New country music documentary series from Ken Burns to be screened at GHC’s Cartersville library

Georgia Highlands College’s Cartersville library has partnered with Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) to give visitors a sneak peek at “Country Music,” a new documentary series from award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns before it premieres on television.

Attendees will have the opportunity to watch an abridged one-hour episode from the series on September 9 at 2:30 PM at GHC’s Cartersville library.

“Country Music” is an eight-part, 16-hour series that follows the evolution of the genre over the course of the 20th century as it eventually emerges to become “America’s music.”

“At the heart of every great country music song is a story,” said Ken Burns. “As the songwriter Harlan Howard said, ‘It’s three chords and the truth.’ The common experiences and human emotions speak to each of us about love and loss, about hard times and the chance of redemption. As an art form, country music is also forever revisiting its history, sharing and updating old classics and celebrating its roots, which are, in many ways, foundational to our country itself.”

The screening will be followed by a brief lecture from Professor Frank Minor, one of GHC’s most senior faculty members. Minor, a country music expert, will also lead a Q&A discussion after his talk.

GHC’s Cartersville library is excited to host the event.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for GHC to partner with GPB and offer an enriching, educational event to visitors,” Campus Librarian Jessica Osborne said. “It’s going to be both educational and entertaining.”

Burns has captivated American audiences for nearly 30 years with his groundbreaking documentary series on topics ranging from baseball and jazz to the Civil War and the Prohibition era. On this latest project, he’s teamed up with his long-time film collaborators Dayton Duncan and Julie Dunfey to chronicle the history of another facet of American life: country music.

“Country Music” will officially premiere on PBS on September 15, 2019.




GHC’s Douglasville library partners with Douglasville Public Library for genealogy series

book and building

Georgia Highlands College’s Douglasville library and the Douglas County Public Library are teaming up to present a four-part series of public events exploring genealogy, family health history and genetics.

“We know that many people are interested in doing research on their family history, but may not know how to begin, so we wanted to give them an introduction,” says Shanna Freeman, reference associate with the Douglas County Public Library .

The series kicks off with a book discussion at GHC’s Douglasville library on September 12. Attendees will discuss “It’s All Relative” by A.J. Jacobs. Free copies of the book will be available at both libraries in advance of the discussion, while supplies last.

On October 10, the series will continue at the Douglas County Public Library with a tour of the library’s special collection room and a talk from a genealogy expert. The series will return to GHC’s Douglasville Library on November 14 for a movie about genetic genealogy.

The final event in the series will be an open discussion on genealogy topics, including Jacobs’ book, sharing resources and more, to be held on December 12 at the Douglas County Public Library.

All four events in the family history series will run from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM on the second Thursday of the month.

The series is sponsored by a partnership between the National Network of Libraries of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us research program.

GHC’s Douglasville library is located at 5901 Stewart Parkway, Douglasville, GA, 30135. The Douglasville Public Library is at 6810 Selman Dr, Douglasville, GA, 30134.

For more information, contact GHC Librarian Karin Bennedsen at 678-872-4237 or Douglas County Public Library Reference Associate Shanna Freeman at 770-920-7125.

GHC launches new initiatives for student success

don leading workshop

With the goal of educating each and every student completely, Georgia Highlands College is introducing two new campaigns to help students succeed in college – and save money while doing it.

The first initiative, Student Success Workshops, rolled out during the first weeks of classes for the fall semester. Designed as a two-part series, these innovative workshops include practical study tips, like making lists and disconnecting from electronic devices, along with more holistic suggestions like self-care and self-determination.

GHC President Don Green led the first workshop, “Preparing to Be Successful,” across all five GHC locations. Beginning September 4, he will be presenting the second session, “Classroom Strategies,” twice at each GHC location.

The workshops are part of an ongoing effort to help students take ownership of their academic success.

“It’s important at GHC that we continually focus on the whole student, which includes helping our students with financial planning, adopting proven techniques and strategies that promote success, and being prepared on a career pathway toward a degree leading to as little debt as possible after graduating.” Green said. “The more we can help students develop and grow at GHC, the greater the positive impact GHC’s graduates will have in our communities in the future.”

