GHC continues to hold second highest enrollment among state colleges in Georgia

students walking on campus

Georgia Highlands College (GHC) continues to lead the University System of Georgia’s (USG) state colleges in enrollment for fall 2019, according to the USG’s “Fall 2019 Semester Enrollment Report.” GHC holds the second highest enrollment for state colleges in Georgia next to Georgia Gwinnett College. 

According to the USG, fall 2019 enrollment in the USG’s 26 colleges and universities had an increase of 1.5 percent over the previous year. This continues a six-year trend of modest increases in student enrollment within USG. This fall also marks the fifth consecutive year of growth to reach an all-time high in the number of students enrolled in USG institutions. 

“Our overall purpose is to raise attainment levels for communities across Georgia, and the students at our 26 institutions are a critical part of that effort,” said Chancellor Steve Wrigley. “More of them than ever are enrolled on our campuses, and we have also seen a substantial rise in the number of students awarded degrees annually. Getting more Georgians through college to a degree improves not only their quality of life, but also Georgia’s economic competitiveness.” 

The enrollment numbers were released in the USG’s “Fall 2019 Semester Enrollment Report,” which breaks down enrollment by institution, class, race and ethnicity, in-state, out-of-state and international students, as well as gender and age. 

The full enrollment report is available here. 

GHC student club hosts GBI agent for professional crime scene investigation crash course for students

GBI agent on mock scene

Solving a murder doesn’t require a Gucci sweater vest and dramatic monologues, Special Agent Audey Murphy joked. The popular forensic show “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” gets some things right, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) agent said, but by and large, the real work is a long, hard and often gritty process.

GHC’s Political Science and Criminal Justice Club hosted a number of law enforcement officers this week to demonstrate how professional crime scene investigations take place in the field.

Murphy was accompanied by Floyd County Police Chief Mark Wallace and Major Jeff Jones, as well as Floyd County detectives. Murphy created a mock crime scene and walked students through the process of investigating a serious case like murder.

Crime Scene Specialists are required to attend ten-week programs with 170 hours of classwork and 230 hours of fieldwork. Murphy, who has been with the GBI for 21 years and working crime scenes for 17, gave a crash course on the kinds of topics covered in the more extensive program, like blood splatter analysis, technologies used in the field, and key indicators for determining how a crime happened.

Murphy explained that GBI agents use their specialized training and equipment to search for, identify and collect evidence to examine, interpret and preserve physical evidence discovered at crime scenes.

Sometimes this includes digitally reconstructing a crime scene with specialized camera equipment or mapping out bullet trajectories with lasers or using blood drops and splatters, shoe impressions and fingerprints to determine exactly how a crime took place.

Part of Murphy’s job also sees him guest lecturing and instructing for police academies and other educational and service organizations.

After the presentation concluded, students were able to use forensic field tools on the mock crime scene to practice what they had learned during the course.

The Floyd County Police Mobile Crime Scene Unit was also on display for students after the course.





GHC collaborates with TheatreExtreme to present ‘Introduction to Improv’

Georgia Highlands College is partnering with local non-profit TheatreExtreme to present an “Introduction to Improv” for students, faculty and staff.

The free event will be held on Wednesday, November 13 from 5:30 PM to 7 PM at GHC’s Cartersville site in room 102 of the student center.

During the event, TheatreExtreme will demonstrate several improv exercises. Audience members will also get the chance to participate on stage in a variety of roles.

The improvisational nature of the program means language and subject matter will be PG-13.

“Not only is improvisational comedy a fun and challenging way to grow communication skills, but it also supports many aspects of cognitive and social development,” Associate Professor Sean Callahan said. “I encourage anyone who thinks they are funny or has aspirations of becoming an actor or wants to practice being creative to come by and check it out.”

TheatreExtreme is a non-profit performance group founded in 2014 with a mission to promote the exploration of live theatre in new and creative ways throughout the Cartersville community.

Learn more about TheatreExtreme by visiting their Facebook page.

(Picture: Photo taken during one of TheatreExtreme’s events, as seen on their Facebook page). 

USG Highlights Ethical Culture Through Ethics Awareness Week

The University System of Georgia (USG) is committed to the highest ethical and professional standards of conduct in pursuit of its mission to create knowledge. Accomplishing this mission demands integrity, good judgment and dedication to public service from all members of the USG community. Annually, the USG highlights this commitment through an Ethics Awareness Week which is scheduled this year for November 11–17, 2019. The purpose of this week is to remind employees of our commitment to an ethical culture and our shared ethical values and expectations.

Chancellor Steve Wrigley has emphasized the importance of an ethical culture and how it is critical to the success of not only our institutions, but our employees, students, communities and ultimately how Georgia is educated.

Ethics Awareness Week is part of a comprehensive Ethics and Compliance Program.  This Program includes a system-level Ethics Policy and Code of Conduct, on-board ethics training, periodic ethics refresher training, compliance audits, special reviews and an Ethics and Compliance Reporting Hotline.

In support of this effort, Georgia Highlands College (GHC) will be hosting activities to build upon our ethical culture by promoting activities related to our system-wide shared core values of integrity, excellence, accountability and respect. We will emphasize that, in addition to our ethical values, our Code of Conduct is the foundation of the USG’s priorities of degree attainment, affordability and efficiency.

Activities during this week will bring awareness to ethics, reinforce the principles of recognizing the hard work of employees, and promote our shared values.  Our theme for this week is the “SPIRIT of USG.”  Activities planned will emphasize:

Stewardship. Prevention. Integrity. Responsibility. Inspiration. Trust.

As a part of GHC’s “Ethics Week” the week of November 11th, Georgia Highlands College’s Paulding site will be hosting a “Ethics in Business” panel discussion with community leaders.

The panel will be on November 12 from 12:30PM to 1:45PM in the historic courtroom at GHC’s Paulding site. The event is free and open to the public.

The panelists are:

  • Terrence Coursey – Corporate Relations Manager at United Way of Greater Atlanta, Former Army, Public Speaker, and active Paulding Community volunteer
  • Sgt. Ashley Henson – Public Information Officer for the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office, and member of the SWAT Team where he directs sniper operations
  • Dr. Richard La Fleur – Psychology Professor at University of West Georgia and active volunteer in his church community
  • Marores Perry – Director of the Paulding College & Career Academy, Director of CTAE: Career Pathways with Paulding County School District, and originally from Toledo, Spain

GHC will also have a “President’s Message and Ethics Policy Review” on Monday (Nov 11), an “Ethics Quiz” on Wednesday (Nov 13), another “Ethics Presentation” in Cartersville from 10am to 11am on Thursday (Nov 14) and a video called “Water” and a “Wellness Walk” on Friday (Nov 15).

For more information regarding the SPIRIT of USG activities, visit the

GHC expands night class offerings

guys in class

Starting spring 2020, Georgia Highlands College will extend classes being offered at night to students in Douglasville. The new classes will include college algebra, American history, English composition and physical science.

Each night class will take place on a different weekday and be available to students as a 6PM to 8:30PM class.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Dana Nichols explained that the addition in scheduling comes from a collaboration between each academic division working together to provide more options for GHC students.

“At GHC, we understand that today’s students often have to balance work and other responsibilities in conjunction with earning their degrees,” she said. “Our faculty continue to design course scheduling options that are convenient and that allow students to complete their degrees in a timely manner.”

For reference, here’s an example of a 12-credit-hour schedule with the new night classes in Douglasville:

MATH 1111

Monday 6-8:30PM


HIST 2111

Tuesday 6-8:30PM


ENGL 1102

Wednesday 6-8:30PM


PHSC 1011K

Thursday 6-8:30PM

The new night classes in Douglasville will begin spring 2020. The deadline to apply for spring is December 1.

Learn more at


GHC offers new priority admissions deadline for spring semester

student in library

Prospective Georgia Highlands College students can now apply, enroll and register for classes sooner than ever before.

Students interested in taking courses in spring 2020 can submit their applications and necessary documents by November 1, 2019 to receive priority processing.

“The earlier students apply and submit their documentation, the faster each student can be processed and admitted,” said Maggie Schuyler, GHC director of admissions. “And the earlier they are admitted, the earlier they can attend orientation and get registered for classes.”

Schuyler hopes that the priority deadline will encourage earlier applications, expediting the application processing time for students who want to lock in the classes they want for the coming semester.

The traditional spring application deadline remains December 1, 2019.

A priority deadline will also be made available for upcoming semesters. March 1, 2020 will be the priority deadline for summer admission while April 1, 2020 will be the priority deadline for fall admission.

Learn more or apply online today at

Info sessions offered for prospective GHC nursing students

nursing students

Georgia Highlands College nursing faculty and staff are hosting information sessions for anyone interested in learning more about GHC’s nursing program.

The sessions will cover the application process and course requirements while also giving attendees the chance to tour nursing classrooms and the simulation lab.

Each session will be held in room 233 at GHC’s Heritage Hall site in Rome from 6 PM to 7 PM.

Session dates:

  • Thursday, November 14, 2019
  • Thursday, February 6, 2020
  • Thursday, March 5, 2020

Anyone considering admission to the nursing program for fall 2020 is strongly encouraged to attend a session.

Applications for fall 2020 admission open in January. The deadline for fall 2020 admission is April 1, 2020.

For more information about the sessions or GHC’s nursing program, visit or contact Chance Hooper at

Free fall festival at GHC’s Cartersville site this Saturday hosted by Phi Theta Kappa student group

ghc logo box

Georgia Highlands College’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) chapter will be hosting a fall festival on Saturday, October 26. The festival will be held at GHC’s Cartersville location from 11 AM to 3 PM.

The event is free and open to the public.

Highlights of the festival include a costume contest, trick-or-treating, face painting, a bounce house, a hayride and a pie eating contest. Cotton candy, popcorn and hot chocolate will also be offered.

Guests will have the chance to tour GHC’s new STEAM building while visiting, as well.

“Our hopes are that this festival will not only create a great fellowship opportunity for our GHC students and the community but that it will also bring more attention to GHC and our Cartersville site, especially the new STEAM building,” said Karen Huggin, PTK advisor.

PTK, an international honor society, is one of GHC’s many award-winning student organizations. Learn more about GHC at

PTK student poster:

Bachelor’s in business students at GHC take on historic Cartersville building for service learning project

the bandy building

Georgia Highlands College’s business administration program is looking to the past to give students the hands-on experience they need to take charge of their futures. For this year’s annual community service learning project, students have been charged with creating a comprehensive business plan for Cartersville’s historic Bandy Building.

In 1940, the tufted textile industry was booming across Northwest Georgia. Bartow County resident and business leader B.J. Bandy worked to meet the growing demand for tufted robes, rugs and other products by expanding his business, Bartow Textiles, with the construction of what was reportedly the largest chenille factory in the world, the Bandy Building.

Today, the 47,000-square-foot historic Bandy Building is owned by John Lewis of John S. Lewis Property Management. Lewis, a developer and property manager, has restored more than 30 offices and buildings in downtown Cartersville, earning him the Georgia Cities Foundation’s Renaissance Award in 2012. Lewis hopes to further renovate and repurpose the Bandy Building, which is currently home to a salon, an art studio and a photography studio.

The collaboration between John Lewis and GHC came about when Joseph Slattery, founder and CEO of Slattery Company, reached out to the GHC’s business program looking for interns. Mecole Ledbetter, program coordinator, thought Slattery’s ideas would be a great fit for GHC’s operations management portion of the bachelor’s in business program.

“Through our discussion, I realized that this project would require more than just an intern or two, but rather a full class that could adopt this as a hands-on, learning and execution project,” Ledbetter said.

The learning project has now taken shape as the main focus of this semester’s operations management course at GHC led by Professor Denie Burks.

“The project will allow students to better understand the management processes and how they work together and independently,” Burks said. “It will require teamwork and collaboration, communication and brainstorming, as well as patience and respect for each person’s individual opinion and input.”

Trent Mull, a business student at GHC, is up for the challenge presented by the Bandy Building project.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for us as a cohort to have real world application of the skills that we are learning in our classes,” Mull said. “I believe I speak for the cohort when I say that we are excited, we are determined and we are honored to be given the opportunity to hopefully give the people of Cartersville and the surrounding area a building they can be proud of.”

Slattery is also hopeful that both GHC students and the Cartersville community as a whole will benefit for the innovative class assignment.

“While most similar college projects are conceptual in nature, John Lewis has presented GHC with a hands-on opportunity that if effectively applied will produce benefits for the students, GHC, John S. Lewis Property Management, the City of Cartersville and Bartow County,” he said.

