Gordon State College Gets The Green Light to Offer Two New Academic Degrees

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia gave Gordon State College the green light to begin the process of offering two new degrees; a Nexus Degree in Film Production and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice through the University System of Georgia’s eMajor. Gordon hopes to start offering classes for the new degrees pending approval by the Gordon State Faculty Senate and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The Nexus Degree is a relatively new academic credential and the first new degree program in the United States since the 1890s. Nexus degrees are college credentials that emphasize hands-on experiential learning, skilled knowledge and connections with industry in high-demand career fields. 

Film production was the first area of study to offer Nexus Degrees in Georgia, an initiative that grew out of the College 2025 program system introduced in 2017 to better tailor course offerings to the state’s 21st century workforce needs.

The Film Production Nexus Degree is a collaboration between Gordon State College and the Georgia Film Academy. The 60-credit-hour degree, consists of 42 credit hours of general education and 18 credit hours of coursework focusing on the skills and knowledge requirements in the film production industry. Examples of course work include: Introduction to On-Set Film Production, Production Design I, Motion Picture Set Lighting I and On-Set Apprenticeship. 

The Georgia Department of Economic Development reports that the film industry in Georgia had a $9.5 billion impact on the state’s economy in 2018. Georgia’s growth in the film industry is unprecedented as Georgia is now considered a top destination for film and television. 

Opportunities abound for GSC graduates with this degree. They are most likely to be employed in the motion picture and video industries, radio and television broadcasting, employment services and spectator sports industry as the field grows,” said Dr. Edward J. Whitelock, department head for Humanities and Programs in Fine and Performing Arts

GSC also was granted approval to offer the Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice through the University System of Georgia’s eMajoreMajor is a partnership among University System of Georgia public institutions to provide quality, affordable, high-demand post-secondary degrees and credentials that address the workplace needs of Georgia and beyond. They are ideal, not only for traditional students who wish to take advantage of online course delivery, but also for working professionals, military members, transfer students and others seeking alternative routes to degree completion.  

The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree prepares students for employment within the criminal justice system by providing students with a foundation of the knowledge, principles, theories, and functions common to the American Criminal Justice system. 

“As we at Gordon State College determine which degrees opportunities we should provide to our students, it is imperative that we focus on the career opportunities in our local communities.  The Board of Regents approval to offer these two degrees will greatly benefit our 14-country regional service area,” said Dr. C. Jeffery Knighton, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Gordon State will partner with Dalton State College, Georgia Highlands College, and Georgia Southwestern State University for the collaborative delivery of the Criminal Justice degree.

“The approval of these degrees by the Board of Regents is another sign that we are progressing with our strategic plan goals, said GSC President Dr. Kirk A. Nooks. “We will continue to provide educational opportunities for the students in this region and continue to develop the talented workforce for area employers. This is the Power of WE.” 

Founded in 1852, GSC is a member of the University System of Georgia. The college has a distinctive legacy of excellent scholarship and service. GSC offers 11 four-year degrees and 16 associate-level degrees, which includes multiple baccalaureate pathways for students. With an enrollment of over 3,000 students, GSC offers an intimate academic setting in state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories. In this setting, students receive individualized attention that only a small college with dedicated faculty and staff can provide.