MISSION STATEMENT AND HISTORY OF GEORGIA PERIMETER COLLEGE

Mission Statement

A community committed to learning and to becoming a preeminent associate degree-granting institution, the faculty, staff, administrators, and students of Georgia Perimeter College share the following aspirations:

  • To gain national recognition as a community of learners,
  • To assume a national leadership role in developing creative, technologically-advanced academic and student services programs,
  • To serve as a model for other institutions in developing collaborative partnerships to deliver public services, technical assistance, lifelong learning, and economic development training.

A regional, multi-campus unit of the University System of Georgia, Georgia Perimeter College strives to meet the changing expectations of our diverse collegiate and community constituencies by providing effective, innovative, lifelong educational opportunities. We are committed to diversity, continuous improvement, high academic standards, and the efficient use of resources. In decision-making at all levels, the enhancement of our students' lives is our first priority.

Georgia Perimeter College, a nonresidential institution, serves diverse populations of traditional and nontraditional students in Greater Metropolitan Atlanta. Placing learning first, we provide accessible and affordable high quality undergraduate credit and non credit programs for students seeking to complete an associate degree, transfer to a senior college or university, prepare for immediate entry into a career, pursue personal goals or enhance current workplace skills. Our curriculum specializes in liberal arts and professional preparation and promotes international and intercultural understanding. We also serve the broader community as an educational, cultural, and economic resource.

Our academic programs and student support services focus on careful assessment of our learners' abilities, achievements, and needs, accommodations of their special requirements and resources, and guidance in the development and realization of their expectations and goals. We, thus, offer specialized sequences of courses and support programs that promote academic and personal success for students of varying levels of academic preparation. We encourage excellence in teaching, provide a technologically advanced learning environment, support innovative strategies for meeting the learning styles of all students, and promote learning by engaging students actively and collaboratively.

In meeting the educational needs of the citizens of Georgia for the 21st century, we share with all other institutions in the University System of Georgia the following characteristics:

  • a supportive campus climate, necessary services, and leadership and development opportunities, all to educate the whole person and 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 idea of an open, democratic, and global society
  • technology to advance educational purposes, including instructional technology, student support services, and distance education
  • collaborative relationships with other System institutions, State agencies, local schools and technical institutes, and business and industry, sharing physical, human, information, and other resources to expand and enhance programs and services available to the citizens of Georgia.

Georgia Perimeter College shares the following commitments to the citizens of Georgia with other associate degree level colleges of the University System of Georgia:

  • a commitment to excellence and responsiveness within a scope of influence defined by the needs of the local area and by particularly outstanding programs or distinctive characteristics that have a magnet effect throughout the region or state
  • a commitment to a teaching/learning environment, both inside and outside the classroom, that sustains institutional excellence, functions to provide University System access for a diverse student body, and promotes high levels of student learning
  • a commitment to a high quality general education program that supports a variety of well-chosen associate programs and prepares students for transfer to baccalaureate programs, learning support programs designed to ensure access and opportunity for a diverse student body, and a limited number of certificate or other career programs to complement neighboring technical institute programs
  • a commitment to public service, continuing education technical assistance, and economic development activities that address the needs, improve the quality of life, and raise the educational level within the college's scope of influence
  • a commitment to scholarship and creative work for the specific purposes of supporting instructional effectiveness and enhancing institutionally relevant faculty qualifications.


History

Founded by the citizens of DeKalb County and the DeKalb Board of Education under the Junior College Act of 1958, Georgia Perimeter College opened in 1964 as the only public junior college in the State supported and controlled by a local Board of Education. It was established in order that any resident of the DeKalb School District who held a high school diploma or its equivalent and who desired to seek two years of post-secondary education might have the opportunity to do so.

The college's Decatur Campus opened in 1972. Also beginning in 1972, students enrolled in DeKalb Area Technical School were able to enroll dually in vocational and collegiate programs, and the college was designated DeKalb Community College. As growth continued both for DeKalb County and the college, the Dunwoody Campus was added and began operation in 1979. Georgia Perimeter College has pioneered in Georgia in open door admissions, personalized approaches to instruction, and community-

related curricula and activities. The college's curricula feature transfer, developmental, career, and continuing education programs. Associate degrees are awarded to graduates who complete the two-year transfer and career programs. The college's academic offerings correspond with curricula content and requirements of the University System of Georgia. The college also serves as a community cultural center for the performing arts in music and drama.

In 1985, DeKalb Vocational-Technical School was placed under the governance of a new state-wide board for vocational-technical schools. Students enrolled in specific Associate in Applied Science degree programs continue, however, to enroll dually in the college and the technical school, which is now known as DeKalb Technical Institute.

Designed to be readily responsive to the educational needs of the community, Georgia Perimeter College began offering dual programs in cooperation with Lawrenceville Technical Institute in the fall of 1987. In addition, Georgia Perimeter College offers at its Lawrenceville Campus a broad range of courses to students seeking Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degrees. During spring 1993, Georgia Perimeter College in cooperation with Clayton State College, DeKalb Technical Institute, and Rockdale County Public Schools formed the Rockdale Center for Higher Education, which offers both credit and non-credit, courses.

Source: Georgia Perimeter College's Web page www.gpc.edu/News_and_Information/about.html