Gordon State College joined the University System of Georgia in 1972 as an associate level institution with a distinctive legacy of excellence in scholarship and service. From its founding in 1852, Gordon has grown and changed, not only in response to, but also in anticipation of, the educational needs of its community. Gordon's scope of influence now extends beyond the surrounding areas to include the rapidly growing suburban areas south of Atlanta, east of Columbus, and north of Macon. A community in flux, this area of Georgia is rich in diversity and reflects extremes in economic and population growth which demand a mission that includes focused two-year professional offerings, the traditional pre-baccalaureate curricula, and baccalaureate offerings targeting needs of the area. Gordon State College fully serves the community by providing educational and cultural opportunities both within and beyond this area. The mission of Gordon State College, therefore, is to:
- prepare students for transfer into and success in baccalaureate and professional degree programs through the college transfer program;
- prepare students for entry into and success in specific occupations and careers especially demanded by the surrounding community through appropriate Associate and Baccalaureate programs;
- strengthen the academic skills of students otherwise unprepared for entry-level college work through the Learning Support program; and
- serve the community by providing opportunities for life-long learning and professional development through community service programs.
Gordon State College is dedicated to providing a superior climate of learning through excellence in instruction, attention to students' needs, and cooperation with other agencies to enhance Gordon's own resources. The College further commits itself to assembling a faculty with excellent credentials that is dedicated to teaching, service and active in the pursuit of scholarship.
In addition, Gordon State College offers student services and extracurricular activities which bolster the academic offerings of the College and extend the superior climate of learning from the classroom into every facet of campus life. Residence halls enable the College to attract talented students from the state, nation, and world, further diversifying and enhancing the student body.
The College aspires to reflect the complexity of its community by attracting and retaining a diverse student body, faculty, and staff; by offering classes at sites and at times to meet the needs of both traditional and non-traditional students; and by anticipating and offering programs and services which will prepare its students for a rapidly changing world. Gordon State College distinguishes itself by offering strong programs in general education, the fine arts, and health care education, and by providing exciting cultural events for the area.
Gordon State College shares with the other state colleges of the University System of Georgia the following core characteristics or purposes:
- a supportive campus climate, necessary services, and leadership and development opportunities 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 ideals 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, informational, and other resources to expand and enhance programs and services available to the citizens of Georgia;
- a commitment to excellence and responsiveness within a scope of influence defined by the needs of a 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 instructional excellence, functions to provide University System access for a diverse student body, and promotes high levels of student learning;
- 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; and
- a commitment to scholarship and creative work to enhance instructional effectiveness and meet local needs