If you’ve been wondering about something in your community, Ask The Times is your place to get answers. The following questions were submitted by readers and answered through the efforts of our news staff.
My daughter recently asked me who owns the local college and trade schools in Oakwood.
Both the University of North Georgia’s Gainesville campus and Lanier Technical College in Oakwood are state-run institutions.
The UNG campus at 3820 Mundy Mill Road is part of the University System of Georgia and was formed through the consolidation of North Georgia College & State University and Gainesville State College earlier this year. UNG also has campuses in Dahlonega, Watkinsville and Cumming.
With about 15,000 students, UNG is the state’s seventh largest public university. The university offers more than 100 programs of study ranging from certificate and associate degrees to professional doctoral programs.
The Gainesville campus opened in 1966 as Gainesville Junior College, a two-year school with 419 students. Classes began at the Civic Center and First Baptist Church in Gainesville until campus buildings were ready in winter 1967.
As the college expanded, its name was changed to Gainesville College in 1987, then Gainesville State College in 2005. In the years since, the campus had continued to expand while the college added several new bachelor’s degree programs. This semester, the campus has an enrollment of 6,776 students.
Lanier Technical College at 2990 Landrum Education Drive in Oakwood is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, providing adult education classes in an eight-county area.
The mission statement on the college website states it serves “as the foremost workforce development resource for Banks, Barrow, Dawson, Forsyth, Hall, Jackson, and Lumpkin counties by providing career-technical education programs, offered through traditional and distance delivery methods, leading to associate degrees, diplomas and technical certificates of credit; customized business and industry training and economic development services; continuing education for technical and professional development; and adult education services.”
Lanier Tech began its first classes in fall 1966, one of many technical and vocational schools created by the state, which now number 26. Classes were held in local schools, churches and civic buildings until they moved into a 47,000-square-foot building in January 1967. The college later added campus facilities in Forsyth County, Winder, Commerce and Dawsonville, and adult education centers in Banks, Dawson and Fulton counties.
Lanier Tech includes the Governor’s Center for Innovation in Manufacturing Excellence opened at the Oakwood campus and The Manufacturing Development Center opened in the Featherbone Communiversity campus in Gainesville.
This fall, 3,540 students are enrolled at Lanier Tech, which graduated 1,101 this year.
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