Georgia Perimeter College
Note from the Editors: In January 2016 Georgia Perimeter College merged with Georgia State University. This article chronicles the history of Georgia Perimeter from its founding until the time of the merger.
Georgia Perimeter College, originally founded as DeKalb College, was 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 had five campus locations, in Alpharetta, Clarkston, Covington, Decatur, and Dunwoody. The college had an enrollment of nearly 21,057 in October 2015, before its merger with Georgia State University.
DeKalbDeKalb County, just outside the perimeter, east of Decatur, with 763 students. The school's original architecture was 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 were 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.
InFulton 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.
Georgialiterary quarterly, the Chattahoochee
. Since its founding in 1980, the Chattahoochee Review 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. The Chattahoochee Review continued publication after Georgia Perimeter's merger with Georgia State. Review
Georgia Perimeter's Native Plant Garden (later called the Native Plant Botanical Garden) in Decatur 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.
In 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 Perimeter had a collaborative relationship with the University of Georgia (UGA), the Medical College of Georgia (later Augusta University), and Southern Polytechnic State University (later Kennesaw 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.
AtGeorgia Gwinnett College.
Between 1996 and 2002 more than 9,000 students earned college credit through distance learning at Georgia Perimeter. Called Perimeter College Online after the merger with Georgia State, this program is still the largest of its kind in the university system, offering sixteen degrees in 2014.
In 2007 a new campus opened in Newton County. Meant to serve students in eight surrounding counties, the campus was built next to a mixed-use development project called Mount Pleasant, which is designed according to New Urbanist principles.
Media Gallery: Georgia Perimeter College