and two-year colleges. From community colleges to state universities, online universities and nationally known centers of higher learning, MAE&T’s 2018 Guide to Colleges & Universities arms students with information about institutions that are Top Schools for military and veteran students.

Colleges like GHC are evaluated in number of areas to be considered a Top School by MAE&T. Top Schools must meet a certain threshold of military-supportive actions, as identified by MAE&T staff. This could include a veterans center, a dedicated veterans counselor, and financial incentives for military-affiliated students, to name just a few examples.

This year, institutions were evaluated on: military culture, financial aid, flexibility, general support, on-campus support and online support services.

“There are many different variables by which you could evaluate an institution, but we focus on the best practices that have been asserted by various higher education groups and reinforced by veteran groups. These best practices assure students that they have a high chance of success and support at their school of choice,” said Fodel. “That’s why we consider our survey to be the most detailed and informative in the industry.”

Visit www.mae-kmi.com for MAE&T’s 2018 Guide to Colleges and Universities, or pick up a copy of the December issue of Military Advanced Education & Transition.

 

GHC earns top honors at the 2017 Chancellor’s Annual Service Excellence Awards ceremony

Several GHC and USG members with awards

Georgia Highlands College brought home the highest honor for colleges in the University System of Georgia at the 2017 Chancellor’s Annual Service Excellence Awards ceremony. GHC and President Don Green were presented with the Gold Award for Outstanding Institution of the Year and President.

This award goes to the institution and president that demonstrated the highest commitment and performance levels in service excellence across the institution over the last year, including “Best Practice” accomplishments and employee activities that foster service excellence.

GHC and President Don Green were presented the Silver Award for Outstanding Institution of the Year and President Award in 2016.

Consideration was based on participation in programs and initiatives that resulted in service excellence improvements; performance measurements (e.g. Key Performance Indicators-KPIs, customer satisfaction survey results, and achievements as reported in their Service Excellence Improvement Plans or other reports. Winners were selected based on seven attributes of service excellence: Respectful, Accessible, Informed, Supportive, Culture of Collaboration or Teamwork, High Morale of Employees, and Organizational Performance.

Additionally, Dean of Natural Sciences and Physical Education Greg Ford was presented with the Silver Award for Outstanding Leader. This award recognizes administrator-level employees who, through their extraordinary leadership over the last year, demonstrated outstanding service to students, colleagues and other customers of the USG, and promoted a workforce culture that fosters “above and beyond” service experiences.

The awards ceremony was held at Georgia State University in December.

For more information on the Chancellor’s Annual Service Excellence Awards ceremony, please visit: usg.edu/service_excellence/recognition_programs

PICTURE: (L-R) GHC Vice President of Finance and Administration Jeff Davis; Marietta Campus Dean Ken Reaves; GHC Dean of Natural Sciences and Physical Education Greg Ford; University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley; GHC President Don Green; GHC Cartersville Campus Dean Leslie Johnson; and USG Vice Chancellor for Organizational Effectiveness John Fuchko.

 

 

 

GHC student takes charge of his life and builds a better tomorrow

Lucas Lester

Lucas Lester’s college journey didn’t start like most. He wasn’t eagerly waiting for an acceptance letter. He wasn’t researching what degree he wanted to get or planning what career he might pursue. His future began with a decision—a decision to turn his life around…

You see, Lucas found himself at his lowest point. He remembers sitting in an isolated cell with padded walls. He had nothing but a hole in the floor to use as his restroom. He had nothing but a roll of toilet paper to use as his blanket and pillow.

“I found myself contemplating what I was going to do when I got out,” he said.

Lucas’ conviction and incarceration slowed his spiraling life down long enough for him to really think about where his current road was taking him. And it was a place he did not want to go.

When he was finally free, his grandparents urged him to go to college. And that’s when he sought out Georgia Highlands College. He signed up for classes and plunged headfirst into student life, getting as involved as much as he could.

“I became involved first with Brother 2 Brother,” he said. “This provided me with a support group
of like-minded students, and most importantly, it instilled in me the principles of accountability, proactive leadership, self-discipline, and intellectual development.”

