Dr. Gary McGaha is one of the most prominent figures in education in the Atlanta area. For more than 35 years, Dr. McGaha has worked diligently in education by serving as executive assistant at Morehouse School of Medicine and currently as president of Atlanta Metropolitan State College.
Dr. McGaha worked to transform Atlanta Metro State College from a two-year college into a four-year institution where students can choose from 46 associate degrees to three baccalaureate degrees.
He recently spoke with rolling out about the important role that Atlanta Metro State College plays in education.
We live in a time where obtaining more education can lead to better job opportunities. How should individuals who want to make career advancements through education begin their journey?
I think exploring schools like Atlanta Metro State College. We are an access institution. We understand what it means to be delayed in making decisions about going to college and have a support system that makes transition much easier. We have an adult learning program here that works well. This is an institution that is small enough to care and yet large enough to know how to do it well. It explains how we have an 85 percent increase in enrollment in the past six years.
How do you reach individuals who don’t understand the importance of higher education?
You have to explain what education is. Education should be used to enhance and improve the community. Underserved individuals should be told that on a regular basis. We need to make it accessible to them in the process. Education is the great equalizer.
What advice do you give students who attend Atlanta Metro State College?
It doesn’t matter where you are, or what your circumstances are. I tell students, “You are not your circumstance. But if you desire education, the roads from this institution can carry you to anywhere you want to go life.”