On May 8, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia voted unanimously to change Atlanta Metropolitan College’s name to Atlanta Metropolitan State College. The “state” college status allows the two-year institution to offer limited baccalaureate degrees.
“This changes the image and trajectory of our college, which already has a strong reputation as a transfer pipeline for students with two-year degrees who want to earn their baccalaureate degrees,” said Gary A. McGaha, Atlanta Metropolitan State College president. “Our students have been graduating, going on to schools like Georgia State, West Georgia and Clayton State, and doing very well.”
Students majoring in biological sciences will now be allowed to continue their studies beyond two years at Atlanta Metropolitan and graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree. It’s the first of several four-year degrees planned in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines.
“We have always been strong in science and math, so we’ll build first on those strengths. We know we have an opportunity to make a direct impact on the health professions in Atlanta,” McGaha said. “There’s a shortage of physicians in underserved areas, and research shows that it’s more likely for people to stay and work in an area after graduation if they are from the area. We have a chance to recruit, train and motivate people from inner-city Atlanta to make their careers here. It’s a win for everyone.”
Atlanta Metropolitan has begun discussions with the Morehouse School of Medicine and Georgia Health Sciences University about creating a pipeline of future doctors, dentists and pharmacists.
“A number of post-baccalaureate students have already taken our science classes to improve their chances of getting into professional programs. Now we can create our own pipeline of undergraduates,” McGaha said.
The new Eldridge M. McMillan Academic Sciences Building on the school’s south Atlanta campus opens later this summer and will support biology, chemistry and physics associate degrees as well as health care degrees in pre-nursing, pre-dental hygiene, pre-physical therapy, pre-occupational therapy, pre-medical technology and health care management degrees. A new radiology program with Grady Health System leads directly to the job market.
Other popular degree programs include criminal justice, business administration and education. There are about 47 programs in all.
With 2,800 students now enrolled, the college has seen an 81 percent increase during the last four-and-a-half years. Established as a nontraditional, two-year transfer college, Atlanta Metropolitan offers day, evening and online courses to give more Atlantans an opportunity to get a college education.
But with more than 70 percent of this year’s incoming class coming directly from high school, the campus culture is becoming more traditional.
“Our high-quality instruction, emphasis on personal attention and affordability is making us an attractive first choice for many high school graduates. We’re one of the hidden jewels of the University System,” McGaha said.
Students can take a full load of 12 to 18 credit hours for less than $1,900 per semester in tuition.
For information, call 404-756-4000 or go to www.atlm.edu.
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