For Lucas, this was a great place for him to start, a place he could make himself thrive within.

Students in the group are required to sign a B2B/ GHAME contract that promotes a healthy academic career, including attending all classes, performing community service with the group, and spending time in the tutorial center every week.

And once Lucas hit the ground running, he couldn’t stop.

He joined Green Highlands, a student group that promotes sustainability and environmental awareness. His work with the group has led to the development of a Charger Garden on the Floyd campus that will one day contribute food to GHC’s Charger Food Pantry, which was started in 2016 to meet the needs of food insecurity among college students.

In that same time, Lucas joined the Student Government Association and ran for president. He was elected by his peers and served in that role for 2016-17.

“All of these activities allowed me to open my mind and think about things in a way that I had previously not considered important,” he said.

But the more Lucas moved forward, the more he thought about where he had come from.

He soon became very passionate about providing encouragement and assistance to individuals who have been incarcerated, been on probation, and/or had a criminal record.

“This is important to me because I have been in these negative situations and know the difficult challenges associated with re-entering society as a positive and productive citizen,” he said. “I realized while I was incarcerated no one ever came into the jail to talk about the importance of a college education in today’s economy or the positive impact a college education can have on someone’s sense of purpose or direction they go in life.”

Lucas now works to reach out to people who are coming out of prison and trying to make a new start.

“I have first-hand experience and knowledge that college can really help a person succeed,” he said. “I want to help provide this information to inmates, probationers, or anyone with no family or positive influences around them.”

Lucas’ decision to change and make his life better has put him on track to earning his associate degree from GHC in political science. Next, he plans to head to West Georgia to get his bachelor’s in philosophy on a pre-law track in preparation for law school.

He credits GHC in part for helping him achieve things he never thought he ever could.

“It is the internal change that I have experienced and watched others experience while at GHC that makes me forever have a place in my heart for this college,” he said. “In Brother 2 Brother, we would close out a meeting by reciting the words: ‘saving lives, salvaging dreams.’ GHC, the faculty and staff, and organizations like Brother 2 Brother saved my life and salvaged my dreams. Georgia Highlands College has lit a fire in me that otherwise would have remained dormant. I am forever grateful for GHC and what it means to the communities in which it serves.”

 

 

GHC’s new bachelor’s degree students help the homeless this holiday season with a service learning project, collect almost 1,400 items

collage bba students

Georgia Highlands College’s new bachelor’s in business administration (BBA) students brought their first semester to a close with a service learning project aimed to help the homeless this holiday season.

GHC’s two new bachelor’s degrees in healthcare management and logistics and supply chain management started fall 2017. Students from both of the programs participated.

The students teamed up with the Will2Way foundation, which is a local non-profit organization with a mission to serve the community by providing for the homeless, organizing disaster relief efforts across the United States, and providing mentoring services for youth. The organization has served over 40,000 individuals since 2014.

Working alongside Will2Way, students organized donation drives to collect various items, such as gloves, gently used blankets, shirts, socks and travel-sized toiletry items. The students collected almost 1,400 items.

“The goal of the service learning project is to meet the educational needs of students while also teaching students the importance of becoming an active member of their community which can have a lasting, positive impact and allow students to provide a service to those who need it most,” said BBA coordinator Mecole Ledbetter.

Ledbetter stated the students were responsible for participating, performing and documenting all aspects of the operation, including: appointing a liaison as a go between for each group and the organization itself; appointing a chairman to collect and track non-monetary donations; advertising/promotions; coordination and placement of collection boxes; sorting and packing; donation delivery to non-profit organization; and more.

Following the project completion, a final report from each group is required for grading purposes. The report describes the project and each step taken in the planning, coordinating and execution phases of the operations.

“Because this is an Operations Management course, students will be graded based on how well they manage the operations of the project,” Ledbetter said. “Students will also be graded on their attempt to create the highest level of efficiency possible during the planning, coordinating and execution stages of the service learning project.”

