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Gainesville State College History
The genesis of Gainesville State College is to be found in a pattern of emerging leadership in Gainesville and Hall County. For several decades prior to the 1960s, Gainesville-Hall County had been an agricultural and financial center for Northeast Georgia. Several factors converged in the 1950s, including the planning and ultimate completion of interstate highways and other modern thoroughfares between Gainesville and Atlanta and the completion of the largest man-made lake in Georgia, which made property costs soar. Gainesville-Hall County then found itself in a position to become the Northeast Georgia leader in banking, finance, medicine, law, and industry. What was needed to complete the pattern was a public higher educational institution. In 1962, taking note of the University System Board of Regents’ policies concerning the establishment of junior colleges, the people in Gainesville and Hall County established a community college as recommended by Governor Sanders’ Commission to Improve Education. Since an adequate site was required by the Regents, along with a million dollars for building purposes, the people in Gainesville and Hall County indebted themselves through a bond issue to make this facility possible.
The Regents chose a site near a proposed four-lane connector highway six miles southwest of the City of Gainesville. This site could serve Gainesville and Hall County and Northeast Georgia while being only forty-five minutes away from the rapidly expanding metropolitan Atlanta area.
Gainesville State College and Lanier Technical College, located on adjacent campuses, initially received large amounts of State and Federal monies, thereby tripling the original local investment. In addition to bond monies, city, county and state forces, as well as private corporations, made substantial contributions in construction, donations of land, and other services. Many citizens of this area contributed to the project. The work of the citizens was coordinated by an educational task force. This representative group was instrumental in the preparation of the comprehensive educational complex.
Gainesville State College (Gainesville Junior College until 1987 and Gainesville College until 2005) opened in the Fall of 1966 with an enrollment of 419 students, almost double the size predicted. The College began classes in Gainesville using the Civic Center and the First Baptist Church as a campus but was able to move into its buildings for Winter Quarter, 1967. The College continued to enroll more students than had been projected by the long-range studies, necessitating a tripling of educational facilities during the College’s early years. The current enrollment of the College approaches 7,000 students, with 4,400 on the Gainesville Campus.
Enrollment growth in recent years has resulted in the construction and renovation of several buildings to bring the total number of buildings on the Gainesville Campus to thirteen. The most recent addition is the state-of-the-art Science, Engineering, and Technology Building.
During the Fall of 2000, the Board of Regents granted Gainesville State College permission to establish the Gainesville State College University Center on the Gainesville State College Campus. Through the Center, Gainesville State College is able to form partnerships with other baccalaureate degree granting institutions to provide coursework leading to the Bachelor’s degree on the Gainesville State College Gainesville Campus. Several baccalaureate degree programs as well as some graduate programs from North Georgia College & State University are currently offered through the University Center.
In Spring 2001, the Board of Regents granted Gainesville State College permission to open a site in Athens, Georgia. This effort was directed at meeting the needs of local residents who desired the services and support offered by a University System of Georgia two-year college. Enrollment in the initial term, Fall 2001, was more than 200 followed by over 600 the next year.
In Summer 2003, the College moved to a campus south of Athens in Oconee County. The Oconee Campus located in Watkinsville currently enrolls about 2,500 students, representing an unprecedented growth that reflects the need for a public two-year college in Northeast Georgia. Gainesville State College does not offer all academic programs on the Oconee Campus. For a complete list of available programs, please refer to the website at www.gsc.edu/admin/ registrar/majorsgcoc.htm.
In October of 2005, The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) voted to allow Gainesville College to expand its mission and change its name to Gainesville State College. Gainesville now moves into a category of USG institutions known as “state colleges,” which offer a wide array of two-year and certificate programs, along with a limited selection of baccalaureate degrees. Initially, under its new name and mission, Gainesville State College was granted permission to offer the Bachelor of Science in Applied Environmental Spatial Analysis, a “niche” bachelor degree unavailable at other institutions in the College’s service area.
In January of 2006, The University System of Georgia Board of Regents voted to grant permission for Gainesville State College to offer the Bachelor of Science with a Major in Early Childhood Care and Education, and the Bachelor of Applied Science with a Major in Technology Management.
In April of 2006, The University System of Georgia Board of Regents voted to grant permission for Gainesville State College to offer a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education.
