The new face in the academic programs office at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus is eyeing an expansion of the campus’ presence in Georgia.
A one-time student at UGA Tifton and graduate of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Breanna Coursey believes campus awareness is key to attracting students to UGA Tifton. Students in south Georgia do not have to travel to Athens, Georgia, to receive a University of Georgia education, she says.
“The first step is informing students that they can get a quality education from the University of Georgia close to home,” said Coursey, who was recently hired as admissions counselor for the UGA Tifton Campus. “Through exposure, we want to make sure that potential students identify and distinguish UGA Tifton as an option. We need to be intentional in educating young people on the opportunities that UGA Tifton provides.”
Part of Coursey’s charge as admissions counselor is helping the campus expand its enrollment. UGA Tifton will experience a 41 percent growth in student enrollment for fall 2015. UGA Tifton’s Jason Peake, director of academic programs, would like to see continued growth of student enrollment on the Tifton Campus. Coursey envisions having 200 students enrolled by 2020, and Peake believes UGA Tifton has the right people to reach those goals.
“We are very excited to welcome Breanna Coursey as the new admissions counselor for the UGA Tifton Campus. Previously, she worked as an agriculture teacher in Oconee County, and she is eager to apply that experience to helping students enter Georgia’s flagship university,” Peake said. “Breanna has a wealth of experience working with UGA on the Tifton, Griffin and Athens campuses, and we are thrilled to have her join the academic programs team at UGA Tifton.”
Coursey’s previous experience with UGA Tifton will make her more effective in her new role. Before concluding her collegiate career in Athens, Coursey enrolled for one year at the Tifton Campus. She was able to experience the small class sizes and world-renowned professors that set UGA Tifton apart.
“The most meaningful aspect of recruiting for these programs is that I speak from experience,” Coursey said. “From my time as a student, what I remember most were my classes. It was not necessarily because they were small, which was wonderful, but the activities we did in class. It was the true definition of engaged learning.”
“If you enjoy hands-on learning, there’s nothing like seining a pond in aquaculture class to learn about the different varieties of fish. Aside from the in-class activities, you are learning from professors who are also scientists. They are conducting research that is used all over the world and developing cutting-edge technology that is being used in industry. There is no better career preparation. My education at UGA Tifton was nothing short of phenomenal,” she said.
Prior to arriving in July, Coursey served as a middle school agriculture teacher for two years. The opportunity to return to UGA Tifton was an opportunity Coursey could not pass up.
“It is the University of Georgia and a college I am really passionate about; it is exciting to get to recruit for my alma mater,” Coursey said. “It is a high quality program that I believe in and know is doing the best for it's students.”
For more information about the UGA Tifton Campus, see caes.uga.edu.
(Clint Thompson is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences based in Tifton.)