Preliminary figures show that the University of North Georgia (UNG) reported record enrollment for summer semester, with 5,853 students taking classes on the university's four campuses.
The figure, while still an unofficial tally, represents a 1.1 percent increase over summer 2013 enrollment of 5,791 students.
"The enrollment growth we continue to experience represents progress toward our goals of increasing educational opportunities and completion rates in the region," UNG President Bonita C. Jacobs said.
The summer enrollment figure includes students in UNG's Summer Language Institute (SLI), a six-week program that offers eight college credits in Arabic, Chinese, Korean, German, Russian, or Spanish. In addition to UNG students, SLI classes also include students from around the country who take courses at other colleges and universities during the regular academic year.
"Compared to normal semester courses, SLI is about 10 times more intense," said Darion Gibson, a UNG student taking the SLI Chinese course. "On top of the accelerated learning, we have more time to interact with the teachers and are able to grasp the concept of Chinese culture and history. Though it can be intimidating at times, it is extremely effective in helping us to learn the language and study skills. I think the program can prepare incoming freshmen and other college students extremely well for higher level language classes."
Many other students take summer courses to complete final requirements before graduation. UNG, which holds graduation ceremonies each semester, will hold commencement exercises on Saturday, Aug. 2 for some 200 graduates, representing about half of the some 400 degrees UNG will award this summer. The ceremony will be at 2 p.m. on UNG's Dahlonega Campus, and will honor graduates from all of UNG's four campuses. The university has selected Lynn Jackson, administrator of Northside Hospital-Forsyth, as commencement speaker. Tickets are required to attend the ceremony.
In recent years, many public colleges and universities across Georgia have recorded declining enrollment, but UNG has recorded a trend of steady growth. Created in January 2013 from the consolidation of Gainesville State and North Georgia College & State University, UNG has experienced significant growth in the past decade. That growth has continued post-consolidation, with UNG's enrollment approaching 16,000 students in 2013.
UNG's admission deadline for fall 2014 has been extended for programs on the Gainesville Campus. Students may still apply for admission to associate or bachelor's degree programs at that location.