GHC libraries expand resources for fall semester

As students prepare to head back to campus, Georgia Highlands College’s library system is hard at work to provide additional resources to help enhance the numerous education options being offered.

GHC will have in-person, remote, and hybrid options available for classes this fall, and students who want to start may still apply by August 14 for fall classes.

One area in particular that GHC’s libraries will be utilizing this fall is computer technology, which is expected to see an uptick in use as students engage in the wide-ranging class formats.

“It has always been deeply engrained in the field of library and information science to provide tools, knowledge and technology to support student learning in all modalities,” Dean of Libraries and College Testing Julius Fleschner said. “At GHC, the libraries have paid a great deal of attention to our physical layout to make it as conducive to student learning as possible.”

Fleschner explained that in addition to the well-known resources provided by GHC’s libraries, such as books or periodicals, access to computers and laptop rentals will help students this semester have the tools they need for a successful semester at GHC.

Beyond expanding resources, the libraries are also implementing safety measures for the fall semester, including a new “Grab and Go” system.

“Students will use our Grab and Go system to request books. Essentially, they will make a digital request and we will have it processed for them to pick up in a couple days,” Fleschner said. “Students can also request research help via library chat on our website or in a D2L discussion forum. To help educate our community about these changes, a video tutorial will be emailed out to all students and GHC employees.”

Fleschner said the libraries’ efforts have been very successful and have resulted in more engagement from students and faculty thanks to resources such as Kanopy, an on-demand video streaming service.

“One great thing that happened since the rapid shift to remote instruction is that our online resources have seen an increase in usage,” Fleschner said.

“All of this work could not happen without dedicated individuals in the libraries. Everyone has taken this moment as an opportunity to rethink what we do, how we do it, and why it gets done,” Fleschner said. “This has led us to develop new and innovative tools to reach our patrons.”

Students can learn more about the library services by visiting “My GHC Library” in D2L. For more information on GHC’s return to campus this fall, please visit chargeahead.highlands.edu

 


August 12 Update – Return to Campus

A Message from President Don Green:

I wanted to take this time to thank you for your patience and determination as we move forward into a new semester at Georgia Highlands College.

Our goal is to Charge Ahead with each of you safely while helping you work toward degree completion and your graduation goals.

Please watch this “Return to Campus” video to learn more about how we can all work together to continue Taking Charge of the future at GHC.

You can find additional details about GHC’s Return to Campus Guidelinesthe Fall 2020 Class Options, and the increased Health and Safety Measures across all our locations by visiting chargeahead.highlands.edu


GHC ranks high in national reviews, still time to apply for fall

Although Georgia Highlands College has long been known for its value, the college was recently ranked by several national outlets for its affordability, accessibility and the quality of its programs. And students looking to start this fall still have time if they apply before the extended deadline of August 14.

GHC was featured on three different college ranking sites, including UniversityHQ, College Total, and EduMed.

GHC was ranked in the UniversityHQ’s Top 50 Colleges and Universities with Low Tuition Costs; landed in the top three in College Total’s “Most Affordable Online Colleges” list; and ranked on EduMed’s list for the best online dental hygiene programs.

According to UniversityHQ, “While the primary criterion was the lowest tuition cost, we looked at other aspects that made the schools special, unique and beneficial to students.”

College Total echoed this detail when reviewing colleges for its list.

“Our team analyzed various components when ranking the best online colleges in Georgia,” College Total said on its website. “Some of the components we looked at included retention rates, graduation rates, and percentage of students that are taking online classes. While those were all important components to finding the best online colleges in Georgia, our team looked at numerous other components throughout the ranking process.”

GHC and each of the University System of Georgia (USG) institutions are proceeding with a return to campus for the upcoming fall semester set to kick off in August should guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health allow it.

GHC faculty have adapted fall classes to fit a number of variations for students to choose from, which are detailed below and in this video.

