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Transformation

“My years at Young Harris College provided me with an exceptional opportunity for learning. These opportunities, together with my life experiences, have served me well since graduating some 35 years ago. As the College now transitions to four-year status, it is a proud moment for all alumni and students.”

Ron Hinson, '76

Senior Vice President, Comptroller & Chief Accounting Officer, Southern Company
YHC Alumni Board
 


An ambitious transformation is underway.

 

In August 2011, Young Harris College broke all previous records for the fifth consecutive year with the largest fall enrollment in our history: approximately 900 students, a 50 percent increase since 2006.

Growth of the magnitude and immediacy that we are experiencing will require enormous improvements and enhancements in the areas of academics, athletics, infrastructure and endowment. Though we are not starting from scratch, our transformation will require the highest commitment in terms of thorough planning, prudent investment, mindful execution and creative stewardship.

To meet these requirements, we have launched a comprehensive capital campaign, Investing in the Future, which provides the financial guidance to power our strategic blueprint, enabling us to capitalize on our momentum and fulfill our vision of becoming a premier liberal arts college.

In just four years, we’ve made tremendous progress toward that goal:

 

  • Earned accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to grant bachelor’s degrees
  • Earned accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)
  • Introduced 16 new majors and 13 minors
  • Implemented the Ethics Across the Curriculum academic initiative
  • Introduced the “Rhetorica” program to enhance student writing and speaking skills
  • Opened the Center for Appalachian Studies and Community  Engagement
  • Doubled full-time faculty from 36 to 70
  • Hired 61 full-time professional staffers
  • Opened a $16 million, 200-bed LEED Silver-certified residence hall
  • Opened a $15 million, 57,000-square-foot LEED-certified Recreation and Fitness Center
  • Opened a $1.85 million, 12-court, lighted tennis complex
  • Opened a new apartment-style residential “village” for upperclassmen
  • Reinstated intercollegiate men’s and women’s basketball and men’s tennis
  • Introduced intercollegiate men’s and women’s lacrosse and competitive cheerleading
  • Earned candidacy for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II
  • Accepted an invitation to become the 14th member of the prestigious Peach Belt Conference

Much has been done, but there is much more to do. Our efforts over the past few years validate our vision to see Young Harris College take its place among the nation’s top-ranked liberal arts colleges. Investing in the Future is a game-changing capital campaign that will allow us to make the necessary investments to enable Young Harris College to best serve the students of tomorrow.

Preserving the Young Harris Spirit.

 

While our 10-year strategic plan calls for doubling the student body to 1,200 and adding top-notch faculty to teach them in 20 major fields, we recognize that our students and alumni want to protect, preserve and enhance our home.

We believe that our close-knit, residential campus builds vital social skills and enhances academic success. So we will continue to be a walkable campus with glorious mountain views in every direction, a place with intimate classes that afford unexpectedly personalized attention, allowing students to bond with their professors and develop lifelong friendships with their peers. We will continue to provide the distinctive high-quality education that we are renowned for, adhering to the Methodist tenets of a “warm heart and trained mind.” This is the very nature of Young Harris College, past, present and future.