With that goal in mind, the college has also created a series of videos designed to help students and families understand complex topics like how to avoid student loan debt. The video series called “Cut College Costs in 60 Seconds” breaks each subject down into entertaining and easy to understand animations.

The videos offer practical steps toward saving money on college, like completing a FAFSA each year or taking a full course load each semester to minimize fees. The money-saving tips in each video are not GHC specific, so students across the state and nation can apply the practices to maximize their return on their college investment.

View all the videos online at or learn more about GHC’s student success initiatives by visiting

GHC Soccer Club kicks off new year with men’s team promoted to full membership in the SCSA

When the men’s team of Georgia Highlands College’s Soccer Club takes the field against Dalton State College in their first home game of the season on September 7, they’ll be doing so as an official member of the Southeast Collegiate Soccer Alliance.

Following a successful season of extramural play last year with a 5-3 record, the team was promoted from associate to league member. Benefits from this hard-earned membership include a schedule set by the league and team rankings.

SCSA membership also means the team can qualify for the Region 2 Soccer Championship scheduled for October in Virginia. The winner of this tournament will go on to compete in the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association National Soccer Championship in Texas in November.

“It feels great knowing that we are an official member of SCSA,” says Amadou Touray, men’s team captain and GHC computer science student. “It gives us an opportunity to compete at a higher level of intramural soccer with the chance to play in a championship.”

The women’s team of GHC’s Soccer Club is seeking full SCSA member status this season. The team will need to have competitive season against fellow SCSA teams to qualify. John Spranza, soccer club advisor and director of student life, anticipates the women’s team joining the men’s team as SCSA members next year.

“I am hopeful that we can get more women to play this year and establish a good enough record to be considered for full membership in 2020,” he says.

Recruitment of new players for both teams is underway. The GHC Soccer Club will have a presence at Club Round Up events in the Weeks of Welcome at each campus location, with team practices beginning in Cartersville soon

“We had players from the Floyd, Cartersville, Marietta and Paulding locations last year on both the men’s and women’s teams, so students from any GHC location are eligible to play,” Spranza says. “We are looking for experienced soccer players that played in high school or on youth select travel teams, and while recreational or occasional players are certainly eligible to come out, the level of competition is high.”

Student and community soccer fans are also invited to cheer on the teams at their home games. All home games are played on the Floyd campus and are free to attend. Schedules for both teams are still being finalized and will be posted on the student life calendar on once complete.

GHC’s economic impact approaches $180 million

graduates with degree

The University System of Georgia (USG) recently released the USG’s total economic impact on the state of Georgia. Of the more than $17 billion reported by the USG as a whole, Georgia Highlands College’s contribution was nearly $180 million.

The USG report is for Fiscal Year 2018 and is conducted by the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business.

GHC’s economic impact was exactly: $177,046,638

This represents an increase of over $8 million from the Fiscal Year 2017 report.

The latest version of an annual study on the statewide economic impact of USG’s 26 institutions concluded that, on average, every dollar of initial spending generates an additional 47 cents for the economy of the region that hosts the institution.

“While we remain focused on graduating more students, keeping college affordable and increasing our efficiency in delivering a quality education, we are proud our colleges and universities help power Georgia’s economy,” said USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley. “USG and its 26 institutions play an important role in generating jobs and boosting businesses across the state, befitting the investment Georgia’s leaders have made in us.”

The annual study is conducted on behalf of the Board of Regents by Jeffrey M. Humphreys, Ph.D., director of the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business.

Read the full report, including impact by institution.

Read current and past economic impact studies.

Recreation administration degree now available at GHC

Image of two adults in a gym

Starting this fall, Georgia Highlands College students can pursue a degree in recreation administration at GHC. The new two-year pathway prepares students for future work and management with recreation centers, parks, cruise ships, gyms and other facilities that provide recreation and leisure services to the general public.

The new program was created based on the increased demand for recreation administrators across Northwest Georgia, said Lisa Jellum, department chair of kinesiology and wellness. Three new courses have been added to the department’s schedule and all kinesiology and wellness faculty are credentialed in the area.

Students will graduate with an associate degree in recreation administration. Potential careers for graduates include athletic coordinator, park ranger, resort manager, activity coordinator, cruise director and more.

“The degree pathway is also great for people currently in positions within recreation management if they are looking to further their careers,” Jellum said.

As with all associate degrees at GHC, the new recreation administration degree can be completed in two years for less than $8,000 in tuition and fees.

For more information on the pathway, visit the recreation administration program page at

Four-year degree offered through GHC partnership with The Citadel

Those with a Georgia Highlands College associate degree in business administration can now go on to complete a four-year degree through a partnership with The Citadel, a military college based in South Carolina.

The business administration pathway is currently one of the biggest programs at GHC, said Alan Nichols, division of social sciences, business, and education dean.

Due to the number enrolled in the program, this new partnership has the potential to impact a large number of Highlands students, he said.

“GHC is constantly striving to provide opportunities to students to further their education,” Nichols said. “The Citadel is an excellent educational institution that will provide a quality degree program for our students after graduating with their two-year degree at GHC.”

The Citadel will accept all credits from GHC’s business associate degree program, provided the student has completed the program and received the degree. The Citadel will then award two years of credit towards a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree.

This program is online which can be of great convenience for many students, Nichols said.

The Citadel is a fully accredited college, so students will be eligible to receive federal financial aid to assist with the cost of the classes. Students will have the opportunity to take courses online through The Citadel’s Baker College of Business or, if they so choose, attend on campus at The Citadel in civilian classes, he added.

“We are excited to support the advancement of business students at our partner community and technical colleges in six states through these agreements,” said Jeremy Bennett, director of the degree completion program at The Citadel. “Our program is designed to meet the needs of those students while allowing them to stay in their communities.”

The Citadel will work with 27 two-year schools throughout the south to make the BSBA degree available to students throughout the region. The agreements cover six southern states, from Alabama to West Virginia.

Georgia Highlands College currently offers a bachelor of business administration degree in healthcare management as well as logistics and supply chain management. GHC also offers four year degrees in dental hygiene, nursing and an online criminal justice degree.


GHC names Sarah Coakley the new dean of Natural Sciences

sarah holding award

Georgia Highlands College has appointed Sarah Coakley as the new Dean of Natural Sciences. Coakley will oversee the Division of Natural Sciences, which currently offers associate of science degree pathways in biology, chemistry, geology and physics.

Coakley is originally from Lake Zurich, Illinois. She has a bachelor’s in chemistry from University of Illinois at Chicago and a doctorate in chemistry from Tulane University.

After completing her doctoral thesis on theoretical physical/quantum chemistry in 2012, Coakley started looking for a position at a small school with teaching as the primary focus for faculty.

“During my job search after graduate school, I came across GHC and it seemed to check off everything I was looking for in a teaching position,” she says.

Coakley began her career at GHC in 2013 as an assistant professor. In the six years since, she has been promoted to associate professor, interim dean and now dean of natural sciences. As an assistant professor, she was honored as the 2016 Cobb County Chamber of Commerce teacher of the year for GHC.

As the dean of natural sciences, Coakley is excited to take on new challenges and create positive outcomes for GHC’s students, faculty, staff and community. Her goals include adopting free textbooks for more courses through the use of Open Educational Resources, expanding degree offerings and finding creative scheduling options to reduce degree completion time.

Coakley also wants to develop new research opportunities for students using resources like the state-of-the-art STEAM building at GHC’s Cartersville site. She hopes all these initiatives and more can also encourage and inspire more women to pursue STEM degrees and careers.

When she isn’t in the office or teaching a class, Coakley enjoys fantasy football, jigsaw puzzles and traveling. She lives in Marietta with her husband Josh.

“I love that GHC is more than a college. It’s a community,” Coakley says. “I love the culture, diversity and focus on both student success and access to high-quality, affordable higher education. I truly enjoy the people I work with. I can’t imagine being anywhere else.”

Learn more about the Division of Natural Sciences.

GHC offering upcoming information sessions for prospective dental hygiene students

dental hygiene student

Anyone considering Georgia Highlands College’s dental hygiene program is invited to attend one of four information sessions scheduled between now and February 2020. The sessions will prepare prospective students for admission into the fall 2020 class in advance of the March 1, 2020 application deadline.

The sessions will include details on the application process, a tour of the classrooms and facilities and time for questions and answers. Sessions will be held from 6 PM to 7 PM in room 272 on the second floor of GHC’s Heritage Hall site in Rome.

