With the academic year nearly at a close, administrators are marking a successful first year for the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Blue Ridge Campus and seeking first-time freshmen for a new, innovative cohort program that starts this fall.
Sandy Ott, director of UNG's Blue Ridge Campus, said the number of full-time students doubled for spring semester and fall enrollment is expected to double again, with some 75 to 100 students.
"It is an exciting time at UNG Blue Ridge and that sense of excitement is shared by the community through the strong support that we have received from the local school systems, community organizations, parents and students," Ott said. "UNG is already making history in Blue Ridge. What an amazing opportunity for the students in this region to be able to enroll at the University of North Georgia, one of the largest public universities in the state. Students would not have had this option even a year ago."
This fall, course offerings will be expanded on the Blue Ridge Campus for dual-enrolled high school students, adult learners beginning or returning to college and traditional college students. Additionally, first-time freshmen on the Blue Ridge Campus can enroll in a cohort-based, interdisciplinary program guided by UNG's strong leadership mission.
The program will focus on small class sizes, student resources, and community and student engagement, said Dr. Chaudron Gille, UNG's interim associate provost.
"The faculty will collaborate to teach psychology, philosophy, English, math and political science in which the content is interwoven and linked and co-taught in some cases. The program also will focus on leadership – lead yourself, lead in the classroom, and lead in your community," Gille said.
The 12-credit hour cohort program – students are encouraged to add another course to have the recommended 15 credit hours – includes standard core curriculum required of all UNG freshmen. Inspired by a similar cohort model at Guttman Community College in New York, the method of delivery will be different from traditional college classes, Gille said.
"The benefit for first-time freshmen is that when they are investigating questions from a variety of academic disciplines with a consistent group and participating in co-curricular activities, it really strengthens their learning outcomes," Gille said. "We are being very intentional about providing those opportunities to build in real-life, real-world opportunities and engagement to create an integrated model for the Blue Ridge Campus."
The program is a morning-based cohort, with classes offered four days a week to make it accessible for students who work nights and weekends.
UNG's Blue Ridge Campus will be holding an open house event from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on March 24 with more information about the cohort program and other course offerings. To register for the free event, visit the website: http://ung.edu/undergraduate-admissions/visit/blueridge-open-house.php.