Georgia Highlands College
Georgia Highlands College Insignia.GIF
Former names
Floyd Junior College (1970–1987)
Floyd College (1987–2005)
MottoWhere Excellence Begins
TypePublic college
Established1970; 52 years ago (1970)
Parent institution
University System of Georgia
PresidentDana Nichols (Interim)[1]
Students5,530 [2]
Four locations: Rome, Cartersville, Marietta, and Dallas
, ,
United States

34°10′11″N 85°12′27″W / 34.169757°N 85.207443°W / 34.169757; -85.207443Coordinates: 34°10′11″N 85°12′27″W / 34.169757°N 85.207443°W / 34.169757; -85.207443
CampusSuburban, 200 acres
PaperSix Mile Post[3]
ColorsBlue and orange
NicknameGeorgia Highlands, Highlands, GHC
Georgia Highlands College logo.png

Georgia Highlands College (Georgia Highlands or GHC) is a public college in northwest Georgia. It has locations in Rome, Cartersville, Marietta, and Dallas and serves the northwest parts of Georgia, as well as parts of east Alabama and southeast Tennessee.[4][5] A member of the University System of Georgia, the college was originally a community college and has since expanded to also offer bachelor degrees in healthcare management, logistics and supply chain management, dental hygiene, criminal justice, and an RN-BSN program. Students are now being accepted into a bachelor's of health science degree launched in 2020 [6] and an associate's entrepreneurship pathway launched in 2021. [7] Between 5,700 and 6,100 students are enrolled at GHC in any given semester, representing 49 different countries.[8] In 2020, the college had a record high number of graduates and an economic impact of over $181 million. [9]


Established in 1968 and opened in 1970 as Floyd Junior College,[10] the school was originally named for Floyd County, of which Rome is the county seat, which was in turn named after John Floyd. It was later shortened to just Floyd College in 1987. In April 2005, the Georgia Board of Regents voted to change the school's name, and on August 1, 2005, the institution officially became Georgia Highlands College to reflect the regional nature of the population it serves.[11][12] The college has expanded its service area by opening new instructional sites in 1994, 2005, 2009, and 2010.


Georgia Highlands College currently offers Associate degrees, Bachelor of Science degrees, and Bachelor of Business Administration degrees.[13] The college provides eight Associate pathways and two Bachelor programs entirely online.[14] in 2020, the college completed an academic reorganization from Divisions to Schools within the college. [15]

Georgia Highlands College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.[16] GHC's Associate of Science in Nursing degree and its Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and the Associate of Science in Nursing is approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing.[17]


GHC's full-time faculty is 57% female and 87% white.[18] 73.2% of the GHC faculty are full-time and ranked Assistant, Associate, or full Professor, while 26.8% have the rank of Instructor. As of Fall 2016, 51% of the full-time faculty had tenure, 22% were on track for tenure, and 26.8% were not on the tenure track. All full-time faculty had a master's degree as required by SACS, and 30% additionally had a terminal degree such as a doctorate[18] The full-time faculty to student ratio at GHC is 21:1.[5]


Students can earn an associate degree at Georgia Highlands College for less than $8,000 and a bachelor's degree for $16,000.[19] An initiative begun in 2015 to expand Open Educational Resources (OER) and provide free or low cost textbooks has led to saving GHC students more than $6 million on course resources.[20]


Georgia Highlands Cartersville campus
Georgia Highlands Cartersville campus

Georgia Highlands College offers courses and services at the original campus and at five additional instructional sites.

Floyd Campus

GHC was founded as Floyd Junior College in 1970 in Rome, Georgia. The campus includes Bishop Observatory, a library, the Lakeview Auditorium building, the McCorkle and Walraven academic buildings, a tennis court, and fields for soccer, softball, and baseball. This site includes Paris Lake and has access to a 20-acre tract behind the campus that has been set aside as a protected natural wetland ecosystem, which includes a 1,200-foot boardwalk and two observation platforms.[21] In 2015, the Floyd campus began housing a new Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC), offering training for law enforcement officers.[22]

Cartersville Instructional Site

GHC began offering classes in a small space in downtown Cartersville, Georgia in the 1980s. The current Cartersville location was opened in 2005. The site includes a 55,000-square-foot student center designed with a mountain lodge feel that matches the original classroom building and has a two-story stone fireplace in the open-air student lounge as its centerpiece. Along with the campus bookstore, the center houses a small café, a game room, a weight and cardio room, two volleyball/basketball courts, and a suspended indoor running track.[23]

In 2017, the University System of Georgia approved $17.7 million in funds to construct a new STEAM building at the Cartersville site.[24][25] The building, which features new classrooms and lab rooms, opened to students in Spring 2019.[26]

