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Measuring interest in college classes
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Forsyth County News
It’s nice to think that one day Forsyth County students would have the option of going to college here in the county once they have left the local high schools behind.

A survey now being conducted might be a small first step toward making such a facility a reality.

North Georgia College & State University, working in conjunction with Gainesville State College, is conducting the online survey to judge community interest in local college classes.

The county has been fortunate in that North Georgia, Gainesville State and Lanier Technical College have for years provided residents with college level instruction through local programming.

Lanier Technical College is a community mainstay; there has been talk of a satellite campus for North Georgia, which already offers a variety of classes in the county; and Gainesville College has been a higher education partner of the county for years.

But those schools all have their main campus elsewhere, and the county is overdue for a higher education facility it can call its own.

In the current economy, state officials aren’t looking to start new schools of higher learning, but the time will come when they do, and there is not a county in the state more deserving than Forsyth.

As proof that it can be done, local leaders need look no farther than neighboring Gwinnett County. Years ago, Gwinnett’s government, education and business leadership committed to working together to bring a college campus to the county. Their determined efforts resulted in the opening of Georgia Gwinnett College in 2006.

Adding a local higher education facility — be it a consortium of schools working together on a joint campus or ultimately a new and separate entity — to the long list of amenities already present in the county would provide a major boost to its image, as well as the local economy.

But doing so requires years of work and visionary leadership.

When the local Chamber of Commerce completed its Envision 2030, the need for higher education was a top priority. The results of the online survey now under way will help to evaluate whether there is really a need and an interest in more college-level offerings at the local level.

If there is sufficient interest, the colleges now serving the county are likely to increase their level of commitment in Forsyth, and as the demand for higher education grows, so does the possibility of some sort of higher education campus.

The online survey wants to know if you would take advantage of higher education classes locally if there were expanded options to do so. The survey can be found at: