North Georgia MBA Program Returning to City Hall

University of North Georgia MBA Program Returning to City Hall location

On Tuesday, May 19, the Cumming City Council voted to approve the University of North Georgia’s (UNG) lease of City Hall’s entire fourth floor. UNG will again house its MBA Program on the floor, essentially doubling the space it occupied through a prior lease. The lease allows UNG to design and finish the remainder of the interior space on the floor at its own expense.

The move back to City Hall was necessitated by the growth in popularity of UNG’s Cumming Campus, located at 300 Aquatic Circle, which was utilized by about 750 students in its inaugural year, grew to 850 in its second year and more than 1,250 students who attended classes in the most recent semester.

Half of the floor interior was finished by UNG as classroom space under its prior agreement with the city, which was in effect from 2008 to the fall of 2012. The MBA program moved out of the space when the Cumming Campus was completed, but is now in need of additional space for the program.

Under a pending, new five-year agreement with the City of Cumming, UNG will occupy the entire floor of approximately 10,000 square feet. UNG will design and finish the remainder of the interior space to house the Cottrell MBA program, as well as offices and classrooms for the Office of Continuing Education and Professional Education, by August.

“We are thrilled to have the University of North Georgia’s Cottrell MBA program back in this building,” said Mayor H. Ford Gravitt. “While there has been a lot of interest in the space from local law firms, we believe UNG’s growing presence in the city offers tremendous economic development growth potential for the City of Cumming and Forsyth County.”

The Cottrell MBA program began in 2008 and is a two-year, part-time program based on a cohort structure, which means that a group of students is accepted into the program each fall and progress through the program as a group. During their second year, Cottrell MBA students complete a capstone consulting project in which student teams consult with a regional organization on a strategic business need. Each team is provided a professional mentor as a coach to help them apply their learning to real-world situations.

“The Cottrell MBA program is designed for working professionals seeking to enhance their career opportunities,” said Dr. Donna Mayo, dean of the Mike Cottrell College of Business. “By moving the MBA program to the Cumming City Hall location, it allows us to be in a very professional setting with closer access to businesses in the surrounding area.”

The Cottrell MBA and the undergraduate degree programs offered through the Mike Cottrell College of Business are accredited by the AACSB, an honor less than 5 percent of the world’s 13,000 business programs have earned.

This year, UNG’s Office of Continuing and Professional Education offered 66 courses and enrolled 637 students in Cumming alone. Wendy Thellman, director continuing education programs, expects enrollment to double in the Cumming area in the next year.

“We anticipate growth in computer training due to a designated computer lab in the Cumming City Hall location,” Thellman said. “Also, because we will have classroom space available during the day, we expect to increase our healthcare certificate programs, language programs, and leadership and supervisory training.”

UNG has campuses in Cumming, Dahlonega, Gainesville, and Oconee County, and will open an additional campus in Blue Ridge, Georgia, this fall.