President’s Corner “Piedmont Takes a Bold STEP Forward”

JAMES F. MELLICHAMP
President

In the next few days and weeks, you will all be hearing about an exciting and ground-breaking new program we are rolling out for undergraduates called the STEP program.  That stands for “Summer Tuition Enhancement Program.”  Simply put, this program will allow students to “bank” unused credit hours from fall and/or spring semesters and use those credits for free summer tuition.

Why is Piedmont College doing this?  First of all, we pride ourselves on doing everything we can to make Piedmont as affordable as possible.  Secondly, we want to help students who prefer to take a lighter load during the academic year – for a variety of reasons – have an opportunity to stay on schedule and graduate in four years by taking summer courses.  Some students may even find it possible to finish in fewer than four years.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Perry Rettig and the academic deans have put together a schedule of summer classes for 2016 that is much more extensive than what we have offered in the past.  You will find classes in several formats – traditional (face-to-face), hybrid (partially online) and fully online courses.  This will allow students to take classes next summer on the Athens or Demorest campus or, if they prefer, to enroll in hybrid or online courses from home.  At the Demorest campus, we will make dormitories and food service available at very attractive rates.

Piedmont College, with the STEP program, will be unique among colleges and universities in this region of the country.  The value of this program for a typical undergraduate student (with six banked credit hours) is equal to almost 4,000 dollars at current summer tuition rates.  I encourage all of you to learn more about the program and to take advantage of all it has to offer you.