The new BBA degrees in Healthcare Management and in Logistics and Supply Chain Management began fall 2017. To learn more about the program or to apply, please visit: https://sites.highlands.edu/bba/

bba students group

 

 

 

bba students group 2

GHC celebrates first-generation students all week

first gen button

This week Georgia Highlands College will hold a First-Generation Student Celebration for all students, faculty and staff who are or were first-generation college students in their family.

GHC’s New Student and Retention Programs is partnering with Student Life to have a table with buttons for all first-generation students, faculty and staff, as well as a graffiti wall for students to voice why it is important to be the first in the family to go to college.

New Student and Retention Programs Manager Crystal Edenfield said it is important to champion student success, especially for those taking on the challenge of college as the first in their family.

“This group of individuals can face many challenges when trying to navigate the processes of applying to college, getting financial aid, and taking on college coursework for the first time,” she said. “They may not feel comfortable asking questions or asking for help. More importantly, they may not know what questions to ask.”

Edenfield is particularly invested in helping first-generation students, since she was the first person in her family to go to college, as well.

“A college education opened me up to a world that was so much bigger than my small town. Just taking the step to begin college is a huge accomplishment for first generation college students,” she said. “I want them to know that the college is here to answer questions, to help, to support, and to celebrate milestones, such as finishing the first semester strong, persisting from the first semester to the second semester, registering for classes second year or completing their associate degree.”

First-generation student Emily Cook said events like these are one of the many reasons she enjoys attending GHC.

“I love the atmosphere at Georgia Highlands College,” she said. “If I ever need help, someone is always there to lend a hand.”

Cook started at GHC in 2014. She is working on her business degree. She said it’s a special thing to be the first person in your family to go to college.

“My advice to other students who are first-generation college students is don’t be so afraid. You may not know everything at first,” she said. “You will learn most of it as you go. College can be intimidating, but make sure you’re going for something that inspires you and gives you something to really look forward too. Always remember your goals.”

GHC’s First-Generation Student Celebration will take place at all of its locations throughout the week.

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PICTURE: Special “I was the First” buttons being handed out to first-generation students, faculty, and staff during the First-Generation Student Celebration this week.

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Locations/dates

December 4 / Cartersville and Douglasville

December 5 / Floyd

December 6 / Floyd, Paulding, and Marietta

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking charge of the skies: GHC student is one of only 5,000 falconers in the United States

falconer

Lex Vick clads his arm and hand with a simple leather gauntlet. He enters his aviary just behind his house. And when he emerges, a large Red-tailed hawk rests on the end of his fist.

It’s a magnificent bird with a predator’s dark gaze, a fierce angled beak, and talons with points as sharp as hypodermic needles and inclined to vice grip tendencies.

Her name is Koda, which is a Sioux term for “companion.”

She stalks and hunts her prey from the skies like a Boeing B-52 Stratofortress. She is all about power and presenting power, Lex notes.

And although there seems to be a close connection between Lex and Koda, he is quick to point out she is not a pet. It’s a working relationship. They work together on each and every hunt.

Lex got into falconry several years ago. He has moved from apprentice to general and will be a master in 2018. Each rank requires years of training and different levels to unlock to do more and more with the birds.

He explained falconry has a long history, dating back to even ancient humans. Falconers today hunt with falcons, hawks, and other birds of prey and are trained to work with a number of different species of bird.

But the most interesting part of it all for Lex is being “in the front row seat of what happens naturally every single day.”

“Just getting to see the natural world from the predator’s side is just amazing,” he said. “I’ve always loved animals. I was the type of kid that would just read encyclopedias on animals.”

Lex is currently working on his associate in biology at Georgia Highlands College. He wants to continue on to Berry College to get a bachelor’s in animal science before attending veterinarian school at the University of Georgia.

He does some volunteer education events for local schools now, but feels the urge to hunt with his hawk more than anything.

And although now Koda is quick to return to him with one call of her name, it took time, training, and a lot of patience to get to that point.

