Perry named Columbia College's 30,000th student

Georgia Perry, Columbia College's 30,000th student.
The college hit a student milestone earlier this year: 30,000 students educated annually.

That 30,000th student has a name: Georgia Perry, who lives in Matthews, N.C., a suburb of Charlotte. Perry, who is enrolled in the criminal justice master’s program, largely fits the 21st century demographic of a Columbia College student: she is female, a working mother, not of traditional college student age and taking classes online.

“I am delighted to recognize Ms. Perry as our 30,000th student,” says Ernest Wren III, head of the Online Campus. “Georgia embodies many of the traits we celebrate in today’s online students — she’s experienced, hard-working and determined. We are pleased to have her.”

Perry graduated from the University of North Carolina (UNC)-Charlotte with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 1986 and was very interested in a career in that field. That was before marriage and three children.

Perry said she looked at several online schools and that the prospect of going back to school 25 years after earning her bachelor’s degree was intimidating. She said that a Columbia College advisor listened to her and eased her jitters, walking her through the process and advising her to take such prerequisites as criminal justice procedure first.

“That was just perfect for me,” she said of the prerequisites. “It got me right back into the criminal justice system.”