Georgia Highlands Gains Level II Status
The new status will allow the college to offer four-year degrees.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has approved Level II status for Georgia Highlands College, allowing the institution to begin offering four-year degrees.
Georgia Highlands had already announced that it planned to begin offering a Bachelor of Science curriculum in nursing at its Rome campus in 2013 pending SACS and Georgia Board of Nursing approval. The SACS approval means the college now can officially offer that degree and others, if approved by the Board of Regents and SACS.
Laura Musselwhite, interim vice president for academic and student affairs, said the approval will create a pathway for Georgia Highlands to investigate future four-year programs to benefit its communities.
"The process of a level-change application is complex," Musselwhite said. "SACS is not only approving one program in particular, but baccalaureate status in general. An institution must demonstrate that it is capable of providing all the academic and student services necessary for a four-year degree program."
The University System of Georgia granted GHC state college status last May, which allowed the institution to offer four-year programs for the first time. About 75 percent of the RNs in hospitals within Northwest Georgia are currently at the associate’s level. The Georgia Highlands program will give these professionals an opportunity to upgrade their degrees close to home. Much of the bachelor’s curriculum will be offered online to accommodate working nurses.
GHC has campuses in Cartersville, Dallas, Rome, Marietta and Douglasville. It currently maintains its nursing program in Rome and in Marietta, at WellStar Health System.