Lex’s training required him to go through several legal steps with the Department of Natural Resources, including a test, inspections, and more. It’s an arduous process. It’s estimated there are only 5,000 falconers in the country today.

Once Lex was cleared to get a hawk, the tricky part began.

“You have to trap a wild bird. It must be an immature juvenile bird, so you don’t take from the breeding stock. They’re more impressionable anyway. They hatch in the summer, so if you find one in the fall, it is a good indication they know how to survive.”

Lex uses a simple dome cage for trapping hawks. The way it works is he places a small animal, like a gerbil, within the dome cage. A number of floss-like tethers are arranged on the outside of the cage. Once he finds a hawk he thinks will work, he sets the cage near their hunting site and waits far away.

The hawk will eventually dive onto the cage to take the animal inside, but the tethers wrap around its talons and keep the bird fixed and the animal within the dome safe. Then the training starts.

“It’s a lot of time on the glove. At first, they’ve got their wings out and their mouth open, because they think you’re going to kill them. I spent the first day with Koda on my glove for five hours. Each day you do that, then you take her outside. Then it becomes a food based thing.”

Over a two-week period, Lex feeds the bird, and with each feeding, he gives the bird more distance to return to him. Once the hawk becomes accustomed to its name and knowing that its name being called signals Lex has something for it, the first free fly happens.

“All you can do is hope for the best in your training the first time you let them go. It’s an amazing feeling when you start walking and they are just following along with you from the sky.”

Lex has been hunting with Koda for five years. The pair enjoy hunting in the fall after the leaves have left the trees and there is a better line of sight from ground to sky and vice versa.

But preparing for the hunt is just as important as the hunt itself.

“Just like a prize fighter, you want to have the bird in a good condition, at the right weight. If they are too high and too fat, they get lethargic, and if they’re too low, they don’t have the energy. There is a perfect medium called ‘yarak,’ where they are primed and at the peak of readiness for what they do best.”

Once Koda reaches her ideal weight, Lex and his dog Molly set out with her to assist in the hunt. Lex and Molly try to kick up or scare small game, like squirrel or rabbits, while Koda patrols overhead. Lex says sometimes the prey they hunt become so fixated on Molly and him, they don’t even know Koda is part of the hunting equation, giving her the element of surprise.

“When she locks on to something, the game is over.”

Every bird flies and hunts just a bit different from one another. Koda prefers powerful dives and strong aerial turns, as if to flex her privileged position on the food chain just a little before the attack ensues.

Eventually, Koda will be released back into the wild. Lex says even though the two of them form a slight working bond, Koda’s natural instincts will always dictate her actions. Eventually, she’ll move on to mate and hunt again on her own, and Lex will need to start over with a new bird.

Any attachment a falconer has for a bird is one sided, but the thrill of working together for even a short amount of time makes it worth all the while for Lex.

For him, it’s not just a view of the “circle of life,” it’s a chance to experience it, to “be a part of it.”

MORE PICTURES AND VIDEO:

student with hawk student's hawk

 

GHC continues one of its longest-running field courses, celebrates 20 years in Wyoming

wyoming trip

The classroom is a mountain. The whiteboard is miles of short-grass prairie land. The bookcases are snow-capped. And the textbooks are fossils.

The Georgia Highlands College summer field course trip to Wyoming in many ways is about moments that last forever in memory, in stone.

Associate Professor of Geology Billy Morris has been trekking across Wyoming with students for 20 years. The first trip was in 1997. He went to a conference in Seattle and met a geologist who helped him form the trip and serve as their guide.

“She was our guide for the first two years,” Morris said. “She was instrumental in setting us up. She was local. A lot of the places we go aren’t published anywhere, word of mouth kind of places, and they are these pristine, somewhat secret spots.”

Morris on average has taken 12 to 24 students each year since the program started. The trip starts at GHC two weeks before they head out, so students can learn what to expect, how to take notes in the field, and the basics of geology.

Then the real trip begins.

