Fall Semester Kicks-off at GC; Staff, Faculty Well Prepared

As if in response to an unheard starting buzzer, the Fall semester at Garrett College began with a surge of activity. The relatively quiet halls of summer filled with the bustle of people moving about and talking with each other. Returning students strode with certainty, knowing where they were headed and what they were looking for. Moving with a bit more hesitation were the new students, who were able to find assistance at every turn from staff members stationed around the campus to answer questions and give support.

Students of all ages and varied backgrounds have enrolled in 148 courses in 28 different disciplines for this first semester. They represent Maryland, Washington, D.C., Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Some have come to Garrett College from as far away as Australia, Canada, Venezuela, Papua New Guinea, Cameroon, South Africa, and Uganda.

Most of these students graduated from high school this year but many others are older and some are quite a bit older. Among them is Garrett College’s Iconic Senior Student Zelma Neary, returning to campus to pursue her third degree alongside her youngest grandson. Over thirty military veterans are also among the mix of students who will pursue their educations here at Garrett College.

Months of preparation by staff and faculty have gone into this opening day. Throughout the summer, courses have been redesigned, faculty reassigned, new instructors hired, advising opportunities expanded, and enhanced student support services developed.

The Garrett College facilities maintenance team has bent to the task of magically renovating classrooms, installing new ceilings, applying fresh paint, upgrading wiring and putting in new electrical outlets – even along table edges.

While classroom and study spaces were being prepared to provide new services for students, the technology support staff has bustled about installing computer hardware in new locations and updating software applications.

In the Garrett College Bookstore, staff members were knee deep in boxes as the unpacked, checked, and shelved the texts that would be used this semester. Other important supplies needed to be replenished as well, including Garrett College clothing, pens, note books, and hundreds of other items to support the collegiate life.

Two new staff members for the residential life program, Tracy Barcus and Katie O’Neil, came on board over the summer and prepared to help 173 students, including 6 Residence Hall Assistants, settle into the two residence halls on campus. Laden with suitcases and personal belonging they moved into Garrett Hall and Laker Hall during the Labor Day weekend.

Thousands of staff hours filled the quickly passing summer months in preparation for the return of the students and the opening of the school year 2012-2013.