Georgia Perimeter State College
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.
A New Identity
Georgia Perimeter continues to receive national recognition for its literary quarterly, the Chattahoochee Review, 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.
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.
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 into
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 2012 the college's name changed to Georgia Perimeter State College, reflecting the school's transition from a two-year to a four-year institution.
Carol Pennington Lynn, "Community Colleges Celebrate 100 Years of Making Dreams a Reality," The Chronicle: The Magazine of Georgia Perimeter College (summer 2001).
Katherine Martin, "DeKalb's Silver Past," DeKalb College Chronicle (summer/fall 1988).
Paul Stephen Hudson, Georgia Perimeter State College
A project of the Georgia Humanities Council, in partnership with the University of Georgia Press, the University System of Georgia/GALILEO, and the Office of the Governor.