Fall 2020 Class Options:

  • In-person: Classes meet on the days and times listed in “Course Offerings” at the location detailed. Social distancing measures are in place, so the class size will be smaller so students can spread out.
  • Hybrid: Classes meet in person on the day, time, and location listed in “Course Offerings,” and there is also a required online component, typically delivered via D2L (an online student learning platform).
  • Web-Based: Classes do not meet at a designated location or time. Students log-in to D2L to complete coursework. Students should be motivated and great at time-management. Much of the work is self-paced, but assignments and assessments must be completed by due dates outlined in the course syllabus.
  • eClassroom: Classes meet live online on the day and time listed in “Course Offerings.” Students must use GHC’s Zoom web meeting system, which is a free application that can be accessed via a computer, tablet, or phone.
  • eCore/eMajor: Online classes that are offered through a partnership with the USG and are taught by faculty from various institutions in the USG.

Additional information and details about these types of classes can be found by visiting GHC’s Return to Campus page at chargeahead.highlands.edu and clicking “Fall 2020 Class Options.” Guidelines for returning to campus as well as additional measures GHC is taking can also be found on this site.


July 30 Update – GHC creates flexible class options, extra health and safety measures ahead of return to campus in August

Students at Georgia Highlands College (GHC) will have a number of options to choose from when taking classes during the upcoming fall semester, including both online and in-person as well as hybrid formats, depending on the student’s preference. Additionally, GHC has posted new guidelines and taken extra health and safety measures to ensure students and employees can proceed with the fall semester while continuing to help stem the spread of the coronavirus in Georgia.

GHC and each of the University System of Georgia (USG) institutions are proceeding with a return to campus for the upcoming fall semester set to kick off in August should guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health allow it.

GHC faculty have adapted fall classes to fit a number of variations for students to choose from.

Fall 2020 Class Options:

  • In-person: Classes meet on the days and times listed in “Course Offerings” at the location detailed. Social distancing measures are in place, so the class size will be smaller so students can spread out.
  • Hybrid: Classes meet in person on the day, time, and location listed in “Course Offerings,” and there is also a required online component, typically delivered via D2L (an online student learning platform).
  • Web-Based: Classes do not meet at a designated location or time. Students log-in to D2L to complete coursework. Students should be motivated and great at time-management. Much of the work is self-paced, but assignments and assessments must be completed by due dates outlined in the course syllabus.
  • eClassroom: Classes meet live online on the day and time listed in “Course Offerings.” Students must use GHC’s Zoom web meeting system, which is a free application that can be accessed via a computer, tablet, or phone.
  • eCore/eMajor: Online classes that are offered through a partnership with the USG and are taught by faculty from various institutions in the USG.

Additional information and details about these types of classes can be found by visiting GHC’s Return to Campus page at chargeahead.highlands.edu and clicking “Fall 2020 Class Options.” Guidelines for returning to campus as well as additional measures GHC is taking can also be found on this site.

“We understand the COVID-19 situation is fluid and we will continue to work with the University System of Georgia in relying on expertise and guidance from the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force, the Georgia Department of Public Health, and the CDC,” GHC President Don Green said. “Our full return to campus will require patience, adaptation to change, and deliberate implementation as we move forward.”

“The highest priority in our plan to return will remain the health and safety of our students, employees, and community,” Green added, “as well as our mission to graduate our students.”

GHC has also taken extra health and safety measures at each of its locations, including providing access to over 7,000 cloth masks for students and employees and nearly 300 clear masks and face shields for classroom instructors; an additional 750,000 disinfectant wipes for increased cleaning, including disinfectant spray bottles and wipes for exercise facilities; plexiglass stations in main offices; increased sanitizer stations; extra nightly cleaning measures including the use of disinfectant foggers on restrooms, hallways, and classrooms; and much more. GHC will continue to evaluate and add more health and safety measures as needed throughout the semester.

Additionally, all USG institutions will require all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings where six feet social distancing may not always be possible. Face covering use will be in addition to and is not a substitute for social distancing.

Face coverings are not required when alone in an enclosed office or study room or in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met.

Anyone not using a face covering when required will be asked to wear one or must leave the area. Repeated refusal to comply with the requirement may result in discipline through the applicable conduct code for faculty, staff or students.

Reasonable accommodations may be made for those who are unable to wear a face covering for documented health reasons.

You can learn more about the details regarding face covering at usg.edu/coronavirus

Note: All USG institutions switched to remote delivery for courses in March and continued this way for the remainder of the spring and summer semesters to help stem the spread of the coronavirus. Please visit GHC’s information and resource page, which includes FAQs for prospective students, current students, and employees and is reviewed and updated frequently.


GHC creates flexible class options, extra health and safety measures ahead of return to campus in August

Students at Georgia Highlands College (GHC) will have a number of options to choose from when taking classes during the upcoming fall semester, including both online and in-person as well as hybrid formats, depending on the student’s preference. Additionally, GHC has posted new guidelines and taken extra health and safety measures to ensure students and employees can proceed with the fall semester while continuing to help stem the spread of the coronavirus in Georgia.

GHC and each of the University System of Georgia (USG) institutions are proceeding with a return to campus for the upcoming fall semester set to kick off in August should guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health allow it.

GHC faculty have adapted fall classes to fit a number of variations for students to choose from.

Fall 2020 Class Options:

  • In-person: Classes meet on the days and times listed in “Course Offerings” at the location detailed. Social distancing measures are in place, so the class size will be smaller so students can spread out.
  • Hybrid: Classes meet in person on the day, time, and location listed in “Course Offerings,” and there is also a required online component, typically delivered via D2L (an online student learning platform).
  • Web-Based: Classes do not meet at a designated location or time. Students log-in to D2L to complete coursework. Students should be motivated and great at time-management. Much of the work is self-paced, but assignments and assessments must be completed by due dates outlined in the course syllabus.
  • eClassroom: Classes meet live online on the day and time listed in “Course Offerings.” Students must use GHC’s Zoom web meeting system, which is a free application that can be accessed via a computer, tablet, or phone.
  • eCore/eMajor: Online classes that are offered through a partnership with the USG and are taught by faculty from various institutions in the USG.

Additional information and details about these types of classes can be found by visiting GHC’s Return to Campus page at chargeahead.highlands.edu and clicking “Fall 2020 Class Options.” Guidelines for returning to campus as well as additional measures GHC is taking can also be found on this site.

“We understand the COVID-19 situation is fluid and we will continue to work with the University System of Georgia in relying on expertise and guidance from the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force, the Georgia Department of Public Health, and the CDC,” GHC President Don Green said. “Our full return to campus will require patience, adaptation to change, and deliberate implementation as we move forward.”

“The highest priority in our plan to return will remain the health and safety of our students, employees, and community,” Green added, “as well as our mission to graduate our students.”

GHC has also taken extra health and safety measures at each of its locations, including providing access to over 7,000 cloth masks for students and employees and nearly 300 clear masks and face shields for classroom instructors; an additional 750,000 disinfectant wipes for increased cleaning, including disinfectant spray bottles and wipes for exercise facilities; plexiglass stations in main offices; increased sanitizer stations; extra nightly cleaning measures including the use of disinfectant foggers on restrooms, hallways, and classrooms; and much more. GHC will continue to evaluate and add more health and safety measures as needed throughout the semester.

Additionally, all USG institutions will require all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings where six feet social distancing may not always be possible. Face covering use will be in addition to and is not a substitute for social distancing.

Face coverings are not required when alone in an enclosed office or study room or in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met.

Anyone not using a face covering when required will be asked to wear one or must leave the area. Repeated refusal to comply with the requirement may result in discipline through the applicable conduct code for faculty, staff or students.

Reasonable accommodations may be made for those who are unable to wear a face covering for documented health reasons.

You can learn more about the details regarding face covering at usg.edu/coronavirus

Note: All USG institutions switched to remote delivery for courses in March and continued this way for the remainder of the spring and summer semesters to help stem the spread of the coronavirus. Please visit GHC’s information and resource page, which includes FAQs for prospective students, current students, and employees and is reviewed and updated frequently.


