Columbia County is located in the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) of Georgia, approximately 135 miles east of Atlanta and five miles northwest of Augusta, the dominant urban center of the area. Columbia County, which encompasses a land area of 290 square miles and a population of 92,160, is one of the fastest growing counties in the state of Georgia outside of the metro-Atlanta area. Rapid growth in the county has transformed the county from a rural neighbor of Augusta to a major suburban county. Columbia County is predominantly residential with household and per capita income levels that rank well above the state average. These factors combined with low-cost living, affordable housing, a premier school system, access to world-class health care and a mild climate marks the area as a destination of choice for many people.
AWARD WINNING SCHOOL DISTRICT
The Columbia County School System has established a pattern for consistent excellence and achievement making it one of the premier school systems in the state of Georgia. Columbia County students at the elementary and secondary school level consistently excel at a level greater than their peers at both the state and national level in the areas of academic achievement.
Expansion Magazine, a leading national publication for expansion and relocation, has honored Columbia County School System with a “Blue Ribbon” rating. This Blue Ribbon rating is determined by evaluating college-board scores, graduation rates, and the community’s financial commitment to education. Expansion Magazine has evaluated school districts around the country for the past 15 years.
The Columbia County School System currently operates seventeen elementary schools, pre-kindergarten through fifth grade; eight middle schools with grades six through eight, five high schools, grades nine through twelve and one alternative school, grades six through twelve. Building new or renovating and upgrading existing facilities is a constant process which enables the Columbia County School System to maintain leading edge facilities and accommodate future growth while providing a world class education for all students.
The county is named for Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond, a British politician and office-holder sympathetic to the cause of the American colonies. Richmond was also a first cousin to King George III.
Richmond County was established in 1777 by the first Constitution of the (newly independent) State of Georgia. As such, it is one of the original counties of the state. It was formed out of a portion of the colonial Parish of St. Paul, after the Revolution disestablished the Church of England in the (former) Royal Province of Georgia.
The vast majority of Richmond County is located in the Middle Savannah River sub-basin of the Savannah River basin, with just the southwestern corner of the county, from a line running north from Blythe through the middle of Fort Gordon, located in the Brier River sub-basin of the Savannah River basin.
The Richmond County School System, located in historic Augusta, Georgia, is home to over 32,000 students in 56 schools, making it the 10th largest school district in Georgia.
With over 4,000 employees, RCSS is the third largest employer in Augusta-Richmond County.
RCSS boasts having the oldest public school in the south and 5th oldest public high school in America. Several RCSS schools are on the National Register of Historic places. Although steeped in history, Richmond County strives to move education forward and to provide students with opportunities to succeed. .
BOARD OF EDUCATION
The Board of Education is a policy-making body and serves as a legislative body in the development and evaluation of policies. While the board is responsible for school programs and operations by law, it delegates some portion of that authority to the Superintendent. The board is governed by a President and a Vice-President who are elected by and from the board membership every two years on the Saturday preceding the second Thursday in January.
Regular meetings are held on the third Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. in the Central Office Boardroom. Committee meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month. The day and hour of these meetings are set each year at the first meeting in January and advertised in the local media. Any changes will be advertised in the local media several days in advance.
Augusta University, home of the Medical College of Georgia, is one of only four public comprehensive research institutions in the state of Georgia.
Founded in 1828, the university includes nine colleges and schools with nearly 9,000 students, over 1,000 full-time faculty and nearly 7,000 staff. It houses the nation’s ninth-largest and 13th-oldest medical school, the state’s sole dental college, an aligned and integrated health system, a growing intercollegiate athletics program, the highly respected Hull College of Business, the diverse Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, among other units. With a campus of approximately 150 buildings, the university is a $1 billion-plus enterprise with statewide and national reach. The Medical College of Georgia includes a partnership campus in Athens, Ga., and satellite campuses in the Georgia cities of Albany, Rome and Savannah.
A degree from Augusta University, an institution whose research, patient care and instruction have contributed immeasurably to advances in the state, nation and world, is greatly respected. Graduates speak highly of their Augusta University education, citing factors such as small class sizes, extensive faculty support and in-depth clinical training.
