Dalton State Recognized for Commitment to Teaching by U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges List: WSOB Also Earns Recognition


At Dalton State, faculty members’ primary focus is on the students. It’s a commitment that has earned the college a spot on the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges List.

Dalton State ranked 15 on the list of Best Undergraduate Teaching programs, among 124 in Regional Colleges in the South. Also, the Wright School of Business was listed in the Best Undergraduate Business Programs Rankings. The lists are compiled based on responses to surveys distributed to peer groups.

“While Dalton State does not pursue such rankings, I am pleased to see the broader community recognize the value that Dalton State offers our region, our state and our country,” said Dr. Margaret Venable, president of Dalton State. “The high quality of our academic programs is not new. But it is wonderful to know our peers are noticing.”

The Best Undergraduate Teaching programs list is for schools with a strong commitment to teaching students instead of a focus on conducting graduate-level research, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Dalton State has long been known locally for its rigorous academic programs and for our emphasis on undergraduate teaching,” Venable said. “In more recent years, we have added degree programs needed by our local employers and sought after by our students while ensuring we are using modern pedagogical methods and technological tools to prepare our students for the work environment.”

The college’s student to faculty ratio is 19:1 meaning students can receive more individualized attention.

“Our graduates who are hired to work in local school systems and industry are the best indicators of the quality programs we provide,” said Dr. Jodi Johnson, vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. “As a teaching institution our faculty work directly with students and mentor them throughout their academic careers, and in some cases, after graduation. In a recent survey, our graduates overwhelmingly indicated faculty took an interest in their academic performance and career path. When compared with peers from similar institutions, our graduates reported significantly higher levels of faculty engagement and support.”

Dalton State College delivers a transformational education experience in a diverse, caring community to approximately 5,000 students. An institution of the University System of Georgia, Dalton State provides broad access to 25 high-quality bachelor's degrees, as well as associate degrees and career certificate programs. Dalton State is Georgia’s first and only Hispanic-Serving Institution and attracts students from 42 countries worldwide.

“Being recognized by the U.S. News and World Report as one of the Best Colleges for Undergraduate Teaching in our region is well overdue,” said Dr. Adrian Epps, interim provost and vice president of Academic Affairs. “Many community members and colleagues throughout the region have long recognized there is something special at Dalton State. The commitment of faculty, with the support of administration and staff, work diligently to delivery high quality, engaging curriculum that prepares students to transition successfully into the workforce or pursue graduate-level coursework. Employers and graduate schools across the country often recruit our students because of the terrific preparation they received while matriculating through our programs.”


Wright School of Business

The WSOB has strong partnerships with community and international educational organizations to ensure students gain first-hand, real-world experience before graduation through participation in internships, research-related conferences and team case competitions.

Thanks to a recent gift by C. Lamar and Ann Wright, the WSOB is now housed in the newly renovated and expanded Gignilliat Memorial Hall, and features modern technology, collaborative workspaces and hands-on labs.

The Business Advisory Counsel, comprised of business leaders from the region, ensures students are learning the latest industry software, technology and methods. In addition to courses taught by expert faculty, several are taught by corporate community leaders.

“It shows we’re being recognized for great value and the excellence of our business program,” said Dr. Marilyn Helms, dean of the WSOB. “We have a strong group of dedicated and qualified faculty. On a recent afternoon when there were no classes in session, I saw a professor working through classwork with three of his students. Our faculty want students to succeed in their professional careers.

“Our business students are highly sought after by area employers, even as early as the beginning of their junior year, for internships and job placements,” she said. “We start placing freshmen and sophomores in job shadowing experiences. This way students choose the right major for their interests. Then we work closely with students through advising and make sure they stay on the academic path that’s right for them and help them choose a business minor to differentiate them in the job market.”

The WSOB offers six majors and 11 minors to help graduates succeed in business. This year, the school celebrates 20 years offering bachelor’s degrees. The WSOB has earned an accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which is held by less than 5 percent of business schools globally and has been accredited since 2010.