GHC launches new application to keep students safe online

Georgia Highlands College (GHC) will utilize Duo Security for student accounts starting in August. Duo is a multi-factor authentication service that protects accounts from malicious activities like hacking and identity theft.

GHC will require the use of Duo Security for student accounts beginning on August 1st, 2020.

“This service will enhance the security of student email, D2L and Zoom accounts by requiring a second form of authentication in addition to a password when those systems are accessed,” GHC Information Security Officer Ian Fleming said. “GHC will be rolling out Single Sign-On services with Duo to more of our systems, such as SCORE, in the near future.”

GHC’s Information Security Program worked in consultation with the University System of Georgia’s Department of Cybersecurity and has determined that systems relying solely on a username and password (known as single sign-on) for authentication are increasingly at risk of compromise from social engineering attacks and weak password selections by their users.

“Securing information and information systems is an important responsibility for all USG institutions,” Fleming said. “GHC faculty and staff are already using Duo to protect their accounts. Based on their feedback, we’ve developed a comprehensive knowledge base about Duo, how to use it, and how it works to protect you.”

Fleming stated more information about Duo can be found at sites.highlands.edu/information-technology/duo/

Duo utilizes several ways to authenticate signing into a GHC account, including a text message or phone call, a push notification using the Duo Mobile app on a compatible smartphone, a six-digit passcode that appears in the Duo Mobile app on a compatible smartphone, or a physical U2F Security Key, such as a Yubico Security Key, connected to a computer.

Students can enroll in Duo today by visiting duoportal.highlands.edu


More than 100 high school students from Polk County have graduated with college credit from GHC

Over 100 high school students have enrolled in Georgia Highlands College’s Dual Enrollment program in Polk County and graduated while gaining college credit thanks to a partnership between GHC and the Polk County School District.

“Over the past five years, the partnership between the Polk School District and Georgia Highlands College has proven to be a tremendous asset for the students we serve and the Polk County community as a whole,” Katherine Thomas, who serves as Assistant Superintendent of Innovation and Learning for Polk School District and the Chief Executive Officer of Polk Career Academy, said. “Throughout our partnership, 110 students have taken Dual Enrollment courses with Georgia Highlands College. Of these students, 39 students completed an Associate Degree in General Studies two weeks before they graduated from their respective high school.”

An additional 23 students are on track to graduate for the 2020-2021 school year.

“The value of this program is derived from the exposure, the opportunity, and the experience that our students are afforded through participating in the Dual Enrollment program,” Thomas said. “One of the main areas our program focuses on is the transition from secondary to post-secondary. So often students struggle with the transition to the post-secondary expectation.”

Dual Enrollment is a cost-effective way for students to earn college credit and allows students to get a jump start on their college degree.

“Tuition costs are covered by the state, which is a very cost-effective way for students to earn college credits, especially since the cost of education keeps increasing,” GHC Director of Admissions Maggie Schuyler said. “Dual Enrollment allows students to experience college and develop good study habits before they start college full time. Earning dual-enrollment credits often times helps also students’ confidence and aid in the transition from high school to a full-time college student. It is very helpful for first-generation college students.”

She continued, “We have also seen that students earning college credit through the Dual Enrollment program can help ensure that the students will graduate from college on time — if not early.”

Thomas said the partnership allows Polk schools to provide an extra layer of support for students during this time in their educational career. She said students not only gain exposure to high rigor college coursework, they also walk away with invaluable experience in the form of understanding collegiate terminology, increased student responsibility and accountability, proficiently navigating online resources and more.

“Many of these factors often play a large role in student success when transitioning to the post-secondary environment,” Thomas said. “In this sense, our students are not simply ‘getting ahead,’ they are coming away from their secondary experience fully equipped with the resources and knowledge they need to be successful at the post-secondary level.”

She said throughout the life of the partnership, Polk schools have been witness to numerous positive outcomes with regard to students that participate in the Dual Enrollment program.

