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University starts classes with new offerings at Gainesville campus

POSTED: August 17, 2014 10:59 p.m.
Salai Sayasean/For the Times

Hundreds of new freshmen descended Friday on the University of North Georgia's Dahlonega campus for Freshmen Move-In Day.

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The University of North Georgia is offering new bachelor’s degree programs for the new school year at its Gainesville campus.

The university, which starts classes today across its four campuses, has more than doubled the bachelor’s degree offerings on the campus since last fall, increasing from eight to 20.

The change, said UNG Provost Patricia Donat, is the result of the merger between Gainesville State College and North Georgia College & State University in Dahlonega that formed UNG in 2013.

“The majority of (Gainesville State College) programs were for associate degrees,” Donat said. “We continue our transfer mission, but we now offer more baccalaureate programs.”

The new offerings are in biology, accounting, finance, management, communication, early childhood education/special education, English, history, mathematics, physical education with teacher certification, and political science, as well as a degree in sport, exercise and recreation.

Donat said the university is considering expanding graduate degree programs at its campuses, but is still in the process of determining which degrees the community has the most need for.

“One of the things that we know that we need to do is have conversations with the community,” Donat said. “We do know that that’s an area for growth and development.”

In order to provide the new bachelor’s degree programs, Donat said the university hired additional faculty and changed some part-time faculty positions to full-time. The new programs, she said, are designed to increase the range of offerings at the campus rather than to expand one particular area of study.

“There have been so many, they really cover a full array of options for students,” she said.

Students in Gainesville will also see changes to the campus when they begin classes. Donat said the university has expanded parking and has added recreation space and offices to the gymnasium building.

“We have made it easier for students to come to school and to stay on campus,” she said.

Another significant change since the merger, Donat said, is the accreditation of the university’s human services delivery and administration program.

She said the university has also begun offering more daytime classes for its business administration bachelor’s degree program.

Donat said many of the bachelor’s degree programs now offered at the Gainesville campus were already offered in Dahlonega. Before the merger, students at Gainesville State College often transferred to North Georgia College & State University in Dahlonega to complete bachelor’s degree programs. The university also includes campuses in Cumming and Oconee County.

“We are just so pleased,” Donat said. “When the fall semester begins, the energy on campus having all the students return is just delightful.”


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