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New MBA class begins
First graduates move on
Mark Jordan explains the basics of a MBA class to students during orientation Tuesday night at Cumming City Hall, where the NGCSU program is offered. - photo by Jennifer Sami

For more information on North Georgia College & State University’s Cumming-based master of business administration program, call (770) 205-5446 or visit
On the heels of the inaugural TeamMBA graduations in May and August, the program’s third class began its orientation Tuesday.

To date, 23 of the 25 original students from 2008 have completed North Georgia College & State University’s Cumming-based master of business administration program.

“One of them is going to be graduating in the following class, so we really only lost one, and it’s because he got a nice promotion and moved out of state,” said John Douglas, program director.

“There are some people within the class that have already been given additional responsibilities or promotions.”

The two-year master’s program is held in the top floor of Cumming City Hall. Classes are offered twice a week, on either a Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday schedule.

Colette Cochran was one of the recent graduates.

After earning her bachelor’s degree in accounting from North Georgia College & State University in 2008, Cochran said she decided it was a good time to keep pursuing her studies.

“I decided why not further my education, especially in this economy,” she said.

An employee of the Forsyth County Tax Commissioner’s Office, Cochran said TeamMBA offered the opportunity to continue with her alma mater while staying close to home.

“It’s amazing. I feel like it’s an honor to be part of the inaugural class,” she said. “I graduated from there before, but getting my master’s from North Georgia was unbelievable.

“I felt that higher sense of education and ... it made me feel proud to represent the school in that sense.”

Cochran said the program added marketing, management and other business basics to her accounting background. It also broadened her knowledge of “what it takes and what all is involved in running a business.”

For May graduate Mike Hoffman, the local program was his second master’s degree. He received his first in manufacturing management from the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he also got a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.

The new degree was a lesson in teamwork, which Hoffman said “was really a strong aspect of the program.”

“From a management side, I think it’s made me understand more to help me be a better manager,” he said. “I understand more of the business process and things we do more fully.”

With most of the students employed, Douglas said one of the program’s goals is teaching students to grow.

“It’s designed to help them understand business at a higher level and to give them an opportunity to bring expertise that they don’t have by getting the advanced education,” he said. “They’ve been exposed to so many things through this program, both academically as well as practically.

“It’s gratifying to see so many of them already being recognized and given the opportunity to continue their careers and help their organizations.”