Wednesday, December 10, 2008

“The Future is Now!” Young Harris College Awarded Four-Year Status

Young Harris College earned approval December 9 from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to begin offering bachelor’s degrees in the fall of 2009.

The announcement came at the end of the 2008 SACS Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. “This is a great day in Young Harris College history,” said Jerry Nix, chairman of the Board of Trustees and CFO of Genuine Parts Company. “It is a testimony to the strength of the faculty, staff and students of the college.”

SACS approved Young Harris’ plans to offer bachelor’s degrees in biology, business and public policy, English and music. These degrees represent a major in each of the college’s four academic divisions.

“We are pleased to offer our students the opportunity to stay at Young Harris and earn their bachelor’s degree,” said Young Harris President Cathy Cox. “And this is only the beginning. Our Strategic Plan calls for adding majors on a regular basis over the next few years.”

Young Harris is in an unprecedented building program to support the anticipated growth of the college. A new 200-bed residence hall is under construction and will be completed in time for the fall 2009 session. The Board of Trustees has approved several additional buildings. These include a recreation center, a campus center (that will include a student center, dining hall and library) and an administration building. Additional buildings will follow in the next decade as part of a comprehensive master plan for the beautiful mountain campus.

The college is also adding faculty at a record pace. A dozen new faculty members were hired for the 2008-2009 school year and a dozen more are slated to be brought on board for 2009-2010.

Young Harris College provides an outstanding opportunity for students in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. For students in those areas, Young Harris is a close, convenient choice for college. Now, the opportunity to earn a four-year degree makes Young Harris an even more attractive option.

Sophomore Meg Patterson, a biology major, plans to stay and earn her bachelor’s degree at Young Harris. “The science department is really strong here. The one-on-one interaction with the faculty is very important to me and I know I can get that here at Young Harris.”

“It is important to note,” President Cox added, “that as we grow and add degrees, our vision is to maintain the traditions and unique environment that make Young Harris so distinctive. We currently enroll 650 students. Our goal is to eventually grow the college to a total student body between 1,200 and 1,500. It is important that our students continue to benefit from small classes and personal interaction with our distinguished faculty.”

Many current Young Harris students have already indicated they will return next fall to complete their degrees. As the number of four-year majors grows, more students will choose to stay at, or transfer to, Young Harris College.

“Young Harris College provides one of the best opportunities in private higher education in Georgia,” stated President Cox. “We look forward to welcoming our first junior class next fall.”

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