GMC News

Q&A with Ted Ramsdell

Q&A with Ted Ramsdell Compiled by Michael W. Pannell – Sun News correspondent City of Residence: Macon Occupation: Director, Georgia Military College Warner Robins Campus QUESTION: What do you think of Georgia Military College being ranked 12 out of 650 community colleges nationwide in Washington Monthly’s list of “America’s 50 Best Community Colleges”? ANSWER: Quite honored. Of course, it’s for all GMC, not just Warner Robins. GMC is very student centered, we care about our students and want to see them successful whether they graduate from us, go on and get a four-year degree somewhere else, or enter the work force in the job they want. QUESTION: Briefly, what is GMC’s history? ANSWER: The main campus in Milledgeville was started in 1879 by the state. Milledgeville has a prep school and community college and still has a cadet program. All the school’s athletic programs are there. There isn’t a cadet program or athletics here. QUESTION: Didn’t GMC initially establish a satellite campus here at Robins Air Force Base to cater to military and civil service employees? ANSWER: Originally, all our distance learning centers were at military bases around Georgia. GMC first brought classes to Robins in 1989, and classes at the base then and now are geared toward subjects like logistics management and business. We moved to Elliot Hall at 801 Duke Avenue in Warner Robins in 2003 to better serve traditional students right out of high school as well as adults. In 2003 we had about 300 students, now close to 1,200. QUESTION: To what do you attribute the growth? ANSWER: Honestly, I attribute our growth to two things: the economy and the type of education we offer. There is the affordability of tuition. Most of our students work and can start higher education locally with an affordable price, save, then transfer where they want to. QUESTION: You’re on the quarter system rather than semester like most other schools. Does that cause problems? ANSWER: Our classes transfer right into the semester system. We have the same contact hours. We have agreements with the University System of Georgia as well as with a number of private schools to accept credits. QUESTION: Do you see benefits to the quarter system? ANSWER: The advantage is our quarters last eight weeks. A semester is 16 weeks. You can actually fit five quarters into a year, so a student can complete coursework and get their associate degree faster. You can theoretically finish what is normally a two-year program in a year-and-a-half. QUESTION: What about your type of education? ANSWER: We’re a two-year, liberal arts junior college offering an expanding list of associate degrees, now up to 18. What I really like about GMC is that we teach critical thinking skills, but in addition to teaching the intellect, we also believe in developing character. No matter how much education you have, if you don’t have character then it’s not as likely you will be successful. We try to emphasize ethics, work values, being a well-rounded citizen. I guess that comes in part from our military tradition. — Michael W. Pannell Read more: