YHC Named to Colleges of Distinction as a Leader in Educational Excellence

Friday, December 9, 2011

Media Contact: Krystin Dean
(706) 379-5310, kndean@yhc.edu

Young Harris College Named to Colleges of Distinction as a Leader in Educational Excellence

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – Young Harris College has been named to the prestigious 2011-2012 Colleges of Distinction. At its website, CollegesofDistinction.com, the organization offers an online guide that takes a fresh look at colleges and universities appealing to students’ unique and varied interests. Based on the opinions of guidance counselors, educators and admissions professionals, Colleges of Distinction honors colleges excelling in key areas of educational quality.

“Schools selected as Colleges of Distinction create well-rounded graduates and are among the very best in the country,” Executive Editor of Colleges of Distinction Tyson Schritter said. “While each school is one of a kind, they all share a common theme: they are all a great place to get an education.”

In order to qualify, Young Harris College was required to demonstrate excellence in the four distinctions: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes. Fewer than 250 colleges and universities in the nation were named to this year’s list, and YHC joins other distinguished institutions including Agnes Scott College, Centre College, College of Charleston, Rhodes College, Sewanee: The University of the South and Southern Methodist University.

The goal of Colleges of Distinction is to provide students, counselors and parents with information about colleges and universities that excel in these four areas. Featured schools take a holistic approach to admissions, consistently excel in providing undergraduate education and have a truly national reputation.

This achievement adds to the positive momentum building throughout the YHC campus over the past few years as the 125-year-old institution returns to its roots as a four-year college.

Since earning its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) in 2008 to grant bachelor’s degrees, Young Harris College has been adding baccalaureate majors and academic programs at a rapid pace. As of 2011, YHC now offers 15 baccalaureate majors—art, biology, business and public policy, communication studies, English, early childhood education, history, mathematics, middle grades education, music, music education, musical theatre, outdoor leadership, religious studies and theatre—as well as a full array of minors and teacher certifications. The College will continue to roll out new academic programs annually.

In addition, Young Harris College has doubled the size of its faculty in just four years and hired additional staff to support the new academic offerings and student programming.

In May 2011, the College conferred its first bachelor’s degrees in nearly a century, and in July, YHC was granted candidacy for membership in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division II level. Then in August, Young Harris College broke enrollment records for the fifth consecutive year with approximately 900 students on campus.

Young Harris College is in an unprecedented building program to support its growth, having recently added a 200-bed, LEED Silver-certified residence hall that opened to industry acclaim in 2009, followed by the 57,000-square-foot, LEED-certified Recreation and Fitness Center that opened in 2010. In August 2011, YHC opened The Village, the newest student housing option for upperclassmen, which adds 148 beds configured as apartments within a residential “village” atmosphere and is expected to earn LEED certification. The next major facility constructed will be a new campus center that combines a student center, dining hall, banquet facility and library in a single, state-of-the-art 125,000-square-foot building.

To learn more about the online guide, visit www.collegesofdistinction.com.

About Young Harris College
2011 marks the 125th anniversary for Young Harris College, a private, baccalaureate degree-granting college located in the beautiful mountains of north Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires and empowers students through the highest quality liberal arts education. Long known for nurturing students during the first two years of college, Young Harris College received accreditation in 2008 to grant bachelor’s degrees. The College currently has approximately 900 students across four divisions—Fine Arts, Humanities, Mathematics and Science, and Social and Behavioral Sciences—and plans to increase enrollment to 1,200 over the next few years. The historic campus in Young Harris, Ga., is currently undergoing major campus improvements to accommodate the College’s growth, including recent completion of a 200-bed, LEED Silver-certified residence hall, Georgia’s first higher education facility north of Atlanta to achieve this certification, a 57,000-square-foot, LEED-certified recreation center, the second higher educational recreation facility in Georgia to achieve this certification, and a 148-bed, apartment-style residential village. Earlier this year, the College was granted candidacy for NCAA Division II athletics. For more information, visit www.yhc.edu.