Unique Point in History

Dr. John Schwenn
Dr. John O. Schwenn is the President of Dalton State College.

We stand at a unique point in history at Dalton State College. On July 1, for the first time since 1973, we will not be affiliated with the Technical College System of Georgia.

Back in the early 70s —when Jimmy Carter was governor of Georgia—four University System of Georgia schools were selected to carry out a dual mission of providing both college and technical education. They were Bainbridge College, Clayton State, College of Coastal Georgia, and Dalton State. Clayton State and Coastal have shed their technical missions and nearby technical colleges have stepped in to fill the need for technical and career education in their communities.

Through our School of Technology, Dalton State will continue to provide technical programs; we will just do it through the University System of Georgia and no longer through the TCSG. Our health-related programs such as licensed practical nursing, respiratory therapy, medical lab technology, and radiologic technology, as well as computer networking and operations, information technology, and 3-D design, industrial technology and electronics are enrolling students now for fall.

Other career and technical education in our community will be provided by Georgia Northwestern Technical College, and this will be a good thing.

Yes, we expect to lose some students in the short run, but in the long run, this is the right thing for Dalton State, for our community, and our region.

We are excited about how this positions Dalton State as the University System of Georgia’s state college serving northwest Georgia. We look forward to growing and developing our campus into the traditional four-year college that we envision and that our students and community tell us they want.

Our vision for Dalton State includes three initiatives that are already underway that will help us to become a premiere four-year institution of higher education:

  • Our Campus Master Plan offers a blueprint for growing our grounds and physical facilities to provide the traditional collegiate experience our students want. The plan, unveiled in February, calls for a central spine walkway to link north and south ends of the campus, both of which will be anchored with residential housing units. Classroom buildings and facilities for student support services (library, recreation center, student center) will line the corridor on the central campus. A complete copy of the Campus Master Plan can be accessed at
  • Campus facilities provide the infrastructure from which we deliver education, but the second leg of our vision is our academic program which is really the heart of the College. Our Academic Master Plan, which we rolled out in spring, outlines 30 bachelor’s degree programs that may be proposed over the next five to eight years. A bachelor of science in nursing program has been submitted to the Board of Regents for consideration; we’ll send a proposal for a bachelor’s program in Respiratory Therapy this month, and we hope to have proposals for degree programs in Psychology and Liberal Arts submitted later this summer. Other programs have been eliminated and still others are being revised to ensure that they meet student demand as well as the workforce needs of our business community.
  • The third leg of our vision to make us a premiere institution of higher learning is athletics. We will have an athletic program. Within a few days, I will receive the report from our Athletic Committee which is composed of faculty, staff, students, and community members. The first step in bringing sports teams to Dalton State will be the hiring of an Athletic Director; we already have the ad drafted. Our students voted last fall to levy a fee for athletics, and they actually voted themselves a higher fee than the one that was recommended to them; this suggests to us a strong commitment to have Roadrunner sports back on campus. I’ll report more fully soon.
We are embarking upon a new fiscal year, a new academic year, and a Dalton State freshly positioned in the region as the University System’s state college serving Northwest Georgia. We look forward to the challenges and opportunities the new year brings to us.
Dalton State, 650 College Drive, Dalton, GA 30720
706.272.4436 • 1.800.829.4436 •