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Even summer ‘a busy time’ at UNG
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Professor Jamie Mitchem helps his student, Connor Kinkaid, 23, during a summer lab session of Introduction to Weather & Climate on Thursday, May 31, 2018, at the University of North Georgia in Oakwood. - photo by David Barnes

The dog days of summer are becoming a thing of the past at the University of North Georgia’s five campuses, including its main hubs in Gainesville and Dahlonega.

Though summer used to mean it was time for a break, it’s more common than ever for students to continue pursuing their academics.

There are currently 7,768 students enrolled in summer courses at UNG’s campuses this year and online, marking an 11.2 percent increase from 2017, according to university spokeswoman Sylvia Carson.

Summer enrollment includes “current undergraduate students who are trying to get ahead or stay on target to graduate on time,” Carson said in an email to The Times.

It also includes first-year undergraduates, dual-enrollment high school students and students enrolled at other institutions taking courses for various reasons at UNG.

Carson said there has been a 27.8 percent increase over the last year in the number of graduate students taking summer courses.

The summer is also hectic as faculty and staff work to update the academic course catalog, finalize budgets, complete new hiring and host student orientations in anticipation of the fall semester.

“For administrators, summer is a busy time because we are wrapping up one year and preparing for the next,” Carson said.

UNG is also continuing to prepare for an estimated $19 million in renovations at its Gainesville campus to convert space being vacated by Lanier Technical College.

The new campus being constructed for Lanier Tech off Ga. 365 at Howard Road will leave empty buildings available for UNG to use to expand programming.

Lanier Tech won’t completely vacate its space on the campus in Gainesville adjacent to UNG until January.

But $3 million has already been budgeted for next year so that UNG can begin the initial planning and design phase to convert the space.

The university also has $75,000 allocated for a preliminary environmental assessment and programming study.

Each would be renovated across multiple years and phases.

UNG projects its enrollment at all campuses will reach 22,950 students by 2025, a 33 percent increase from the current figure, with the Gainesville campus leading the way. The university also has campuses in Dahlonega, Cumming, Oconee County and Blue Ridge.

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