Gordon State College Hosts Annual Counselors’ Gathering With Keynote Speaker From the University System of Georgia

Photo (L-R)  Dr. Donald J. Green, Dr. Scot Lingrell, Melissa R. Johnson, Joan Prisk (Henry County school counselor)
Photo (L-R) Dr. Donald J. Green, Dr. Scot Lingrell, Melissa R. Johnson, Joan Prisk (Henry County school counselor)

By Karolina Philmon, GSC marketing manager 

Gordon State College held its annual Counselors’ Gathering on Feb. 9, at the Barnesville campus. The event featured keynote speaker, Dr. Scot Lingrell, vice chancellor for enrollment management and student affairs at the University System of Georgia (USG).

“It’s always a good opportunity to get together with our counselors to understand their needs, their expectations of us, and to get their input into how we could be better,” Lingrell said. “It’s an absolute pleasure to engage with them and to get an understanding of what world they live in so we could better serve them.”

More than 30 high school counselors registered for the event, representing Lamar, Houston, Monroe, Butts, Upson, Henry, Talbot, Griffin-Spalding, and Fulton counties within GSC's primary service region, along with Houston and Peach County. Dr. Donald J. Green, GSC president, acknowledged the contributions of area districts and thanked those attending for their partnership in serving area students.

“Our new strategic plan is currently in the development phase, and it is essential for us to involve you [counselors] in this process. Your contribution is integral to defining our future strategies, and we are dedicated to ensuring that we meet your needs and serve you,” Green said.

President Green emphasized the importance of the early discussions that school counselors have with parents and guardians regarding their children's educational ambitions, underscoring the need to encourage graduating from college as much as attendance.

“As partners, our responsibility is to guide students in grasping the significance of persisting to graduation and support them in achieving their professional growth,” Green said.

Following college updates and group breakout sessions, Lingrell spoke about the GEORGIA MATCH initiative, emphasizing its potential to positively impact college attendance and workforce needs across the state.

“Our goal is to spread the true essence of enrollment management, recognizing its significance as a key component of the state's workforce development. Ensuring access to higher education is not only a priority for the state but also holds great potential in positively transforming the lives of individuals,” Lingrell said.

GEORGIA MATCH is the largest program of its kind in the country at the state level. Lingrell pointed out that the program is unique in that, from its infusion and direction through the Georgia Student Finance Commission, it distinguishes itself from other programs. From its inception, GEORGIA MATCH was designed to reach individuals who may not have considered pursuing a college education, offering them the chance to believe in the possibility of earning a degree.

“It’s important for Gordon State and all our institutions to consider all constituents who can offer valuable input and collaborate to increase the number of students going to college. Our ultimate goal is to meet their needs efficiently,” Lingrell said.