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GMC Albany welcomes first B.A.S. students
With 15 college campuses across the peach state, Georgia Military College has offered two-year Associate Degree programs to students in the past, but has since added four-year program options where students can earn a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree. BAS degrees are designed to enhance the occupational/technical education provided by an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) or Associate of Applied Technology (AAT) degree program. Where the AAS or AAT degree prepares students in technical disciplines, GMC's BAS degree programs are designed to prepare students for career advancement opportunities and supervisory and management roles in their technical or occupational field, and that’s one of the reasons GMC-Albany student, Grady Wilson, is pursuing his BAS degree.
Wilson enrolled at Albany Technical College (ATC) where he earned two Associate degrees in Business Logistics Management and Operations Management, when he graduated from ATC in 2013. As a contractor Equipment Specialist for Light Tactical Vehicles at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, the 42-year-old decided to further his education by obtaining a Bachelor of Applied Science degree at Georgia Military College’s Albany campus.
“I saw that Albany Technical College and GMC were recently affiliated and I thought to myself that it would benefit me to go to a great college. I have some friends that also attended GMC and they had nothing but good things to say,” Wilson said.
The Extension Center Director for GMC-Albany, Melanie King, says the BAS degree program is a great fit not only Wilson, but for Georgia Military College as a whole.
“We are thrilled to have Grady as GMC Albany’s first student in the BAS Supply Chain Management and Logistics program,” King said. “The BAS degree is a great fit for Grady’s goal of career advancement with his current employer, the Marine Corps Logistics Base. As the Director of GMC Albany, I am excited to offer the BAS programming and believe members of our community will benefit in the job market from completion of this degree. Employers can expect our BAS graduates will have the management and supervisory skills needed to successfully contribute to a stronger workforce for our community.”
But it wasn’t just furthering his career that made Wilson go back to school.
“I was thinking about just being done after the Associate degrees, but my oldest son Parker came up to me and said, ‘Daddy, I’m proud of you for going back to college and finishing.’ After that, I knew I couldn’t stop,” Wilson said.
Wilson says it’s about showing his family what can come of hard work and determination.
“My youngest son is on the Autism Spectrum and has Tourette’s syndrome, and while my challenges are nothing compared to his, I want to show him that even though you may struggle, you can make it and achieve anything,” Wilson said. “I want him to realize that he is capable of more than some people may believe.”
Wilson’s drive to earn a BAS degree stems much beyond his family life now. He says many doubted he would achieve success when he was younger.
“My 6th grade English teacher told me, ‘you will be in jail before you’re 18,’” Wilson said. “That has stuck with me all these years and after I finish my BAS degree, I am going to find her and tell her that she was wrong, wrong to tell a child they will not amount to anything and she was wrong about me.”
He wants to use his degree to land a permanent civil service job at the Marine Logistics Base, although he says it can be difficult to get a position like that without prior military experience. But Wilson says he is persistent, and if that doesn’t work out, he says he’ll use his degree to further his career whether it be at the base, or in another related field.
Wilson says pursuing his BAS degree will be a challenge. He says he feels like Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb Mount Everest. Wilson says pursing his Bachelor of Applied Science degree is on a much smaller scale than that challenge, but for him, this is his Everest.
“I’m looking forward to completing my degree,” Wilson said. “I am really ready to walk across that stage and hear my rowdy, unruly family yelling and cheering me on.”
And if all goes as planned, Wilson will make that goal a reality in May 2019.