Forsyth County got some great news from the state Board of Regents last week with the announcement that a new college campus will be allowed to open in Cumming.
Expected to open next year, the campus will offer classes from both North Georgia College & State University and Gainesville State College.
The approval of the joint college program is the end result of years of work by many community leaders. Through class offerings from the two colleges, students will be able to obtain both two-year and four-year degrees in a number of different fields.
The new campus provides a perfect compliment to the existing Lanier Technical College. Whether they are pursuing a traditional academic degree or a technical college field of studies, local students will be able to complete their postsecondary education in Forsyth County without the need to go elsewhere.
Much of the credit for bringing the new college campus to town belongs to the city of Cumming.
Mayor H. Ford Gravitt and city leadership have been committed to making a college campus possible and will be building the facility to be leased by the colleges for instructional space.
It is easy to look ahead a few years and imagine a thriving college campus at the city’s facility off Pilgrim Mill Road that also will include a busy aquatic center. That such will be the case is a tribute to forward thinking leaders in Cumming.
Most exciting, however, is the fact that graduates of local high schools no longer will be forced to leave the county to continue their education. We predict that the joint college programs will be so successful that the Regents soon will be considering expansion plans for Forsyth County.
At this stage it is almost impossible to predict the potential economic impact of a campus on the county, but there is no doubt that it will prove a major boon. Not only will it provide an avenue for keeping potential students close to home, but it also will help in securing future job growth for the county.
To all of those who worked so hard to make this moment a reality — government officials, educational leadership, business community, community leaders — we say job well done.