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Aspiring event planners in Georgia can typically choose from certificate programs and continuing education courses to learn the fundamentals of event coordination. Distance learning is also an option. The courses can vary from 3 weeks to 1 semester. These programs are open to high school graduates and those who are experienced or new to the field. While personal enrichment courses are non-credit, some certificate programs are offered as part of a hospitality or tourism department and can have credits applied to a degree program. Below is a short overview of 7 schools in the state offering these types of programs.
Athens Technical College
The hotel, restaurant and tourism management program at the Athens campus of Athens Technical College offers an event coordinator certificate. Students learn how to plan and market an event, and hospitality laws are also covered. Those who complete this program receive 9 credits and a technical certificate.
Atlanta Technical College
Atlanta Technical College in Atlanta has a 9-credit-hour event coordinator certificate program that includes courses in event planning, hospitality management and hospitality law. This program joins event planning fundamentals with training in areas such as research, social media marketing, advertising and crisis management.
Atlanta's Emory University is a private school that serves nearly 14,000 students. The university's event planning certificate program contains 6 evening courses that cover the roles of marketing, logistics and technology for a successful event. Special emphasis is placed on safety and creating the right atmosphere. The program culminates in a capstone project that requires students to handle all aspects of a virtual event.
Georgia Piedmont Technical College
The continuing education program at Georgia Piedmont Technical College's campus in Clarkston offers a 15-hour event planning course. Students receive instruction in negotiations, budgeting and event planning tips. They also learn how to anticipate and prevent problems. An online event planning course is also available and provides 24 hours of instruction on topics like event development, problem avoidance and supplier selection.
Gwinnett Technical College
Aspiring event planners at Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville can pursue the event coordinator certificate. This 3-course program teaches students about locations, budgets, contracts, marketing and legal issues in addition to ethics and security. Undergraduates interested in further training can transfer these courses to a diploma or degree program in hotel, restaurant and tourism management.
Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw State University, located in Kennesaw, has a meeting and event management certificate program that addresses topics such as catering, site management, promotion, budgeting and refreshments. As part of the course, students work with a group to research and present a case study. All classes are held in the evening.
Ogeechee Technical College
Statesboro's Ogeechee Technical College offers a 9-credit event planning certificate program that consists of 3 courses: hospitality law, event planning and hospitality marketing. The curriculum covers choosing a venue, developing a time line, working within a budget, negotiating contracts and creating the appropriate atmosphere. Students also learn about career opportunities in the field.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Event Planning Programs Offered||Program Tuition & Fees|
|Athens Technical College||2-year, public; midsize city||Event Coordinator Certificate||$1,075 (2015-2016)*|
|Atlanta Technical College||2-year, public; large city||Event Coordinator Certificate||$1,636 in-state (2016)*|
|Emory University||4-year, private, not-for-profit; suburban||Event Planning Certificate||$1,995 (2016)*|
|Georgia Piedmont Technical College||2-year, public; suburban||Online Event Planning Course||Wow, What a Great Event! online program cost: $129; Event Planning I and II cost: $285 (2016)*|
|Gwinnett Technical College||2-year, public; suburban||Event Coordinator Certificate|| $1,131 in-state,
$1,932 out-of-state (2015-2016)*
|Kennesaw State University||4-year, public; suburban||Meeting and Event Management Certificate||$1,699 (fall 2016)*|
|Ogeechee Technical College||2-year, public; distant town||Event Planning Certificate||$1,139 (2016)*|
Sources: *Schools' websites.