Georgia Perimeter College
Georgia Perimeter College, originally founded as DeKalb College, is a multicampus institution of the University System of Georgia, with a curriculum specializing in liberal arts and sciences as well as professional preparation. Georgia Perimeter has five campus locations, in Alpharetta, Clarkston, Covington, Decatur, and Dunwoody. The college had an enrollment of nearly 27,000 in 2011.
DeKalb College, DeKalb County, just outside the perimeter, east of Decatur, with 763 students. The school's original architecture is postmodern with brick buildings and extensive use of glass. With the exception of Clarkston's characteristic 1960s concrete breezeways that frame its academic quadrangles, variations on this functional style have been maintained with the subsequent construction of additional campus locations.
In 1972 DeKalb College opened its South Campus on the outskirts of Decatur, about nine miles from Clarkston. Also in 1972, students were granted eligibility to enroll at the DeKalb Area Technical School (later Georgia Piedmont Technical College), adjacent to the DeKalb College Central Campus in Clarkston. The combined institutions, which offered both vocational and collegiate programs, were at that time designated DeKalb Community College (DCC). DCC was a leader in several innovative and accessible programs, notably joint enrollment (secondary school students enrolled in college classes) and "televised courses," an early form of distance learning.
Fulton County. In 1986 the growing school relinquished control of its affiliated vocational programs as well as the DCC name, and the Board of Regents accepted DeKalb College as a unit of the University System of Georgia. The college began to expand in metropolitan Atlanta outside DeKalb County with a Gwinnett County campus in Lawrenceville in 1987. DeKalb College at that time began offering dual programs with Gwinnett Technical College. In 1993 DeKalb College, in cooperation with Clayton State College (later Clayton State University), DeKalb Technical College, and Rockdale County Public Schools, formed the Rockdale Center for Higher Education in Conyers.
Georgia Perimeter continues to receive national recognition for its literary quarterly, the Chattahoochee
, which since its founding in 1980, has published such notable writers as Larry Brown and James Dickey. Works from this journal have been reprinted in the anthologies New Stories from the South and Best American Mystery Stories. Review
Georgia Perimeter's Native Plant Garden, also called the Wildflower Center of Georgia, has earned regional recognition for its extensive botanical collection. This garden, which originated at the old DeKalb College South Campus in 1990, houses more than 4,000 native plants—perennials, trees, shrubs, and ferns—not only from the Southeast but also from the Prairie and Pacific Coast regions. In 2003 its collection of temperate zone ferns ranked thirteenth largest in the world. The garden also features every native azalea that grows in the Southeast.
As part of the new identity of Georgia Perimeter, its various campus names were changed to reflect their localities in metropolitan Atlanta. soccer, and softball facilities. In 1999 Georgia Perimeter acquired a presence in the northern part of Fulton County, offering courses at Georgia State University's Alpharetta Center.
From 2002 until 2005 Georgia Perimenter had a collaborative relationship with the University of Georgia (UGA), the Medical College of Georgia (later Georgia Health Sciences University), and Southern Polytechnic State University at the Gwinnett University Center (GUC) facility. The center served as a model and catalyst for innovation for the entire University System of Georgia. UGA and GPC jointly occupied the GUC Signature Building, designed by the noted Georgia architect John Portman and completed in 2002. GUC also served as the "technology hub" for the University System of Georgia, with state-of-the-art classrooms featuring satellite hook-ups, desks with speakers, and classroom cameras worn by instructors.
At the shared GUC facility, Georgia Perimeter offered the college's curriculum of associate programs in liberal arts and sciences, applied sciences, nursing (also available at the Clarkston Campus), and freshman and sophomore courses designed for transfer to senior institutions, as well as adult noncredit education. In 2005 the Board of Regents approved the transition of GUC intoGeorgia Gwinnett College.
Between 1996 and 2002 more than 9,000 students earned college credit through distance learning at Georgia Perimeter. Later known as GPC Online, this program is the largest of its kind in the university system, offering sixteen degrees in 2012.
In 2007 a new campus opened in Newton County. Slated to serve students in eight surrounding counties, the campus is located next to a mixed-use development project called Mount Pleasant, which is designed according to New Urbanist principles.
In May 2012 the college's name changed briefly to Georgia Perimeter State College, reflecting the school's transition from a two-year to a four-year institution. The name reverted to Georgia Perimeter College several months later due to financial considerations.
Media Gallery: Georgia Perimeter College