Heritage Hall Instructional Site

The James D. Maddox Heritage Hall Instructional Site, in downtown Rome, Georgia, has been in operation by GHC since 1994 and houses the college's Division of Health Sciences nursing and dental hygiene programs. Heritage Hall also houses digital media services and GHTV, GHC's local cable television station.[27] The Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program is also housed at the site.[28]

Marietta Site of GHC on the KSU Marietta campus
Marietta Site of GHC on the KSU Marietta campus

Marietta Instructional Site

The Marietta site opened in 2005. This location became GHC's third site, opening for classes on the campus of Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU), now Kennesaw State University (KSU). GHC students at the Marietta site have access to KSU dorms, student clubs, intramurals, and collegiate sporting events.[29] GHC administrative and faculty offices are housed in Norton Hall on the KSU Marietta campus. GHC courses are regularly offered in the Atrium building, Engineering Lab Building, and Mathematics building. GHC students at the Marietta site have access privileges at the KSU Lawrence Johnson library.[30]

Douglasville Instructional Site

The Douglasville location began using space donated by Chapel Hill High school while the renovation of the Stewart Parkway building was underway. The building, in partnership with The University of West Georgia, opened to students in 2010. It includes classrooms, an auditorium, science labs, a student lounge, and offices. A branch library was added to the site in 2015. In 2018, UWG and GHC announced a new partnership program in Mass Communications with a focus on Public Relations, with future program partnerships in development.[31] In 2020, GHC entered into a partnership with the Douglas County Board of Education and moved the Douglasville operations to a new site at the Murray Education Center. [32] In October 2021, the school announced plans to close the Douglasville campus due to low enrollment.[33]

GHC Paulding Site at the Historic Douglas Country Courthouse
GHC Paulding Site at the Historic Douglas Country Courthouse

Paulding Instructional Site

The Paulding location in Dallas was opened in 2009. Administrative offices, classrooms, and the library are located in the Bagby building and the Winn building in the Dallas Town Square.[34] Kennesaw State University and GHC have several active partnership programs available at the Paulding site, including degrees in Psychology, Elementary & Early Childhood Education, and Integrative Studies.[35]

In 2018, the University System of Georgia approved $4.1 million in funds to renovate the buildings at the Paulding site.[36][37] The renovations will provide space for further course offerings, allowing more complete degrees at the Paulding site.[38]

Student life


The student body at Georgia Highlands College is relatively diverse. Over 60% of students are female, and 24% are non-traditional age students (24–65 years old). The median student age is 23.[5] 69% of students are white/Caucasian, 17% are black/African American, and 8% are Hispanic/Latino.[39] GHC has an active veteran cohort of students, and was ranked a “Top School for Veterans” by Military Advanced Education in 2012, and from 2014-2018.[40]

Clubs and organizations

The largest club at the college, Brother 2 Brother (B2B), encourages excellence among minority male students. B2B began as part of the Georgia Highlands African-American & Minority Male Excellence program (GHAME) in 2008.[41] GHC B2B won outstanding chapter of the year several times at the 300+ member national Student African American Brotherhood Conference.[42] GHC's chapter of the national academic organization Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) was recognized as Regional Top Distinguished Chapter Overall in 2016, 2017, and 2018.[43]

The Six Mile Post, GHC's student newspaper, consistently wins awards for student articles, artwork, editing, photography, and advertising at the Southern Regional Press Institute and the Georgia College Press Association.[44] For four decades, the college has published Old Red Kimono, an annual book of student artwork, poetry, and short stories.[45] Since 2010, students at GHC can compete in a public speaking competition funded in part by the Rome Area Council for the Arts.[46]

GHC also offers students business focused clubs such as Business Leaders of Tomorrow and Logistics and Supply Chain Management Association. These business clubs focus on developing relationships between students and local industry leaders as well as developing workforce related skills. The club membership is mainly filled with bachelor level students, but are open to all GHC students on all campuses regardless of major.

Student clubs and GHC Student Support Services began offering food panty services in partnership with the Atlanta Food Bank in 2017 to students that are food insecure.[47] Since 2005, the college has hosted Foundation Summer Camp, a free service for boys that includes STEAM and athletic activities.[48]

Since 1997, GHC has offered geology field credit for summer trips to Wyoming.[49] GHC partners with KSU to offer semester abroad trips with credit courses in Montepulciano, Italy.[50] GHC regularly offers biology credit trips to Costa Rica and culture/business credit trips to European countries.[51]


Georgia Highlands College, nicknamed the Chargers, is a Division I member of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA) and Region XVII of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). Men's sports include basketball and baseball. Women's sports include basketball and softball. The athletics program began play in the 2012-13 season with men's and women's basketball, and added baseball and softball the following year (2014). The men's basketball team has won Regional Championships in 2015, 2016, and 2017. The women's basketball team won a regional title in 2016 and the women's baseball team won a regional title in 2017.

