For students seeking a quality educational experience at a fast-growing, forward thinking two-year college, Georgia Perimeter College offers an excellent educational experience at an affordable price.
As the economic downturn has taken its toll on employment rolls and the finances of many families, a growing number of traditional and non-traditional students are taking advantage of the benefits offered by two-year colleges. Two-year colleges tend to be more job-oriented than their four-year counterparts, and many offer certification programs that displaced workers can quickly go through to obtain a new credential they can use to find work in another segment of the work force.
Traditional college students seeking a four-year degree can complete the first two years of their studies at a two-year school, knocking out their core academic requirements while paying lower two-year college tuition.
GPC offers a good balance of programs that appeal to the needs of both traditional and non-traditional students, with a wide range of majors and career programs to choose from. Some of the school’s associate’s degree programs include education, business administration and pre-med/dentistry/pharmacy, among many others. Career programs include nursing and a number of allied health programs, as well as other fields including fire management and sign language interpreting.
This college is one of the fastest-growing metropolitan two-year colleges in the country and currently has more than 25,000 students. In fact, it is the third-largest institution in all of Georgia’s public colleges and universities. GPC has four campuses and other instruction sites scattered around Atlanta. The school also has a very strong online program, offering more courses via the Internet than any other college in the state, two-year or four-year.
For students seeking a career reset or who are trying to find an affordable path to a four-year degree, this college is worth a careful examination.
Most Popular Fields of Study
This school has varying admissions requirements, depending on what type of educational services you are seeking.
For incoming freshmen, the college requires a high school diploma. Students with a college preparatory diploma must have a 2.0 GPA in academic coursework. Those with a vocational diploma must have a 2.2 GPA in academic coursework. Students who have a GED must submit GED test scores and transcripts of high school work completed.
Non-traditional students must submit a high school diploma or GED. Students over the age of 62 must only submit proof of Georgia residency. The college is very welcoming to its non-traditional students, who are making up an ever-growing part of its overall student body.
All applications must be submitted along with a modest application fee.
Georgia Perimeter College offers a number of scholarship programs in addition to standard federal financial aid programs such as the Pell Grant and the Georgia HOPE scholarship program.
For example, the college offers a number of foundation scholarships, each with different requirements and different purposes. Some are specific to certain degree programs, while others are based on participation in various activities or membership in certain groups. Most foundation scholarships require the applicant to write an essay.
The college publishes a helpful scholarship guide which can help students find the various foundation and non-foundation scholarships they may be eligible for. Also, the staff of the college’s financial aid office stand ready to assist students in applying for scholarships.
All tuition and fees charged by the college are subject to review by the University System of Georgia, and out-of-state students are likely to pay higher tuition than in-state students.
Although this is a two-year college, it offers much of the four-year college experience for students who want the big college feel. Located in Atlanta, students are never far from cultural, social or work opportunities.
This school boasts a diverse student body with a majority minority student population and a large number of international students, hailing from more than 150 countries. In fact, more than 15 percent of the college’s students are international students. While there is no student housing on-campus, there are student dining facilities and recreational facilities. The diverse nature of this student body makes learning about other nations and cultures an easily obtained benefit for students who strike up friendships with the many representatives of other countries on campus.
The college has a strong art and theatre program and the DeKalb Symphony Orchestra frequently performs at the college. The DeKalb Symphony Orchestra is made up of a number of paid and volunteer musicians and performs about 15 times per year. The college also has a full gym, an indoor swimming pool and other amenities.
While there are many traditional college students, there is also a sizable contingent of non-traditional students at the school as well. While most of these students have family and other responsibilities, the college offers a number of honor society and other programs for them to participate and enjoy, and they can also participate in many of the recreational and social programs traditional students enjoy as well.
To make college more convenient for students with family and other responsibilities, the college offers many of its courses online. About 9,000 students take at least one course online, making GPC’s online course program the largest in the state of Georgia. Online learning is a major emerging trend in colleges and universities of all sizes because of the economy and convenience it can provide to institutions and students. Virtually all students in the future will take at least some of their college courses in some online fashion.
Many of the students transfer to four-year institutions after completing all or a portion of their core academic courses at the college. The school has recently taken steps to ease students’ transition to other schools, signing agreements to ensure that students’ classes transfer with no problems.
The college also publishes the Chattahoochee Review, an acclaimed literary publication. Students are active in the writing and publication of this literary review.
Student Enrollment Demographics
This college is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association and the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association. There are eight competitive athletic teams, including men’s and women’s baseball, softball, basketball, soccer and tennis. Athletic scholarships are available for students at the athletic director’s discretion.
The basketball and soccer programs make regular playoff appearances, and its men’s soccer team were national champions in 2007. The college has a strong athletic tradition, and many of its campuses host a home field for one of the college’s athletic programs.
The school’s mascot is the jaguar and its colors are burgundy and gold.
One tradition is its annual daffodil festival, which celebrates the flower and also offers demonstrations and presentations about Native and African-American heritage and culture.
The college’s student center on its Decatur campus is a popular hangout for students and where many of the college’s entertainment events are held. The college has a very strong arts tradition, with many theatrical, spoken word, cultural and musical performances being held each year at the school. More than 100 performances were held during the 2009-2010 season, making it one of the most productive in the school’s history. For students seeking to dip their toes into a possible career in the arts, Georgia Perimeter College provides ample opportunity for them to find the artistic medium that best suits their skills and abilities.
Additional School Information
The college was established by the DeKalb County Board of Education in 1958. Then known as DeKalb College, the first classes were held in Clarkston in 1964. Over time, the college and its area of service grew and new campuses were opened. In time, DeKalb became the metro area’s leading community college. By 1997, adminsitrators felt a new name was necessary to reflect the college’s expanded mission and scope.
Georgia Perimeter has a well-qualified faculty— more than one-third of the teaching staff hold doctorates, and faculty regularly are recognized for excellence with National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Teaching Excellence Awards. The school’s total faculty members are more than 1,000 and the college employs more than 2,500 people, including student assistants.
Keeping students up to date on what’s going on at the four campuses is the school newspaper, The Collegian. The Collegian publishes a number of articles on various aspects of campus life and news and events important to students attending here.