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GHC rolls out new concierge model for returning students

Sometimes it happens this way: you graduate high school, you maybe do a few courses in college, but you end up getting a full-time job instead of completing your degree. Next thing you know you’re married with kids and have a mortgage and you think there is seemingly no way to go back and finish that degree, because you work late, need extra assistance figuring out the right degree path or just don’t think it’s possible.

Georgia Highlands College has taken note of the growing number of non-traditional students in the state, and beginning in April, GHC is introducing a new concierge program that aims to aid adult students from start to finish every step of the way.

“It can be challenging for adults and veterans returning to school. More often than not, life and responsibilities at home and work can get in the way of completing a college education,” says Juliana Breithaupt, director of community outreach and engagement. 

“Our goal,” she continued, “is to provide direct, on-going support that will insure the success of our adult students living and working around our five campus communities.”

So how does it work?

On each of GHC’s five campuses there is a personal concierge. This person is available every day at almost any time. To get in contact with the concierge for any given campus, the student will go to the GHC homepage (highlands.edu) and click the “Adult Learners” link.

From there, five pictures will pop up with each concierge and their respective contact information. A student can then contact their chosen concierge and expect a response within 24 hours.  

Concierges will offer additional assistance to non-traditional students that traditional-aged students might not need, such as working around complicated work schedules, escorting through the entire registration process, offering directions and showing where to go for classes or touching base after each finished class and maintaining a clear path to completion.

To aid in the development of staff and programs associated with the concierge model, GHC recently applied for and received the USG Adult Learning College Access Challenge Grant. This grant has provided GHC with the opportunity to implement best practices and strategies in the areas of customer service, college and career counseling services, student outreach, prior learning assessment and case management. 

“We are fortunate to have multiple departments of faculty/staff and community partnerships, who share in a common vision to serve this special population of students, who traditionally, are underserved on college campuses,” Breithaupt said. “By working collaboratively to engage students and coordinate our services, the GHC community is prepared to meet the needs of working adults in all of our communities.”

This program is one of many that GHC has and will be implementing in response to Georgia’s “Go Back. Move Ahead.” campaign that was recently announced by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, University System of Georgia (USG) Chancellor Hank Huckaby and Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) Commissioner Ron Jackson.

The campaign is meant to encourage many of the more than one million Georgians who have completed some college to return and finish their degrees, as statistically by the year 2025, 61% of jobs in the state of Georgia will require a minimum of a two-year degree.

To learn more, visit GHC online at highlands.edu or please join GHC at any one of its upcoming Open House events: Floyd campus on April 4th at 9 AM, Paulding and Dallas campuses on April 16th at 5 PM or on the Douglasville campus on April 21st at 5 PM. 

Page last updated: April 1, 2015