Georgia Military College, a liberal arts and junior college that originated in Milledgeville in 1879, is expanding by taking over the City Hall annex building next to the Sue Kellogg Library. Starting in August, classes will be offered to civilians, active military and veterans.
Back in August, City Manager Barry Amos and Mayor Patricia Wheeler took a tour of the Fairburn GMC campus, and the idea of expanding the school in Stone Mountain popped up.
"It's an honor that they want us in Stone Mountain," said Campus Coordinator Janis Anderson. "It was great timing."
Their Fort McPherson GMC office and military post plans to close at the end of September.
Since then, things have been on the fast track. The city and college have had multiple discussions to brainstorm everything about the new campus, from where the school will be located to what kind of technologies the classrooms will have. Even though everything's still in the very early stages, they have an outline of what they plan to do.
According to Amos, the city plans to start renovating the inside of the building in February, and it should take 90 to 120 days to complete. Anderson said four classrooms and a computer lab is currently a part of the transformation, too. While online courses will be offered, the physical classrooms will be equipped with the latest technology, including Promethean interactive whiteboards, which allow more of a hands-on experience for students.
After renovation is complete, the school will eventually hold an open house, and registration is anticipated to begin around the middle of June or early June. While following GMC's quarter system, Stone Mountain will initially have core classes such as math, English, history and computer science, according to Anderson.
One benefit of all GMC campuses is that they try not to charge students unnecessary fees. Similar to the other campuses, Stone Mountain GMC will have no fees for parking, technology, health or anything of that nature. All books are leased to students for a low fee that's already included in the price of the class, making tuition the only fee students have to pay.
"We try to offer an economical way of getting a college education," said Anderson.
Anderson said that the average full-time student pays $1,500 for attending the Fairburn campus per quarter, so GMC hopes to make the Stone Mountain campus follow a similar pay rate.
Even though this college has "military" in its title, Anderson said that most of the 6,000-plus students who attend GMC are civilians. Furthering this idea, Anderson has worked hard to get the word out and recruit high school students from all over metro Atlanta for the new Stone Mountain college.
Veteran and active military students do have an advantage if they attend GMC, though. They, along with their spouses and dependents, are allowed to use any education benefits and tuition assistance that they're approved for by the U.S. military.
For students interested in attending GMC, Anderson has requested a survey be taken online here. For the first 25 students who end up applying later this year, the $35 application fee will be waived.