Gordon State College, Georgia College & State University Sign Renewed Partnership, New Honors Program

From left to right: GCSU Dean of the John E. Sallstrom Honors College, Brian Newsome; GCSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Costas Spirou; GCSU President, Cathy Cox; GSC President, Dr. Kirk A. Nooks; GSC Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. C. Jeffery Knighton; and GSC Professor of English and Honors Program Coordinator, Dr. David A. Janssen

By Karolina Philmon, GSC Marketing Manager

On Wednesday, Feb. 23, Gordon State College (GSC) and Georgia College and State University (GCSU) came together to sign the renewed partnership as it pertains to the Highlander Pathways to Georgia College program and a new Honors agreement. The signing took place in the GSC Highlander Room in the Student Center building from noon to 2 p.m.

According to the renewed partnership, GCSU will write a letter to non-admitted students whose files have been evaluated by GCSU and have potential to be considered for transfer after 60 hours. GCSU will encourage the students to enroll at GSC and enter the Highlander Pathways to Georgia College program. Following successful completion of their studies at GSC and the awarding of an Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) degrees from GSC, a pathway back to GCSU will be created to complete a bachelor’s degree.

"We are fortunate to continue to partner with Georgia College & State University to provide opportunities for students to further their education through the Highlander and Honors Pathways to Georgia College programs,” said GSC President, Dr. Kirk A. Nooks. "The strategic partnerships we are nurturing and building with relationships like this one within Higher Education institutions reinforce the pipeline from our education ecosystem. This supports our approach to increase the regional completion rate, which in turn benefits our region with stronger workforce leaders."

GCSU will work to identify scholarships for transferring GSC students while the provosts of GCSU and GSC will work with the deans and faculty to create collaborative academic experiences for students in the program, such as undergraduate research.

“We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with Gordon State and provide a seamless pathway for Gordon State’s outstanding students to finish their bachelors’ degrees at Georgia College. Our campuses are close and closely aligned, so our Honors Agreement is a perfect way to serve the students and families of the central Georgia region even better,” said GCSU President, Cathy Cox.

The transfer assures general admission to GCSU but not necessarily admission to a specific major that may have enrollment limitations. The GCSU advising staff will communicate with participants in the program periodically while they are enrolled at GSC to assist them in selecting an appropriate program of study.

GSC Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. C. Jeffery Knighton said, “We are very excited to be recommitting to our relationship with our higher education partner in Middle Georgia. This MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) is another great example of how, together, we are helping students prepare for meaningful, productive lives.”

Under the new honors program called the Honors Pathway to Georgia College, GSC honors students with a 3.5 or higher GPA will be guaranteed transfer admission to GCSU and to GCSU’s John E. Sallstrom Honors College with all of their GSC honors courses counting toward honors requirements at GCSU. In addition to GSC honors courses, GSC honors students transferring to GCSU must complete at least six credit hours of GCSU honors courses. GCSU will provide a one-time $100 book scholarship to GSC honors students transferring.

“Georgia College is excited to renew and celebrate this academic partnership with Gordon State College. The Highlander Pathway program will complement our Pathways to GC initiative which aims to support students in completing their undergraduate degree. We look forward to welcoming students from this program to Georgia College,” said GCSU Provost, Costas Spirou.

Highlander Pathways Agreement and the new Honors Pathway to Georgia College will be in effect starting spring semester of 2022.