Augusta University plays a leading role in incorporating technology into the curriculum. Examples include simulation labs, distance- and Internet-based instruction and customized mobile applications for students and faculty.
Students are taught by some of the most prestigious scientists, clinicians, scholars and artists in the nation. Faculty members not only convey vital information, they also conduct extensive research to optimize wellness and quality of life.
The university has a strong commitment to research, building on a proud tradition that boasts, among other achievements, the groundwork for such breakthroughs as fertility treatments and beta-blocking drugs for cardiac arrhythmias.
Augusta University fosters interdisciplinary research collaboration, then uses extensive resources to link laboratory findings to bedside care and biomedical industry. Its Office of Technology Transfer, and Economic Development, for instance, cultivates promising research and transfers breakthroughs to the marketplace and patient bedside.
The university fields teams in NCAA Division I men’s and women’s golf, and the men’s team claimed back-to-back national championships in 2010 and 2011. In 11 other sports, the Jaguars complete in the Peach Belt Conference in Division II in basketball, baseball, cross country, softball, volleyball, tennis, and outdoor track and field.
The university’s mission is to provide leadership and excellence in teaching, discovery, clinical care and service as a student-centered comprehensive research university and academic health center with a wide range of programs from learning assistance through postdoctoral studies.
The Mission of Paine College, a church-related private institution, is to provide a liberal arts education of the highest quality that emphasizes academic excellence, ethical and spiritual values, social responsibility, and personal development to prepare men and women for positions of leadership and service in the African American community, the nation, and the world.
Over the next five years, Paine College shall build on its achievements and legacy to be regionally recognized as a premier liberal arts institution of higher education.
University of South Carolina Aiken
Building partnerships has been the cornerstone of the University of South Carolina Aiken since its inception in 1961. It was then that the citizens of the Aiken community voiced the need for a local institution of higher education. In a true demonstration of grassroots politics, the community rallied to show their support for a college to be founded in the area. Through state legislation, a governing board was formed, the Aiken County Commission for Higher Education, which continues to oversee the University’s mission.
The University of South Carolina, the state’s flagship university which was founded in Columbia in 1801, began offering courses in Aiken for students interested in completing their degrees in Columbia. USC Aiken became the fourth campus founded of the eight that would eventually comprise the USC System. Three full-time faculty members, a secretary, and 139 students joined for the university’s first academic semester in September 1961. Classes took place in “Banksia,” a former winter-colony mansion in downtown Aiken. For 11 years, the university’s first students attended college in a structure which was developed as living quarters, studying composition in an area which was once a ballroom and algebra in a former sitting room.
Over the years, the student population grew and the need for a new physical location for campus arose. The university purchased property from the Graniteville Company and moved from Banksia to its present site in 1972. One multipurpose building was constructed, which was later named the Robert E. Penland Administration Building. This building’s open courtyard features one of the campus’ most notable landmarks, the Double Knot sculpture by artist Charles Perry, which symbolizes the University’s close ties with the local community. At the time, most assumed that this would be the only building ever needed for the campus; however, the university grew to occupy more than 20 buildings and athletics facilities in the years that followed.
Augusta Technical College
Augusta Technical College is a two-year college based in Augusta, Georgia. It was founded in 1961 as Augusta Area Vocational Technical School and merged with Richmond Area Vocational School in 1966 to become Augusta Area Technical School. In 1987, the college was renamed Augusta Technical Institute and took its current name in 2000.
Augusta Technical College operates under the supervision of the State Board of Technical and Adult Education, serving the needs of business, industry, and the public in a five-county area in east central Georgia.
Augusta Technical College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award Associate of Applied Science Degrees, Diplomas, and Technical Certificates of Credit. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Augusta Technical College.
Augusta Technical College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, religion, disability, age, disabled veteran, veteran of the Vietnam era, or citizenship status, (except in those special circumstances permitted or mandated by law).
This nondiscrimination policy encompasses the operation of all educational programs and activities including admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other college-administered programs. It also encompasses the employment of personnel and contracting for goods and services. Augusta Technical College shall promote the realization of equal opportunity through a positive continuing program of specific practices designed to ensure the full realization of equal opportunity
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