The group flies into Denver and then drives directly to the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains to visit Red Rocks Amphitheatre and the nearby Dinosaur Trail in the famous Morrison Formation. Then, they head north to Casper, followed by a day’s drive through Wind River Canyon and Thermopolis to Cody. After a night in Cody, they drive into Yellowstone and stay in cabins in a place called Canyon Village within walking distance of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. They then work their way to Colter Bay Village before heading back to Denver.

“It’s a geologist’s wonderland,” Morris said.

He explained that Wyoming has good examples of all rock types, fossils, important surface processes and landforms, as well as every time period being represented.

“The whole textbook is out there in the field where you can feel it and touch it… where you can experience it.”

And Morris said no two trips are the same.

“We’ve had three marriages that I know of that have come out of this trip,” he said. “Once, before we left, a young man asked me, ‘Are we going to go to any place that’s really pretty while we’re out there?’ and I said, ‘Well, as a matter of fact, a few.’”

The student went on to tell Morris that the reason he was asking was because he wanted to propose to his girlfriend, another student on the trip that year. So Morris helped the young man pick the best spot he could think of.

The group took a 7-mile hike to the top of Mount Washburn, which flanks an extinct volcano and is one of the higher elevations in Yellowstone.

“There is nothing higher than you as far as you can see. You have a 360-panaromic view,” Morris said. “He carried the ring in his hat band and when we got to the summit he proposed. She said yes.”

“Yellowstone is always fantastic. You never know what you’ll see there.” Morris added, recalling another trip when the group came across a standoff between wolves and a bear over a carcass. “The bear ended up back on his hind feet. We always see some incredible wildlife.”

But the moments captured in Wyoming aren’t always from this century…

“There is an outcrop that always gives me chill bumps every time I see it. It’s a piece of sandstone from the Jurassic period. It was formed on a beach. The sandstone that was deposited on that beach has ripple marks left behind, like a washboard. Clearly, it’s a wave zone, 30 feet high, 40 feet wide, but across the ripple marks are three-toed footprints, like a turkey footprint, but they’re from a pterodactyl. No doubt he was scavenging along the beach looking for squid or horseshoe crabs who had washed up in that spot…”

Morris stops there each year to show his students.

“To have a
moment like that, an
instant in time preserved, and to be able to show that and look at it and let your mind wander back that far and think about the changes that have gone on in that place, it’s one of those moments you lay awake at night and think about…”

Morris says he plans on continuing the trip for as long as he can. He credits the students as the ones who motivate him to go year after year.

“What really makes the trip for me is to watch the students and see how they react to what they are seeing and doing. It’s very satisfying to watch them learn and grow,” he said. “I love lectures and I love teaching in the laboratory, but where real earth science happens is outside. We can look at books. We can pull rocks off the shelf for an entire semester. But in a fraction of that time, you can do so much more when you’re in the right place. Bringing students to the right place and helping them understand how to read the rocks like a book is very satisfying.”

Sign up now for the 2018 GHC Summer Geology Field Class in Wyoming. Complete details can be found at: highlands.edu/wyoming

 

GHC part of initiative to support student-veterans

vet student

All University System of Georgia institutions agree on one thing: taking care of the state’s student-veterans should be a priority.

The state’s 28 USG colleges and universities now have a dedicated space on campus just for veterans and also allow them to receive priority access to every course they need to graduate.

“Georgia has a significant military and veteran population,” said Dr. David Snow, director of military affairs for the USG’s Board of Regents. “While only about 1 percent of the U.S. population has served in the military, that demographic characteristic applies to roughly 9 percent of Georgians. In fact, we have over 750,000 veterans and the fifth-largest active-duty population in the nation. We appreciate their service to our country and want them to succeed whenever they transition back to the civilian sector. It is important not only to their long-term success but also to the future of the state, region and nation. We want all USG students, whether veterans or not, to succeed and graduate.”

Amy Wise, Veterans Affairs coordinator at Georgia Highlands College, is happy GHC is a partner in the statewide initiative to help student-veterans.

