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College of Coastal Georgia campus buzzing with start of spring semester
Posted 01/16/2016 09:00AM

Anna Hall l The Brunswick News

Enrollment at College of Coastal Georgia for the spring semester is up.

The new student population, around 3,000, reflects about a 4 percent increase over last spring, said John Cornell, director of public affairs for the college.

As much occurred this pst fall, when enrollment hit 3,131 students. That included 1,105 new students, an increase of 15 percent over the previous fall semester.

The gradual increase in enrollment didn't occur by happenstance. A variety of programs and partnerships have come into play to create a solid foundation for its growth for both traditional and nontraditional students, Cornell said.

The Move on When Ready dual enrollment program has been an asset to introducing new students to the higher education campus, namely area high school students who take college courses to earn credit towards both their high school diploma and college.

"We're fortunate that we have been able to develop a very strong partnership with the local school system," Cornell said.

The partnership helps usher in students who after graduating from high school may likely stay on the coastal campus for a full four years, he said.

"At the college, we have placed a dedicated focus on progress and retention," Cornell said. "Of course, we understand some students will move on after a year or two years to go to a different school, but we are increasingly seeing more and more students stay here for their full bachelor degree careers, which is exciting."

For non-traditional students, the University System of Georgia's Go Back, Move Ahead initiative has proven successful since it launched in 2014. The campaign pushes working-age adults to return to college to finish degree programs and earn a diploma by offering Georgians a simpler enrollment process, more flexible ways to transfer previously earned college credits, more flexible course schedule options and a personal academic adviser.

The college is adding to its campus amenities by constructing a new second on-campus residence hall. The Mariner Village residence hall will house up to 216 students, raising the number of on-campus rooms to 550.

Construction of the new living space is ahead of schedule and if all goes as planned, the new dorms will open for the fall semester.

"We were in a construction meeting (Wednesday) morning and are happy to confirm the construction of Mariner Village is still running ahead of schedule," said Jason Umfress, vice president for student affairs at the Brunswick college. "We have just finalized all of the interior finishes, paint colors, and furnishings with input from about 100 of our current students. Since it will be their building, we wanted to make sure we got their input."

Umfress said the interior of the village will have a coastal theme, featuring a light and airy atmosphere with a blue theme running through the building that is consistent with the current decor on the campus.

"There will be no doubt that you are at the College of Coastal Georgia when you enter the grand lobby area," Umfress said.

Another new addition to the college: Greek life. Talks are in the works among students and faculty about launching sororities and fraternities at the college, which could be a major boast for student life, Cornell said.

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