Learn more about GHC and the four-year business program at

PHOTO: Bandy Building in 1945, Photo credit: Bartow History Museum

AJC: Redshirt GHC baseball player inspires other female baseball players


As seen in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

More young female players unwilling to give up beloved sport for softball

By Helena Oliviero

Ashton Lansdell, 18, steps to the plate at a baseball field in Emerson, Georgia, on a warm fall afternoon. She’s already walked and stolen a base.

Her teammates shout their support from the dugout to pump her up.

He’s scared of you, Ashton.

Here it comes. Don’t miss it.

Goodbye, ball!

Facing pitches nearing 90 miles per hour, Ashton shows patience. She draws another walk and advances to first base.

At first glance, this Georgia Highlands College baseball intrasquad scrimmage is not particularly significant. There are no fans in the bleachers. And the coach ends the game in the seventh inning because a pitcher feels tenderness in his throwing arm.

And yet, Ashton, who started playing baseball at age 4 and has been a solid player at every youth level, sometimes a star, is making history once again on this picture-perfect baseball field about 10 miles northwest of Kennesaw. The young Marietta woman is the first female player on the Georgia Highlands baseball team, an NJCAA Division I program. Ashton is also believed to be the first girl to start a varsity game as a pitcher at Wheeler High School, known for perennially strong sports programs. And last year, at only 17, she landed a spot on the roster for the USA Baseball Women’s National Team.

“I’ve always loved the game of baseball,” said Ashton. “Everything is faster and more competitive in the next levels, and no matter how fast or how hard it is, it doesn’t change my mind of whether I want to play or not.”

Ashton is part of a tiny but growing group of girls in Georgia and across the country determined to play baseball and search for ways to keep playing when they reach their teen years — and beyond. And while the number of girls playing baseball remains small, they are determined to break the gender barrier, even as they age, and it becomes increasingly challenging to keep playing.

While you see the occasional girl playing Little League, nearly all of them who want to continue playing ball get channeled into softball, in part because that’s where scholarships are.

Girls and boys play tennis, soccer and basketball. They both run marathons. But when it comes to baseball, the conventional wisdom has been boys play baseball, girls play softball.

But softball is a distinct sport with different pitching — often underhanded with a windmill-style motion, different balls (softballs are larger), different sized fields, different equipment, even different rules of the game.

Biology plays a role. Boys, especially older boys, often have an edge over girls in size and strength, allowing them to throw faster and swing harder. But girls will say the toughest obstacles are against stereotypes — that baseball is only for boy.


A deep love of the game

Ashton started playing baseball when she was 4, tossing plastic balls, swinging a tiny wood bat in her family’s yard. From the start, she was making easy contact with the ball. Her parents could tell their older child, and only daughter, had exceptionally good hand-eye coordination. And she was fast, too.

She hit a home run at her first at bat at her very first T-ball game. By the time she was 10, she was on a competitive traveling team.

Ashton said she rarely heard snide comments about her playing baseball — and when she did, they came from players on other teams, not from her teammates.

At least one softball coach tried to recruit Ashton to play softball. And when she was 12, she acquiesced — to one practice. She didn’t like the smaller field, larger ball, underhanded pitch.

“I tried it but wasn’t feeling it,” said Ashton. “It’s just so different than baseball. It’s like comparing pingpong to tennis.”

Dash O’Neill, the head coach for the Georgia Highlands baseball team, recalled the moment he attended one of Ashton’s games earlier this year to evaluate her.

“She reached out to me like other players and asked for an opportunity,” said O’Neill, who also coached at Chattahoochee Valley Community College for several years. O’Neill has helped over 190 players advance to four-year institutions, as well as helped produce 16 players drafted by MLB teams.

He was impressed. She threw the ball well. She was fast. A good defender.

“She’s very tough mentally,” he added. She wasn’t a token girl on the field. She looked like she belonged.

“To me, the part that she is a woman was not part of the equation. I saw a baseball player who wanted to play,” Georgia Highlands College baseball coach Dash O’Neill says of redshirt freshman Ashton Lansdell.

While he recognizes Ashton’s trying to accomplish at a high level, something very few women have achieved, he emphasized the following point repeatedly: “To me, the part that she is a woman was not part of the equation. I saw a baseball player who wanted to play.”

O’Neill encouraged Ashton, currently playing second base, to sit out this season as a redshirt to adapt to the increased speed of the game. Ashton agreed, saying she will use the year to develop. Redshirting college athletes is a way for coaches to give players more time to develop before getting on the field or court without having to lose any of their eligibility.