“In today’s educational environment, it has become clear that there does not exist a singular approach that fits every students’ needs and aspirations,” Thomas said. “Dual Enrollment provides opportunities for our students that cannot be provided at the secondary level alone. Many of our students go into their senior year with only one or two courses needed to complete their high school graduation requirements. Dual Enrollment courses allow students to take advantage of this time.”

She continued, “By exposing these students to the higher-level expectation at the collegiate level they are not simply earning college credit, saving money and time, or getting ahead in their educational career. These students are able to begin their first year of college in an environment that is strictly focused on aiding them in the transition from high school to college.”

Georgia Highlands College offers Dual Enrollment courses on-campus and online. The college also partners with some area school districts to offer GHC courses at local high schools. For more information on Dual Enrollment, please visit highlands.edu

 


Graduate’s persistence to complete amid challenges of COVID-19 symbolizes the spirit of GHC’s 50th graduating class

As students at Georgia Highlands College (GHC) worked toward graduation this spring semester, the novel COVID-19 virus created a unique situation for students across all programs of study. However, through their resilience, more than 1,000 students are set to be highlighted in the upcoming virtual commencement.

The pre-recorded 2020 Virtual Commencement Ceremony will be available for viewing on July 25th at 10AM. The virtual nursing pinning will be available for viewing on July 24th at 10AM.

Taniesha Harrison is one of the combined 119 students who have graduated with either an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Following the completion of her ASN, Harrison has been accepted into the college’s BSN program.

“I want people to know that it is never too late to follow your dreams,” Harrison said.

Through the hard work of her instructors and academic advisor, Harrison said she was able to easily make the switch from in-person classes to the virtual face-to-face classes during GHC’s change to remote delivery to help stem the spread of the coronavirus this spring and summer.

“The transition to remote learning was smooth and the staff were very helpful,” Harrison said, adding that faculty and staff began providing information about how to handle transition early on. She specifically cited recently retired Director of Nursing and Professor Rebecca Maddox, who she said called her personally to make sure she had the proper equipment for remote learning and testing.

“The teachers researched all the online interactive clinical simulation and they ended up picking i-Human, which was great,” Harrison said. “It was easy to navigate through, and if you had any issues they were right there to help. By them finding this program, it helped us to graduate on time because the board of nursing accepted this instead of doing our preceptorship hours.”

Harrison, who lives in Acworth and has attended classes on both the Rome campus and the Cartersville site, faced numerous obstacles working toward her education in the era of COVID-19. Despite these difficulties, she said GHC provided options and assistance to help her reach her goals and continue her education.

Harrison previously served as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) for two years and as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) for 10 years. She said her next goal is to become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner.

Georgia Highlands College will host its 50th commencement virtually on July 25. For more information about upcoming virtual events and programs of study, please visit highlands.edu.


GHC’s criminal justice program sees first graduate during college’s 50th anniversary

The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program at Georgia Highlands College, which began in 2019, is celebrating its first graduate, Richey Harrell. Harrell’s accomplishment coincides with the college’s 50th graduation commencement, which will be celebrated virtually on July 25.

“I had been involved in law enforcement for 25 years when I decided it was time to pursue my goal of obtaining a college degree,” Harrell Said. “After reaching out to my friend and Criminal Justice Professor Randy Green, I decided to begin my journey. My first goal was to obtain my associate degree in criminal justice with the plan to continue after that to obtain my bachelor’s. My ultimate end goal is to obtain my master’s degree and become a professor of criminal justice at GHC.”

Harrell said while obtaining his associate degree, he joined Phi Theta Kappa and was an honorary member of the Criminal Justice Club.

“I chose to attend GHC because of the reputation of the faculty and staff at the college,” Harrell said. “Dr. Greg Sumner and Professor Randy Green were instrumental in that decision due to their experience in the criminal justice field. I feel it is important for the professors that are leading the student to be experienced in the field and both of these gentlemen are not only well respected in academia but also in their respective law enforcement careers. This was a huge impact on my decision to attend GHC.”

For Harrell, enrolling at GHC provided him an opportunity to meet both a personal goal and to become an inspiration to others working to meet their goals.