The Charger mascot is named “Bolt”.


  1. ^ "Nichols named interim president at Georgia Highlands College". Georgia Highlands College. 30 April 2021. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  2. ^ "Semester Enrollment Report" (PDF). Office of Research and Policy Analysis. University System of Georgia. 2007-11-12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-02-01. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
  3. ^ "Six Mile Post".
  4. ^ "University System of Georgia - University System of Georgia".
  5. ^ a b c "Georgia Highlands College - Inside Higher Ed".
  6. ^,25299. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ "Georgia's Private Colleges Agonize on Fate". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. December 6, 1970. Retrieved 25 July 2018 – via of an open green padlock
  11. ^ "Floyd College name change now official". Northwest Georgia News. April 21, 2005. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  12. ^ "About Us". 4 December 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-12-04.
  13. ^ "Degrees & Majors Authorized - View Degrees and Majors".
  14. ^ "eLearning Support Services".
  15. ^ ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^ "Accreditation - PAAR".
  18. ^ a b "Fact Book : Academic Year 2016-2017" (PDF). Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  19. ^ "GHC named most affordable four-year college in Georgia - Georgia Highlands College". 10 October 2017.
  20. ^ "GHC saves students more than $6 million with free textbooks - Georgia Highlands College". 12 March 2018.
  21. ^ "Floyd Campus - Georgia Highlands College".
  22. ^ "Georgia Public Safety Training Center Partners with Georgia Highlands College - GPSTC". 21 August 2015.
  23. ^ "Cartersville site - Georgia Highlands College".
  24. ^ "GHC plans new $17.7 million building: Investment will help growing college deal with ever-increasing enrollment". The Daily Tribune News. May 17, 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  25. ^ "Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia : Capital Outlay - FY 2017" (PDF). Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  26. ^ "Construction begins on new GHC academic building in Cartersville, progress video live - Georgia Highlands College". 11 July 2017.
  27. ^ "Heritage Hall - Georgia Highlands College".
  28. ^ "WRGA Rome's NewsTalk - GHC now offering nursing assistant training courses".
  29. ^ "Marietta site - Georgia Highlands College".
  30. ^ "KSU Library System FAQs - Ask-A-Librarian".
  31. ^ "GHC Partners With West Georgia For Bachelor's Program". 19 April 2018.
  32. ^ "GHC Moves Douglasville Site". 24 June 2020.
  33. ^ "Georgia Highlands College to close Douglas County campus next year". ajc. Retrieved 2021-10-14.
  34. ^ "Paulding Site - Georgia Highlands College".
  35. ^ "KSU - Paulding Site - 2+2 Degree Programs".
  36. ^ Staff, Neighbor (June 28, 2018). "College to use $4M in funding to renovate former Dallas bank building". Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  37. ^ "Georgia Highlands College To Expand In Paulding". Dallas-Hiram, GA Patch. 9 July 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  38. ^ "GHC granted funding for renovations at Paulding site to expand degree and program offerings - Georgia Highlands College". 28 June 2018.
  39. ^ "Ranking". Retrieved 2019-07-19.
  40. ^ "Military Advanced Education - Top Schools". Military Advanced Education.
  41. ^ Senn, Lydia. "Georgia Highlands creates a brotherhood with GHAME".
  42. ^ "Georgia Highlands College".
  43. ^ "GHC Phi Theta Kappa Named Top Distinguished Chapter". 23 June 2018.
  44. ^ "Six Mile Post Year in Review: GHC student newspaper celebrates another winning year - Georgia Highlands College". 16 May 2018.
  45. ^ "Old Red Kimono".
  46. ^ Doug Walker. "RACA provides grants to other groups".
  47. ^ Wilder, Kristina. "Georgia Highlands College Charger Food Pantry making sure no student is hungry".
  48. ^ "GHC to host 13th annual free summer Foundation Camp for boys this May - Georgia Highlands College". 14 May 2018.
  49. ^ "GHC continues one of its longest-running field courses, celebrates 20 years in Wyoming - Georgia Highlands College". 28 November 2017.
  50. ^ "KSU - KSU in Tuscany - Faculty and University Partners".
  51. ^ "WRGA Rome's NewsTalk - GHC ranked 2nd best state school in Georgia".