Gainesville State College Mission
The mission of Gainesville State College is to provide broad access to quality higher education for the population of Northeast Georgia. In fulfilling its mission, the College furthers the well-being of its students through intellectual, social, and physical development. Central to the accomplishment of this mission is the liberal arts curriculum, which serves as a core for degree programs and/or as a transfer curriculum for those pursuing upper-division courses. Gainesville State College seeks to assure the success of its students and contribute to the quality of life in the surrounding communities through cooperative programs with high schools, technical colleges, and universities, as well as self-contained career advancement programs. The institution, with an emphasis on diversity, prepares students to function in a global society.
The College also takes seriously its role as a service organization that responds to the economic and educational needs of the community and reaches out to the citizens of Northeast Georgia. By offering continuing education programs, public service activities, cultural enrichment experiences, and forums for public discussion, the College expands its tradition of service beyond its immediate student body and into the community at large.
To accomplish its mission, the College will serve its students by:
- Offering lower-division courses to prepare students to transfer to four-year colleges and universities and to provide opportunities for University System of Georgia institutions to offer appropriate upper-division and graduate courses and programs through the College’s University Center;
- Offering a limited number of baccalaureate programs and upper-division courses to meet the educational, civic, and economic needs of the community and region;
- Offering a Learning Support Program to enhance students’ academic success;
- Offering career programs and courses relevant to area employment needs and the interests of students;
- Integrating technology into instruction and support services, whereby the College assures the technological proficiency of its students and effectiveness of services; and
- Providing a climate supportive of student success through academic support, administrative support, and student development services and activities that complement and enhance the instructional program.
To accomplish its mission in meeting the broader needs of the community, the College will:
- Offer continuing education programs, public service activities, and facilities for people who want to enrich their lives intellectually, socially, culturally, physically, and vocationally; and
- Promote the aspirations of students and their academic preparation through outreach programs to the public schools and organizations in the College’s community.
Gainesville State College systematically assesses its effectiveness in reflecting its values, accomplishing its goals, and promoting its vision, and uses the results to enhance programs and services.
In meeting the educational needs of the citizens of Georgia, Gainesville State College shares with all other institutions in the University System of Georgia the commitment to ensure academic excellence and educational opportunities through:
- A supportive campus climate, leadership and development opportunities, and necessary services and facilities to meet the needs of students, faculty, and staff;
- Cultural, ethnic, racial, and gender diversity in the faculty, staff, and student body supported by practices and programs that embody the ideals of an open, democratic, and global society;
- Technology to advance educational purposes, including instructional technology, student support services, and distance education; and
- A commitment to sharing physical, human, information, and other resources in collaboration with other System institutions, the public libraries, state agencies, local schools, and technical colleges to expand and to enhance programs and services available to the citizens of Georgia.
Gainesville State College Vision Statement
Gainesville State College builds on the strength of its student-oriented and learning-centered environment. As a dynamic institution, the College actively addresses the community’s call for accessible, high-quality academic programs in an atmosphere that fosters student success.
Gainesville State College Core Values
At Gainesville State College we value:
- Our student-oriented environment focused on student learning and growth.
- The philosophy that all humans have potential and equal worth.
- Qualified and dedicated faculty and staff who play a critical role in the education of our students.
- Academic freedom and scholarship.
- Open and effective communication.
- A caring and collegial environment.
- The growth and well-being of employees.
- Providing a range of opportunities to meet the cultural, educational, and entertainment needs of our diverse community.
- Innovation and experimentation to facilitate progress and to advance knowledge.
- Teaching, which recognizes the relationship among academic disciplines.
- The integration of technology into the fabric of the college.
- A clean, safe, and aesthetically pleasing environment.
- The cooperative process for carrying out the business of the college.
- The strong support of our community and alumni.
- Positive influence of education on improving people’s lives.
Gainesville State College Strategic Goals
The Strategic Goals of Gainesville State College are:
- To affirm the College’s core values.
- To provide access and opportunities for higher education.
- To maintain academic standards of excellence with accountability.
- To foster an environment that values and reflects diversity and inclusion.
- To enhance the friendly and welcoming environment with a focus on students.
- To promote the growth and well-being of faculty and staff.
- To facilitate success and educational goal attainment for traditional and non-traditional students.
- To remain a leader in incorporating technology.
- To maintain, enhance, and expand safe and aesthetically pleasing facilities.
- To continue developing sources of funding.
- To maintain sound fiscal standards.
- To enhance the College’s services and opportunities to the community.
