Officials at Dalton State College hope to eliminate some programs, revise others and introduce several new degrees in accordance with a four-year Academic Master Plan presented Thursday. The new plan, all of which will require approval by the Georgia Board of Regents, was presented by Dr. Sandra S. Stone, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Dalton State.

The plan was developed in conjunction with President John Schwenn and includes input from business and community leaders, discussions through the Archway Partnership Project, review of current program performance with deans of the College, and meetings with faculty and students. The process also included review of current and projected economic forecasts for the region regarding occupational outlook data for Northwest Georgia.

The plan, according to Stone, aligns with strategic plans of both the Board of Regents and Dalton State College, and also the College’s Mission.

“We are excited about this comprehensive plan; we think it will take us in the direction we need to be headed, especially as we evolve into a more traditional four-year college,” Stone said.

“We are stewards of increasingly limited resources,” she added. “We need to be responsive to the needs of the communities that we serve, and we are called upon to justify the programs that we offer.

“We will regularly and carefully assess all our academic programs to ensure that there is adequate demand for the graduates that we produce,” she said. “In some cases, that means we will eliminate or de-activate academic programs for which there is no longer demonstrated need, or for which there is low or no enrollment at the College.

“We will then re-allocate or re-direct those resources to other programs for which there is demand,” Stone said.

She reviewed the list (see sidebar) of programs in line to be eliminated, revised and introduced for Dalton State over the coming years.

Stone also reported on a number of programs and activities that support Dalton State’s academic program. Among them are the Office of Instructional Technology which assists faculty with technology needs. She reported that Dalton State will become an eCore host site this summer, offering the University System of Georgia’s core curriculum online for students across the state.

Other supporting activities include the College’s Center for Teaching and Learning, involvement with local high schools, and developing articulation agreements with area institutions such as Georgia Northwestern Technical College and Southern Polytechnic State University to facilitate student transfers between institutions.

Dalton State participates in the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ ‘Red Balloon Project’ to explore new ways to redesign undergraduate education and is one of nine participating USG schools in an Adult Learning Consortium designed to identify adult students who could be candidates for degree completion programs and linking those students with resources of the University System.

In concluding, Dr. Stone quoted from President Barack Obama who said, “In a 21st century world where jobs can be shipped wherever there’s an Internet connection, where a child born in Dallas is now competing with a child in New Delhi, where your best job qualification is not what you do, but what you know – education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity and success; it’s a pre-requisite for success.”
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