Two Schools Adopt Name Change at Gordon State College

Several of the Gordon State College’s academic programs will be realigned into different schools beginning July 1. The strategic review allowed the academic leadership team an opportunity to explore current department functions to determine current and future effectiveness. Based on this plan, three new schools were formed. 

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. C. Jeffery Knighton spearheaded the realignment through discussion sessions with faculty members to consider options that would assist with the creation of an ideal structure for Gordon State. 

Knighton said, “By restructuring our three schools, we will continue to provide innovative and collaborative degree programs that will increase opportunities for our students, and enhance our 14-county service region.”

The School of Arts and Sciences will now be named the School of Business, Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. The School of Education will now be named the School of Education, Mathematics and Applied Sciences. The School of Nursing, Health and Natural Sciences changed names when it was realigned last year.

The Department of Mathematics, Engineering and Computer Science will move to the School of Education and will no longer be in the School of Business, Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.  These disciplines will join teacher education, health and physical education to form the School of Education, Mathematics and Applied Sciences. In addition, Gordon anticipates starting classes for the new Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness beginning Spring 2021 Semester, pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and that program will be housed in this school.   Dr. Joseph Jones, Dean of the School of Education, Mathematics, and Applied Sciences, indicated that “it is an exciting time for Gordon as we begin to strengthen our relationships within the community. The restructuring will provide the space for innovative endeavors that will improve our programs and our community.”

The School of Business, Liberal Arts and Social Sciences will house the Department of Business, History and Social Science, and the Department of Humanities and Fine and Performing Arts.  According to Dr. Barry Kicklighter, dean of the School of Business, Liberal Arts, and Social Sciences, the new name reflects the educational emphasis of the programs and degrees currently offered by the school. “It is our goal to make the college experience as transparent and attainable as possible to the students in our region,” Kicklighter said.  Degrees offered in this school include Management and Administration, Human Services, English, History, Visual Arts, Theatre, Criminal Justice, and Interdisciplinary Studies.

Dr. Victor Vilchiz, dean of the School of Nursing, Health, and Natural Sciences, revealed that moving the natural sciences over to the School of Nursing has allowed for better synergy between the biology and nursing programs.

Vilchiz said, “Consolidating the nursing programs under one department was done to decrease any duplication of duties and allowed the department to be more efficient while assigning faculty to courses. These changes have allowed us to be more efficient in deploying our most valuable assets, faculty and to increase collaboration between our programs as we increase efforts to reduce barriers in our academic enterprise.”  In addition to Biology, Chemistry and other natural sciences now being a part of the school, the degree programs of the Associate of Nursing (ASN) program, the Bachelor’s of Nursing, and the RN to BSN program were all consolidated under the Nursing Department. This school also houses the Health Information Management degree program. 

President Kirk A. Nooks said, “This strategic priority required a significant amount of time and thought. The renaming of the schools reflects our desire to align our programs for deeper collaboration, success and innovation within the region. This is a tangible demonstration of preparing for the future with our students, faculty and staff.”