Georgia’s fiscal year 2013 budget, which was recently passed by the General Assembly, includes over $1 million of new funding for Bainbridge College designed to help increase college completion rates. The funds are part of a total of $72.5 million being allocated to all 35 University System of Georgia institutions to support efforts to better serve students and increase college completion rates.
“This new funding from the state will play a huge role in allowing us to provide the quality instruction and support services that our students need,” said Bainbridge College President Dr. Richard Carvajal. Specifically, the additional allocation the college received from the General Assembly will allow Bainbridge College to hire new full-time faculty in Bainbridge and in Blakely, as well as new academic advisors in order to increase student access to vital support services.
The college will also use the new funds to improve online courses, support high-cost technical programs, initiate an Honors Program, and support the launch of an expanded international program.
All of these initiatives are important components of the college’s plan to meet a statewide goal of significantly increasing college completion rates in Georgia.
Carvajal noted that he is grateful for the strong support Bainbridge College continues to receive from its local legislators. “Simply put, these important investments in the future of Bainbridge College and in the economic health of our entire region never would have been possible without the support of our local legislative delegation,” said Carvajal. “We are so fortunate that Senator John Bulloch and Representatives Gerald Greene, Gene Maddox, Jay Powell, and Darlene Taylor are such strong supporters of higher education and of Bainbridge College in particular.”
In detailing some of the new expenditures that will be possible thanks to the additional state support, Carvajal noted that the impact will be felt throughout the institution. For instance, Bainbridge College’s new full-time faculty will provide much-needed support in accounting, allied health, business, criminal justice, learning support, nursing and psychology. The college’s new Honors Program – which also received matching funds from student government - will enhance learning opportunities for the region’s best students.
Additionally, the college will use a portion of the funds to hire a new full-time Director of International Education, who will lead an effort to increase study abroad opportunities as well as to ultimately bring more than 100 international students to the region.
The positive economic impact on the region that will come as a result of the new hires and expanded support services is also significant, according to Carvajal. “Our legislators understand that an investment in Bainbridge College is an investment in the future of our entire region,” he said.
Last year, the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia found that Bainbridge College’s annual economic impact is more than $71 million.
While that is obviously substantial, Carvajal noted that real impact is probably much greater. “After all,” he said, “the real impact of what we do is on the lives of the students that we will be able to change for the better in the months and years to come.”