General Education at Gainesville State College is a shared set of curricular and co-curricular experiences that cultivates in students the knowledge, skills, and perspectives necessary for lifelong learning and productive citizenship in a dynamic and multi-cultural society.
As a result of their experiences at Gainesville State College, students will be able to:
- Communicate effectively through speaking, writing, reading, and listening;
- Perform basic arithmetic and algebraic operations and use mathematical concepts to comprehend, interpret, and communicate quantitative information;
- Demonstrate critical thinking skills and a basic understanding of systematic methods of inquiry and apply those principles and procedures;
- Demonstrate knowledge of history and political systems and their implications in local, national, and international contexts;
- Demonstrate an awareness of cultures different from their own;
- Demonstrate the knowledge necessary to plan and execute a personal wellness program;
- Use computers and others forms of technology to perform a variety of tasks;
- Develop an appreciation of a broad range of artistic experiences;
- Work effectively in groups;
- Further education and professional areas of their lives; and
- Gain enrichment in the personal areas of their lives.
Campuses and Buildings Gainesville Campus
The Gainesville Campus is located six miles southwest of Gainesville on Mundy Mill Road (Highway 53) and near Exit 16 of Interstate Highway 985. The campus contains approximately 150 acres. Eighty additional acres, contiguous to the original campus, have been made available for educational use through a gift from Johnson & Johnson to the Gainesville State College Foundation.
This building was recently renovated for the Gainesville State College University Center, which assists with delivering selected four-year Bachelor’s Degrees and some Graduate courses on the Gainesville State College Campus. It also houses the Art Department, Foreign Language Department, Childcare Solutions, the Institute for Global Initiatives, Testing Lab, Information Technology Department, and Registrar.
ACADEMIC BUILDING II
In this building are located the offices and classrooms for the Humanities and Fine Arts and Social Sciences Divisions. It also contains two computer labs and two multimedia classrooms.
ACADEMIC BUILDING III
This building houses the offices and classrooms for the Mathematics and Computer Science Division, the Communications Department, the Learning Support/ESL Department, and the Academic Computing, Tutoring, and Testing Center (ACTT Center).
This building houses the offices of the President, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, Vice President for Business and Finance, and Director of Development (Foundation and Alumni Affairs).
BUSINESS/CONTINUING EDUCATION/PERFORMING ARTS
This 40,000-square-foot building contains two wings, one with offices and classrooms for the Business Division as well as for continuing education/public service activities and the other for classrooms and related instructional space to support drama and business. The wings are connected to a common lobby, which is the center of many College activities. A 300-seat teaching theater is included, as well as the Roy C. Moore Art Gallery.
JOHN HARRISON HOSCH LIBRARY
The Hosch Library provides professional staff to assist students in locating information resources and in the effective use of these resources. Assistance is provided in using GALILEO, the award-winning collection of databases provided by the University System of Georgia, and in using GIL, the online catalog. GIL provides access to over 80,000 books, videos, and other items housed at the Hosch Library and the Oconee Library, as well as to resources in other University System of Georgia Libraries. Inside the library are various types of student areas - individual study carrels, tables, study rooms for group work, a large multi-purpose room, and a smaller classroom/meeting room. Students are offered a large number of computers on the first floor for their use. Major emphasis is placed on supporting the curriculum by providing basic works in all subject areas and by subscribing to periodicals, newspapers, indexes, bibliographies, microfilm, and similar tools of scholarship. Library instruction is available to individuals and to classes. A joint agreement with Student Life provides popular books for recreational reading. The cordial atmosphere of the library makes it a popular center for study and relaxation.
PLANT OPERATIONS AND FACILITIES
There are two buildings for Plant Operations and Facilities. One contains the administrative offices for Plant Operations and Facilities and Public Safety and additional warehouse storage. The other building contains the building maintenance, landscape services, cleaning services, shipping and receiving, construction shop, mobile equipment service and repair shop, surplus and warehouse storage and sheds for mobile equipment.
This structure houses the Music Department and the support facilities. This includes the lecture room, electronic-piano laboratory, sound-proof practice rooms, applied-music studios, offices, and space for equipment storage.