“The USG and Dr. David Snow are working hard to serve Georgia’s veterans, making sure our University System schools are doing all we can to support them with the post-service/college transition, academic success and financial assistance,” she said. “The brave men and women of our all-volunteer military have given so much to protect our personal freedoms and safety. It is our privilege to provide them with an environment that promotes military-friendly student success in return.”

Priority registration — which allows student-veterans to register for their classes days or weeks, depending on the institution, before other students — is crucial for enabling veterans to be successful academically and to finish their degrees, Snow said.

“Since student-veterans only have 36 months of Veterans Affairs educational benefits, it is important that they are able to secure the required courses before their benefits expire,” he said. “As with any student, taking a full course load is critical to timely degree attainment, and with limited benefits, it’s important to ensure they obtain the required courses on time and in sequence. If not, it adversely impacts retention and graduation.”

Also, Snow added only the school certifying official can approve the courses in a student-veteran’s degree plan, which means a student-veteran “cannot simply ‘pick up’ an additional course to complete their schedule; instead he or she must be able to obtain required courses.”

Most institutions already had some kind of priority registration in place for other segments of the student population, such as graduating students or athletes, but during the past few years, the USG has been encouraging all of them to “consider expanding this benefit to student-veterans by explaining why it is important, and 100 percent of the institutions responded in favor of this expansion,” Snow, a veteran himself, said.

“Once they realized how this could potentially impact a student-veteran, all of the institutions were eager to offer this benefit,” he said. “In fact, most felt this benefit was not only practical and warranted but also the right thing to do. Those that have worn the cloth of the nation have sacrificed years to protect us, and we owe them a debt of gratitude for their selflessness.”

Wise said all GHC students, including veterans, who attend early-bird advising to meet with a faculty adviser in their program of study are allowed to register one week earlier than other students.

“We strongly encourage veterans to attend early-bird advising to get the best selection of course offerings because so many also have families, jobs and other responsibilities that restrict available times to take classes,” she said.

As for on-campus dedicated spaces for veterans, Wise said four of GHC’s five locations — Rome, Cartersville, Douglasville and Paulding — have an area just for their use.

“The Veterans Resource Center in Cartersville has a VA work-study desk and computer; a student desk with computer and printing capabilities; study/hang-out area with couch and TV, microwave, refrigerator [and] coffee; textbook lending library; and many useful resources for our veterans and military family members,” she said.

Another benefit USG institutions have been offering student-veterans “in one form or another” since 2004 is waiving out-of-state tuition rates, Snow said.

“It has been revised numerous times over subsequent years,” he said. “For example, when I joined the University System of Georgia in 2013, out-of-state tuition was being waived if the student-veteran had separated from military service within the previous 12 months; however, this was really not a lot of time. For example, some veterans had children who were finishing a school year at their last duty station or the veteran worked elsewhere for a year or two and then decided to come to Georgia.”

So, “in a clear indication of their commitment to serving veterans,” the Board of Regents unanimously voted to extend the time frame to 36 months,” Snow said.

“Interestingly, the very next year, a federal law was passed that required all public institutions of higher learning in the United States to provide this exact same 36-month benefit to any student using VA educational benefits, and Georgia was already leading the way nationally and was one of the very first states certified as compliant by the VA,” he said.

Snow added more than 1,200 student-veterans graduated spring semester with degrees ranging from associate to doctorate “so, they’re doing very well.”

Another “military-centered point of pride” for USG concerns the 2017 “Best for Vets” rankings by Military Times, Snow said.

Georgia was one of only two states to have two public institutions in the Top 10 rankings of four-year schools nationwide. Armstrong State University in Savannah came in at No. 4, and Georgia State University in Atlanta was No. 7.

In the same rankings of 130 selected institutions, three other schools from the USG were included: the University of Georgia at No. 42, College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick at No. 51 and Augusta University at No. 119.

“However, all 28 USG institutions have resources and programs in place to support student-veterans, and they are doing some great things,” Snow said. “For example, here in Carterville, Georgia Highlands College has an outstanding program, and every April, they host a Military Family Appreciation Day, which has always had a strong turnout. Personally, I make the drive each year, and it is well worth the effort. Last April, we had reps from one of our institutions in Savannah come up for the day.”

