MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - The University of Georgia System Board of Regents will officially vote to merge Macon State and Middle Georgia State Colleges into one institution, Middle Georgia State College, on Tuesday.
In January 2012, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents decided to merge several colleges across the state. Two of the schools selected were Macon State and Middle Georgia College.
"Selected because I really believe they felt like we could do the job and do it well and come out with a stronger, more effective university or institution than we have now," says Dr. John Black, president of the newly consolidated school.
Adding Middle Georgia's students will almost double Macon State's enrollment and students will be able to attend the new school at one of five campuses across middle Georgia: Macon, Warner Robins, Cochran, Dublin and Eastman.
"With the two schools combining, it just gives nursing students, especially, more opportunity with more campuses," says Kathryn Davis, a student at Macon State. "Hopefully they will accept the people closest to those campuses with those schools and give people in Macon the opportunity to go here."
President Black says since no extra money was put aside for the merge, signage around the campuses will take a while to change out, but the changing of one sign is already under way.
"If you come down I-475 and you look on the right, the Macon State sign is still there, but it doesn't have any letters on it," says Dr. Black. "Within the next couple of weeks, it will say Middle Georgia State College."
Some students are reluctant to the change but excited for the future.
"I did love it as Macon State," says Tajshmon Brooks. "It was kind of sad, but I know it will be better days. At one point in time, we're gonna be happy about the whole consolidation as a whole. It's just something you've got to get used to."
Dr. Black says in February of last year, the board of regents also approved a level change for the new school, which will make the college a university in the next few years.
That would allow the school to offer Masters level programs.
When that change is made, the institution will be called the University of Middle Georgia.