SCIENCE, ENGINEERING, AND TECHNOLOGY BUILDING
The state-of-the-art 50,000 square foot Science, Engineering, and Technology facility contains faculty offices for the Division of Natural Sciences, Engineering, and Technology, as well as four lecture halls, five classrooms, two class/lab rooms, a microcomputer based physics lab, three chemistry labs, a microbiology lab, three biology labs, two multipurpose labs, an analytical chemistry instrument room, a research lab, a soil/rock prep lab, a Geographic Information Science lab, an Integrated Technology lab, and a large general-use Multimedia Science Computer lab.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION COMPLEX
The Physical Education Complex houses the Education, Health, and Wellness Division and includes the gymnasium, indoor heated swimming pool, sauna bath, steam room, fully equipped Fitness Center, classroom, weight room, dressing facilities, and multiple-purpose rooms. A lift is available upon request to assist handicapped persons getting into and out of the pool. Outside facilities include all-weather track, bike trail, exercise trail, intramural field, tennis courts, golf range, game field, mini-field house, and fishing lakes. These facilities are widely used by students, faculty, and community groups.
STUDENT ACTIVITIES BUILDING
At the heart of the campus is the Student Activities Building which houses many convenient accommodations for students, faculty members, and other groups who seek workshop, seminar, or general meeting rooms. Student Government Association Offices, recreational areas, game room, food service, and the bookstore are located in this building. The facility also includes the Student Development and Enrollment Management Office, Admissions, Counseling and Career Services Center, Disability Services, Student Life Office, Financial Aid Office, Academic Advising Center, and the Cyber Cafe/Gameroom.
The Oconee Campus is located on Bishop Farm Parkway in Watkinsville off Highway 53 (Experiment Station Road) and also easily accessible from Highway 441. The campus contains 14 acres in a pastoral setting of rolling hills. The Campus was acquired in 2003 with the first classes offered Summer Semester 2003.
This building houses the office of the Executive Dean of the Oconee Campus, business services, testing lab, some faculty offices along with all Enrollment Management and Student Development Offices.
STUDENT RESOURCE CENTER BUILDING
The Library, Information Technology, and the office of Student Life are located in this building. Faculty offices, a science lab, and classrooms are also contained in the building.
The Library on the Oconee Campus combines the best features of the separate Hosch Library and ACTT Center on the Gainesville Campus. The Library houses a collection of over 10,000 books, videos, and other academic materials and provides professional staff to assist students in locating the information resources they need. Oconee students also have easy access to library resources on the Gainesville Campus. A large group of computers provides access to GALILEO, the widely-acclaimed collection of online databases, to GIL, the catalog, to an extensive array of software applications on the campus network, and to the Internet. Professional and peer tutors provide assistance in Math, English, foreign languages, and a variety of other subjects. Student employees of the Information Technology Department provide computing assistance. The Library also provides Regents’ Test Skills courses, administers make-up tests, and has TV/VCRs available to support class work, as well as study materials which faculty make available to students on a reserve basis.
Classrooms, computer labs, science labs, and faculty offices are located in this building.
GAINESVILLE STATE COLLEGE FOUNDATION
The Gainesville State College Foundation was established in 1967 to generate and administer private financial support of the College. Overseeing the funds raised by the Foundation is a continuing responsibility of a forty-six member Board of Trustees which operates through an Executive Committee. With our new campus in Oconee County, the Foundation has identified alumni in that area to serve on the Trustee Board. Our goal is to gather additional support from that community for our Scholarship Program for Oconee students.
Funds provided through the Foundation continue to increase annually and are used primarily for student scholarships, faculty and staff development, as well as important technology upgrades for students and faculty. Currently 80% of funds raised are used for student scholarships and other related programs and technology enhancements. The Foundation currently has an endowment base of over $10 million. Anyone wishing further information about the Foundation may call the College Development Office.
GAINESVILLE STATE COLLEGE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
The Gainesville State College Alumni Association was established in 1985 and is affiliated with the Gainesville State College Foundation. The Association’s activities on behalf of the College are coordinated with those of the Foundation. The activities of the Alumni Association are coordinated by an Alumni Council with representatives from throughout Northeast Georgia. Membership is free and open to anyone who has attended Gainesville State College. The primary objectives of the Association are to maintain contact with alumni and to encourage their continuing support of the institution.
Activities include the Alumni & Friends Golf Tournament, Anchors Away - an alumni newsletter, alumni recognition at graduation, Starlight Concert and Fireworks Show, and a variety of other events throughout the year. The proceeds from all alumni events support scholarships provided through the Gainesville State College Foundation.