The College Year
The academic year is divided into two 15-week semesters, designated as fall and spring. The College also offers accelerated enrollment options in summer and within the semesters. Starting and ending dates for all terms appear in the College calendar and the individual term schedule of classes. Students may enroll at Bainbridge State College during registration times and are encouraged to complete their programs of study in as timely a manner as possible.
Hours of Operation
Generally, Bainbridge State College offices are open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. and from 8 a.m. until noon on Friday during the fall and spring semesters. During the summer, the hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Some offices are open into the evening or by appointment after 6:00 p.m. Call the respective office (see Information Directory) for information or appointments. Evening, off-campus, and weekend classes are held according to published schedules. Library hours are posted each semester.
History of the College
The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia authorized the establishment of a junior college in Decatur County, Georgia, in December, 1970. As required by Board policy, the local community provided and developed the College site and on September 23, 1971, approved a $2 million bond issue to provide funds for the initial physical plant. The State of Georgia continues to operate and maintain the College. In fall, 1998, the College converted from the quarter system to the semester system.
Construction of the first five buildings began in July, 1972. Temporary offices operated in downtown Bainbridge at 215 East Water Street and 122 West Water Street during construction. College staff members occupied the first buildings on August 16, 1973. The charter class of the College began classes on October 1, 1973, the first of more than 6,000 credit students enrolled during the first decade.
The Division of Vocational/Technical Education and the Department of Developmental Studies were added during the academic year 1973-1974. A unique agreement between the Board of Regents and the Georgia Department of Education made the Vocational/Technical programs possible. In September, 1980, these programs occupied a new $1.6 million facility. The name of the division changed to the Division of Technical Studies in November 1990 and to the School of Health Sciences and Professional Studies in 2012.
In June, 1987, the Board of Regents removed the word Junior from the names of all two-year colleges in the University System. That year Bainbridge College became the second College in the country to be designated a Bicentennial Campus by the Commission on the Bicentennial of the U. S. Constitution.
Bainbridge College Early County, 40 Harold Ragan Dr. in Blakely, became part of the College in July, 2006, expanding the educational offerings in southwest Georgia. Enrollment at BCEC grew dramatically in the first several years, from 211 before it became part of Bainbridge College to 1,200 students taking classes there in fall, 2010. This growth brought about a 14,000-square-foot expansion added to the original 30,000-square-foot facility. Opening in 2010 and built with funds and input from students, the addition includes a 4,640-square-foot instructional area with a state-of-the-art science laboratory, classrooms, and offices; expanded space for the media center; fitness workout room, game room, reading room, and 24-station computer lab; men’s and women’s locker/dressing facilities, offices, and snack area with large windows overlooking the rolling landscape.
Another major building project was completed in 2008 when the College opened the Charles H. Kirbo Regional Center and hosted the 10th Annual Georgia Literary Festival as its first big event, attracting more than 3,000 participants. The center houses a conference center with an auditorium, a dining facility, high tech lecture hall, and meeting rooms.
In early 2011, Bainbridge College opened its midtown facility, which houses the Cosmetology program and the Continuing Education Division. In 2012, Adult Education joined the facility, which was named the Shotwell Education Center.
Also in 2011, the Bainbridge campus signature building opened. The $20 million Student Wellness Center, dedicated to student life, was designed with student input and funded by student fees. At 78,000 square feet, the two-story building includes a 2,500-seat capacity gymnasium, exercise equipment in the 4,000-square-foot fitness center with plasma screen televisions, a 120-seat dining room and serving area, the campus bookstore, a 2,000-square-foot game room, men’s and women’s locker rooms with showers, a second floor walking track that encircles the basketball court, a computer lab, classrooms, and a quiet lounge area overlooking the campus.
The College welcomed President Richard Carvajal in January, 2011, as its fourth president. Under his leadership, BC continues to experience success. More than 4,200 students were enrolled in the 2011-12 academic year, and BC awarded 659 credentials, including 392 diplomas and degrees, in that year.
Location and Service Area
Located in Southwest Georgia, Bainbridge is approximately 40 miles from Tallahassee, Florida, and 60 miles from Dothan, Alabama. Bainbridge State College sits on 173 acres just inside the city limits of Bainbridge, Georgia, on U.S. Highway 84E (2500 E. Shotwell St). In addition to maintaining a balance between agricultural and industrial economies, the Bainbridge region offers many recreational attractions, including excellent hunting and fishing, an outstanding YMCA, an award-winning community theatre, and numerous tennis courts and boating facilities.
The campus physical environment is one of rustic beauty, accentuated by stately pine and moss-draped oak trees. A nearby lake further enhances the natural environment and beauty. Because Bainbridge State College has no residence facilities, students commute from the nearby towns of Attapulgus, Blakely, Brinson, Camilla, Cairo, Climax, Colquitt, Donalsonville, Iron City, Pelham, Thomasville, and Whigham. Some students also come from neighboring Florida and Alabama communities.
Bainbridge State College/Early County (Blakely)
On July 1, 2006, the responsibility and authority for the governance and administration of Albany Technical College’s Early County Campus facility, as well as its faculty, staff, and instructional programs, was transferred to Bainbridge State College. The site is located in Blakely, Georgia, at 40 Harold Ragan Drive. Technical certificates and degrees, as well as transfer courses and degrees, are offered for the citizens of Early and surrounding counties.
The Bainbridge State College Code is 011074. This code is used for financial aid and other records.
Bainbridge State College Mission Statement
Bainbridge State College, a two-year institution of the University System of Georgia, promotes an accessible, affordable, and excellent education for the diverse population of southwest Georgia and beyond through transfer degrees, technical degrees, diplomas and certificates, continuing education courses, public service opportunities, and collaboration with other educational providers, resulting in life- long learning, economic development, and graduates empowered for success in a global society.