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UNG plans to occupy top floor of Cumming City Hall

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Cottrell MBA students discuss a project with TJ Gabriel, an associate professor of management at UNG, in a workroom on the top floor of the Cumming City Hall in this file photo from 2011.

Due to program and enrollment growth at its Cumming Campus, the University of North Georgia (UNG) will lease the top floor of the Cumming City Hall for its Master of Business Administration and continuing education and professional development programs.

In 2012, UNG's Cumming Campus enrolled approximately 750 students; today, more than 1,250 students attend classes at that location.  Most of the undergraduate courses offered in Cumming are the general education or core curriculum courses required of all students, regardless of their chosen field of study. The Cottrell MBA program and the Master of Arts in Teaching, as well as a number of continuing education and professional development courses, have also been available on the Cumming Campus.

UNG's Mike Cottrell College of Business occupied about half of the top floor of City Hall from 2008 to fall 2012, prior to the opening of the university's campus at 300 Aquatic Circle. Under a pending, new five-year agreement with the City of Cumming, UNG will occupy the entire floor, approximately 10,000 square feet. UNG will design and finish the remainder of the interior space to house the Cottrell MBA program and offices and classrooms for the Office of Continuing and Professional Education by August.

The Cottrell MBA program began in 2008 and is a two-year, part-time program based on a cohort structure, which means that a group of students is accepted into the program each fall and progresses through the program as a group. During their second year, Cottrell MBA students complete a capstone consulting project in which student teams consult with regional organizations on a strategic business need. Each team is provided a professional mentor as a coach to help them apply their learning to real-world situations.

"The Cottrell MBA program is designed for working professionals seeking to enhance their career opportunities," said Dr. Donna Mayo, dean of the Mike Cottrell College of Business. "By moving the MBA program to the Cumming City Hall location, it allows us to be in a very professional setting with closer access to businesses in the surrounding area."

The Cottrell MBA and the undergraduate degree programs offered through the Mike Cottrell College of Business are accredited by the AACSB, an honor less than 5 percent of the world's 13,000 business programs have earned.

This year, UNG's Office of Continuing and Professional Education offered 66 courses and enrolled 637 students in Cumming alone. Wendy Thellman, director continuing education programs, expects enrollment to double in the Cumming area in the next year.

"We anticipate growth in computer training due to a designated computer lab in the Cumming City Hall location," Thellman said. "Also, because we will have classroom space available during the day, we expect to increase our healthcare certificate programs, language programs, and leadership and supervisory training."

UNG has campuses in Cumming, Dahlonega, Gainesville, and Oconee County, and will open an additional campus in Blue Ridge, Georgia, this fall.

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