Session dates:

  • Thursday, July 25, 2019
  • Tuesday, September 10, 2019
  • Thursday, November 14, 2019
  • Thursday, February 6, 2020

Applications for program admission for fall 2020 open in January. The deadline is March 1, 2020, though early application is highly encouraged.

The information sessions are required for program applicants. All applicants must attend a session and submit an attendance certificate with their admissions packet.

GHC’s dental hygiene program is a two-year, five-semester associate degree program accredited through CODA.

For more information on the sessions or GHC’s dental hygiene program, visit or contact Director of Dental Hygiene Regina Gupta at

GHC admissions team staffed with Charger alums

recruiters standing together

College admissions can be a confusing time for prospective students, whether they are fresh out of high school or starting their education later in life. Between completing applications, deciding where to attend and securing financial aid, navigating it all can be overwhelming.

Luckily, for students looking to attend Georgia Highlands College this August, a group of uniquely qualified admissions counselors are ready to help get them enrolled by the July 26 deadline.

The team of five are all experts in the GHC admissions process because they all have one thing in common – they all graduated from GHC.

As a first-generation college student, Admissions Counselor Eriq Colon knows firsthand the stress that comes with applying to college. Colon chose to attend GHC because its affordability allowed him to build a foundation without “breaking the bank.” After graduating from GHC in 2016, he transferred to the University of Georgia where he earned a bachelor’s in history.

Colon, who works at GHC’s Marietta site and supports prospective students from Cobb and Fulton counties, leverages his personal experiences at GHC in his role as an admissions counselor.

“I can attest to what these students are going through because I have experienced it,” he says. “It is refreshing to know the person that they will likely see first was standing on the other side of the desk just a few years ago.”

Admissions Counselor Qwaunzee Jones has a similar view of his responsibilities. He believes his duty in helping students extends beyond simply getting them to complete an application.

“Our goal as admissions counselors is to not only get future students into GHC, but to make them feel welcomed.”

Jones feels like he’s just repaying the favor from when GHC welcomed him with open arms in 2011. Not only did Jones grow as a student through connections with faculty and staff, Jones also secured his first job as a student front office assistant at GHC. He says he matured as an individual because of his time as a Charger, which allowed him to graduate in 2015 and go on to earn a bachelor’s from Kennesaw State University.

Jones now serves students from Paulding, Carroll and Haralson counties as the admissions counselor for GHC’s Paulding site.

Maggie Jackson, senior admissions counselor, first enrolled at GHC as a freshman over a decade ago. As a student, she got involved as much as she could. She attended leadership conferences, joined Phi Theta Kappa, and worked for the Office of Student Life. After graduating from GHC in 2011, Jackson went on to earn a bachelor’s from Shorter University and is currently pursuing a master’s from Georgia Southern University.

Jackson now works primarily at GHC’s Cartersville site. She manages admissions outreach for Bartow, Cherokee, Gordon and Pickens counties. She credits her time at GHC with her success.

“I was never a number,” she says. “The small class sizes gave me an opportunity to engage, the supportive staff was encouraging and helpful and the student organizations allowed me to grow socially and professionally.”

Taylor West, admissions counselor at the Floyd campus and for Floyd, Polk and Chattooga counties along with Cherokee county in Alabama, also benefitted from the small classes at GHC. West believes one-on-one attention helped her on her journey to graduate from GHC and go on to earn a bachelor’s degree from the University of West Georgia.

“I believe that my experience as a student at GHC helps me as an admissions counselor because I am able to share my personal experiences with other students,” West says.

Admissions Counselor Erin Nicholson echoes this sentiment.

“My experiences as a GHC student help me in this role. I can relate to our future students and give them my firsthand experience,” she says. “As a recruiter, it is good to be able to say that you attended the school in which you are recruiting for, so you can actually speak to it.”

Nicholson says GHC was the best option for her out of high school because she could commute, save money and get a great education. After graduating in 2016, she transferred to the University of West Georgia where she earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations.

Nicholson works from GHC’s Douglasville site and helps promote the college to students from Douglas and Carroll counties.

The deadline to apply for fall admission at GHC is Friday, July 26.

Visit to apply and for more information.