Rogers Ready to Lead Piedmont’s ‘Middle Georgia Branch’
Dr. Ricky Rogers is deputy superintendent of the Houston County School District in Perry, Georgia. He first came to Piedmont University as an adjunct professor. Now, Rogers is an associate instructor and has taken on the Middle Georgia Site Manager role for Piedmont’s Houston County-based cohort program.
A cohort is a group of students in the same program who start and finish their degrees together. Piedmont’s cohort program aims to bring degree programs close to where students live and work.
Educators can pursue a Master of Arts in Education (MA), the Education Specialist (EdS) degree, or the Doctor of Education degree (EdD) in the cohort format.
The cohorts Rogers oversees meet in person one Saturday a month at Mossy Creek Middle School, a place he knows well. His wife is the speech therapist, and their daughters attended the school. Mossy Creek is Piedmont’s home base for Middle Georgia. Students come from surrounding counties, like Peach, Bibb, Dooly, and Twiggs, and even from as far away as Camden County.
Rogers' goal is to support students. For example, they have his cell number if they have any questions or concerns. Last week, he helped students register for the spring semester. If a student feels overwhelmed and thinks of quitting, Rogers invites them to talk it over during lunch at a Mexican restaurant.
“I’m their ‘Mexican Before You Quit,’” Rogers said. “I know you’ll have hard times, but don’t quit. Even if I’m not teaching them, they know I’m their contact for each program, offering that care and support.”
If students run into roadblocks or issues, Rogers shares that information with Piedmont.
“Ricky can identify a problem, bring it back to us, and we can help fix the problem,” said Ashley Clouatre, director of graduate admissions for Piedmont. “We need that feedback, and I think students are afraid to give it sometimes. We can work through it and work together.”
“Students know we’re going to be with them all the way,” Rogers said. “Our goal is to have fun and learn. I believe in Piedmont, and we love our students.”
Students in the cohorts are enamored of Rogers, too. They recently had t-shirts made featuring some of his and other adjuncts’ oft-repeated phrases, including “Small Steps Every Day” and “You Got This!”
Piedmont’s College of Education will add a Master of School Counseling degree in the fall of 2024 and offer it as a cohort program. Rogers predicts success for that program, too.
“I’m going to have to start assigning classroom numbers at Mossy Creek,” Rogers said. “Our goal is to make Middle Georgia the third official branch of Piedmont.”
For more information about Piedmont’s graduate programs, visit piedmont.edu/graduate.