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Georgia Military College to open new campus in Zebulon

Lieutenant General (retired) Bill Caldwell of Georgia Military College (GMC) in Milledgeville recently visited Pike County to announce that an extension of GMC’s Fayetteville campus will soon be opened in Zebulon at the Opportunity Center. The school will start hiring in late fall and intend to open for the spring term in March with a schedule of classes provided in January. ’This will look like a college campus by January,’ he said. ‘This is great for Pike County and for Zebulon and we appreciate all the support we have had. We refer to ourselves as the GMC family and we are not just an educational entity, but we believe in promoting community and collaborating to do something bigger than ourselves. We are all about having character and that’s something we want to instill in each student. A trademark of GMC is keeping classes really small and allowing the faculty to have a relationship with each and every student. The greatest thing is when we see them walk across the stage with their diploma and we know that they are armed with an education and ready to go anywhere to achieve their dreams.’ He said the college offers some four-year degrees and that the degree programs offered locally could be tailored to meet the needs of students and industries in the area. Pike County was selected due to its unique location, community and support from the city and county commissioners from the very beginning of negotiations. WKEU’s Bill Taylor made the initial contact with GMC vice president Brigadier General retired Curt Rauhut who was originally from Fayetteville and was well aware of the Pike and Zebulon areas. The work with Taylor and the GMC officials began in 2014. Taylor indicated that GMC officials are extremely excited for the support they received in Pike County and the facility. ’This is an excellent college and it has the lowest tuition of any school in Georgia,’ said Taylor. ‘The success rate is about 85% and it’s a win-win situation for everybody. If a student doesn’t have the money to go to college, there are programs at GMC to help them. There are only five schools like this one in the United States. It’s a great program.’ GMC’s educational opportunities are unique and the school is one of only five of its kind in the entire nation. The school was founded in 1879. It is a junior college with 11 satellite campuses and it is also a prep school for the service academies, allowing those young individuals desiring a military career to attend the ‘corps of cadets’ for two years. Upon graduation students are commissioned as a second lieutenant, and then they complete the last two years of their degree at any service academy they desire. Around 80 percent of the GMC students are not members of the Military Corps of Cadets and the military programs are only offered in Milledgeville. Due to an articulation agreement, students who earn their degree at any of the GMC campuses will be guaranteed admission into 40 different colleges and universities. The school recently was reaccredited for the next 10 years with no findings, recommendations or corrections from the committee. Both Lieutenant General (retired) Caldwell and Brigadier General Rock Donahue (retired) thanked many individuals from the community, including state representative Johnnie Caldwell and Regina Alexander of Candler Field Museum as well as officials from the city of Zebulon and the county government. The Zebulon GMC campus will be located in the Zebulon Opportunity Center on Highway 19 south, which was a school that was renovated in 2007. Wiring for computers and all necessary furnishings will be accomplished by GMC and the facility is expected to be ready by the first of the year. Brigadier General Rock Donahue, Director of the Fayetteville Campus, has indicated that the opening for students will be in early 2018, possibly as early as March. ’We are blessed to have Rock Donahue to oversee this school and the fact that he will have oversight here is something we are very excited about,’ said Caldwell. Zebulon council members unanimously approved entering an agreement with GMC during their Tuesday, Aug. 8 meeting. ’We think this is an asset for the community and I think you will be amazed by the participation from local students,’ said mayor Blalock. ‘I’m glad we have this opportunity to help adults and young people in our area.’ Because GMC has an open admissions policy, they will bring students in, test them, figure out the right placement to get them up to the college level and then work with them until they have completed their degree. They also provide free tutoring.

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