“My decision to attend college was as a result of regrets that I had in my personal life,” Harrell said. “I was 50 years old and very happy in my career but regretted not attending college. I wanted to not only do this for myself, but also to set an example for the deputies that I worked with on a daily basis. I wanted them to see that if an older person could take on this challenge that it is also an achievable goal for them as well.”

Criminal Justice Professor Greg Sumner said the program is a great option for those seeking to grow and advance their career options at the entry level or while working for a law enforcement agency.

“The need for more officers with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree has continued to grow, meaning more law enforcement agencies are requiring a bachelor’s degree to obtain executive level ranks to include Chief of Police,” Sumner said. “The International and Georgia Associations of Chiefs of Police both recommend any agency hiring a Chief of Police to hire someone with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, preferably in criminal justice.”

In addition to all courses being eight weeks in length and being offered online, students have full access to GHC facilities as well as instructors for on-campus and online conferencing. The program also offers college credit through the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) for law enforcement officers and prior military.

“Students enrolled in the program have a dedicated advisor to assist them with course registration and long-range planning,” Online Advising Coordinator and eMajor Liaison Leslie Terrell-Payne said. “Our Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree is well below the average cost for an online degree program compared to many of the top schools providing similar programs. Tuition is just $199 per credit hour, while most online programs charge $300 per credit hour and higher.”

Currently, the program enrolls more than 40 students and is growing due to its popularity and job outlook.

“This program has great support from GHC and the University System of Georgia,” Sumner said. “It has great faculty who have a passion to help and inspire our students to obtain a bachelor’s degree and make positive changes in the field of criminal justice. There is no better time than now to further your education; our communities are relying upon it.”

The program is being offered completely online at Georgia Highlands College, as a part of the University System of Georgia (USG) eMajor initiative.

The USG eMajor program has delivered flexible, online degree programs through multiple USG institutions since 2012. The purpose of eMajor is to provide affordable, quality, innovative, high-demand programs through traditional institutions, such as GHC.

“eMajor degrees are designed specifically for non-traditional students and include several benefits and student success resources in addition to those already available through GHC,” GHC Vice President for Academic Affairs Dana Nichols said. “eMajor programs are ideal for those who need to balance work and family responsibilities with their pursuit of higher education.”

For more information on the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program, please visit https://sites.highlands.edu/criminal-justice/

 


New pathway in sports management opens up career possibilities for GHC students

Georgia Highlands College is now providing students an opportunity to enter the growing world of sports management by introducing the Sports Management Pathway this fall.

Students can start this pathway in August by applying before the July 15th fall deadline.

“This program was developed to meet a growing need of professionals that are interested in a career in business and sports/fitness,” Department Chair of Kinesiology and Wellness Lisa Jellum said. “This pathway allows for graduates to pursue a career in sports taking on a multitude of roles, including a coach, booking agent, event coordinator, fitness professional, facilities manager, sport marketing professional, sales coordinator, or serving in guest relations.”

Sports management is more than professional athletes and ball games. It’s a big business full of huge budget decisions and complex negotiations in which managers will need to draw on their knowledge of health, fitness, business and law. Graduates of the Sports Management Pathway may go on to organize the Super Bowl, work for the New York Yankees, or build a facility plan for a major college or university. Other graduates, for example, may seek to oversee and manage their local city’s youth basketball league or recreation department.

“Getting a degree in Sports Management is a great move for people wanting to be involved with both the business side of the field, including marketing, management and ownership, as well as sports and recreation,” Jellum said. “There are lucrative job opportunities for people in this field of study.”

Sport management calls for the combination of skills related to planning, organizing, directing, controlling, budgeting, leading and evaluating within the context of an organization or department whose primary product or service is related to sport or physical activity.

Students who complete the pathway will be prepared to continue their education and expand their career opportunities by transferring into bachelor programs in areas such as Sports Management, Recreation Administration, Fitness Leadership, Outdoor Recreation Management, or Leisure Studies.

The pathway may be completed in two years.

For more information on the Sports Management Pathway, visit https://www.highlands.edu/areas-of-study/sports-management-pathway/