December 10, 2019–10:30 a.m.
According to enrollment numbers gathered by the Technical College System of Georgia, Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) has seen a 15.7% enrollment increase between the fall 2018 and fall 2019 semesters.
“We’re getting them here and keeping them here,” Stuart Phillips, vice president of Student Affairs said.
According to Selena Magnusson, vice president of Institutional Effectiveness and Student Success, the college’s numbers are a result of increased student outreach
through a network of GNTC faculty and staff who are continually involved in community partnerships.
“We go to career fairs, expos, high schools or anywhere we can raise awareness about the college,” she said. “Also, whenever a high school wants to come on campus we open our doors and showcase our programs.”
According to Jason Gamel, GNTC director of Recruitment, it is crucial for the college to continue to foster relationships with the local community. “It is important to let people know the opportunities that are available to them.”
“Over the last few years, GNTC has implemented new practices, or enhanced current practices, to provide a greater focus on student success,” President Heidi Popham said. “These practices involve a team approach, which relies on a cross-section of personnel from Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and Student Success. “
Additionally, the college continues to grow relationships with our secondary partners Popham added. The increased enrollment is a result of the recent changes and an enhanced focus on meeting the needs of GNTC students.
The two Industrial Career day events hosted by GNTC are two recent examples of how the college is bringing its programs to the community Magnusson said. The college also has four Student Success coaches who play a key role in student success added Magnusson. The coaches were paid for by the Strengthening Institutions Program, a $2.1 million federal grant awarded to the college a few years ago.
“We try to be very responsive to our students,” said Phillips. A good percentage of students coming into the college are actually high school students participating in dual enrollment, he explained. This is following a national trend of students taking advantage of the program as well as schools in GNTC’s nine-county service area expanding their programs.