GHC also has been selected as a top school by Military Advanced Education & Transitions several times, is considered a military-friendly college and participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program.

Wise said the college had 114 students certified fall semester for VA education benefits at all campuses, with 46 of those being at the Cartersville location, and that’s not including student-veterans who currently aren’t using the GI Bill.

 

AS SEEN IN THE DAILY TRIBUNE NEWS

GHC president and deans head student college success workshop

don green with students

Around 25 students took advantage of a college success workshop organized and led by Georgia Highlands College President Don Green. The four-week workshop took place at the beginning of the semester. Dean of Natural Science and Physical Education Greg Ford and Dean of Health Sciences Michelle Boyce also worked with the students.

The pilot workshop set out with four specific goals for the students to achieve by taking part. Those goals were: define your vision, set short term and long-term goals (personal and professional), learn how to achieve those goals, and introduce effective learning skills and strategies.

President Green said learning these fundamentals early on in college can make a huge difference in a student’s life.

“When I was 17, I left high school a year early and went off to Michigan State University to start my college education,” Green said. “I left one year early because I was supposed to be gifted. What I was not gifted with was maturity, an understanding of how to study, nor a clearly defined career path.”

Green explained that college was very new to him and his attention was not on his studies the way it should have been, preferring more to play basketball than read or do his assignments. Later, he was even put on academic probation.

Green stated he immediately shifted gears and took his college work more seriously, taking more notes, reading his books, and doing more work than was assigned. On top of all that, he made regular visits to the tutorial center.

“My mistakes may seem obvious, and my solutions even more so,” he said. “But every day, we see students at GHC, like every other college, who are learning the same lessons. At GHC, we care about student success. We understand our mission of access and success. We help students take charge. And we continue to pursue new strategies to enhance that mission.”

Dean Boyce said the four weeks really made an impact on the students who participated. The group discussed ways to effectively network and how to create a strong support system.

“This was an outstanding opportunity for our students,” Boyce said. “We would love to continue this each year and get more faculty and staff involved.”

Dean Ford also did a neuroscience/brain biology presentation to demonstrate how to improve the retention of information.

“Our goal is to share our knowledge and experience to give students the tools to create an individualized learning strategy to improve success,” he said.

Director of Academic Success Jennifer Hicks, Douglasville Site Director Julia Areh, and Campus Dean Leslie Johnson were also key in organizing the workshop and look forward to expanding and getting more students involved in the future.

 

 

GHC holds enrollment steady amid improving processes

student in classroom

Georgia Highlands College spent summer 2017 and fall 2017 working to improve enrollment processes for all students. Updates included some risk to enrollment growth for both semesters, but are expected to help students in the future.

Summer 2017 enrollment saw a decrease of 73 students overall, while fall 2017 enrollment remained at 6,013 students (a zero percent change from fall 2016).

GHC updated enrollment deadlines to give priority to students who completed registration and course selections early. Students were also given more time overall to make selections by meeting with advisors to ensure they were taking the proper classes they needed to graduate on time.

GHC additionally put more emphasis on financial aid, scholarships, and payment plan options, spending more time with each student to ensure they were on the right track to pay for college with all the resources available to them.

President Don Green stated slowing the enrollment a bit to refine a system that cares about student success is necessary for growing in the right direction.

“We knew we wouldn’t see increases we had experienced over the past several semesters. However, turning our focus to drastically improving our enrollment processes bolsters our student retention and helps students be more successful,” he said. “It’s worth it when you consider how this will help students complete their degree on time, as well as set them up on a financial plan that has them graduating with little to no debt upon completion.”

According to the University System of Georgia, there was a 1.1 percent increase system wide.

GHC continues to hold the second highest enrollment for state colleges in Georgia.

For the full USG enrollment report for fall 2017, please visit: http://www.usg.edu/assets/usg/docs/news_files/BOR_USG_Fall_2017_Enrollment_Report.pdf