GMC News

GMC-Valdosta Enrollment Up 21 Percent

By Jessica Pope,

VALDOSTA — Georgia Military College kicked off 2004 with a new quarter and a 21 percent increase.

Winter Quarter 2003, 559 students flocked to the 2113 Bemiss Road campus to pursue their higher education dreams. Tuesday, the first day of Winter Quarter 2004 classes, the number climbed to 679 students. The campus was projected to have an enrollment of 565 students this quarter.

“The numbers are really looking great,” said Leslie Hafer, college director.

Most of those attending the two-year community college this time around are full-time students, filling 1,629 five-hour classes. In the past, Hafer said the majority of the college’s students were considered part-time, leading officials to project a need for 1,328 five-hour classes this quarter.

“We’re getting full,” Hafer added. “That’s a good problem to have.”

With a maximum class size of 25, Georgia Military College officials were forced to get a little creative when designing course offerings. Typically, students attend classes either in the morning between 8:30 a.m. and noon or in the evening after 4:30 p.m.

“Now we have classes until 2:35 p.m.,” Hafer said. “We are starting another population — morning, afternoon, and evening. We are having to utilize this facility more creatively to accommodate the growth. Our plan is to go all day with classes as we continue to grow.”

Recent surveys indicate students choose to attend Georgia Military College for a number of reasons. Hafer said students repeatedly cite the college’s dedicated faculty, strong academic program, convenience, small classes and individual attention as reasons for choosing Georgia Military College.

“We survey them twice a year,” she added. “We repeatedly get high marks in these areas.”

In an effort to continue to enhance the learning experience, the college added an E-Library to the campus. It is housed in one of two 2,000-square-foot modular buildings located in the rear of the campus and features 14 computers and an electronic research library specialist. Students can now download books, magazines, journals, and other research materials for use in completing assignments.

“This addition was in response to a request from our students,” Hafer said. “They asked for some method to conduct research on campus. Before, they had to leave campus and travel to the public library.”

Fall Quarter 2002, the college experienced another significant enrollment increase, 15 percent compared to 2001. This led officials to purchase the second modular building, creating additional space. The college is located next to Harvey’s Supermarket in a 10,000-square-foot facility.

“Things are going great for us,” Hafer said.

Georgia Military College serves residents from Lowndes, Berrien, Cook, Lanier, Clinch, and Brooks counties. Its student body is comprised of everyone from recent high school graduates to senior citizens, providing for an extremely diverse population. Associate degrees are offered in behavioral science, business administration, criminal justice, general studies, early childhood education, and education.

For information about Georgia Military College, please call 293-6000
or visit

To contact reporter Jessica Pope, please call 244-3400, ext. 255.