For over 50 years, Gaston College has maintained a tradition of excellence through its commitment and dedication to student success. This tradition begins with a strong Vision, Mission, and Strategic Plan, and is further supported by the College’s Values, Educational Philosophy, and Ethical Principles.



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Gaston College will be viewed as the premier post-secondary educational resource in the region, consistently recognized as an exceptional community college and known in the state and nation for successful and innovative programs.


Gaston College is an open-door public community college, located in Gaston and Lincoln counties, that promotes student success and access to lifelong learning through high-quality, flexible, affordable, and comprehensive educational programs and services responding to economic and workforce development needs.

Activities in Support of the Mission

  • Provides comprehensive Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree programs designed primarily to prepare students to enter the workforce.
  • Provides diploma and certificate programs consisting of a sequence of courses that frequently can be completed in one year or less by full-time students. These programs are intended for individuals seeking employment in a specific occupation.
  • Provides Associate in Arts (A.A.), Associate in Science (A.S.), and Associate in Fine Arts (A.F.A.) degree programs primarily designed to prepare students to transfer to a four-year college or university.
  • Provides developmental education to prepare students for entry into a degree, diploma, or certificate program.
  • Provides adult literacy, English as a Second Language, and high school diploma or equivalency for students seeking to improve basic skills, complete high school requirements, prepare for the workforce, or enter post-secondary education.
  • Provides continuing education programs for individual, personal, and professional development and for employee education and training to satisfy the skill development needs of business, industry, and public agencies.
  • Assures quality in all educational programs by measuring performance on a set of well-established criteria and by identifying and analyzing program needs.
  • Assures quality instruction by establishing effective, innovative, and professional teaching practices; by frequent evaluation of instructor effectiveness; and by updating methods, materials, technology, equipment, and facilities.
  • Provides support services for all students, including services for students with disabilities and other special needs, to support student success and completion of academic goals.
  • Promotes collaborative relationships with school systems, colleges and universities, and with business and industry.
  • Promotes positive relationships with the community and provides services that support economic, educational, and cultural efforts.
  • Promotes access to educational programs through off-campus offerings and through distance-learning opportunities.

Strategic Plan – 2014-2019

Serve the Lifelong Learning Needs of a Diverse Community and Workforce

  • Enhance access, availability, and delivery of educational programs that are reflective of student, workplace, and community-based needs.
  • Develop new and revise existing market-driven programs focusing on the skills students need for successful employment.
  • Understand, support, and celebrate the diversity of the internal and external college communities.

Provide Effective Student-centered Services

  • Enhance and support a student-centered learning environment that fosters persistence and completion at key momentum points.
  • Continue implementation of a comprehensive enrollment management process.
  • Provide campus activities and services to promote student engagement.

Promote Collaborative Partnerships in the Community

  • Enhance partnerships with other educational organizations to provide opportunities for students to achieve their goals.
  • Strengthen partnerships with businesses, industries, and the community to enhance educational programs and economic and workforce development.

 Ensure Excellence in Educational Programs

  • Ensure excellence in teaching and learning by providing opportunities for professional development
  • Comply with all standards of regulatory bodies that govern the quality of educational programs.
  • Meet or exceed State performance measures.
  • Review educational programs for continuous improvement and resource optimization.
  • Continue to assess instructional deliveries and course content to ensure “active and collaborative learning and academic challenge” as measured by the “Community College Survey of Student Engagement.”
  • Continue to improve the quality of educational practices and curricular offerings through data collection and analysis.

Provide Resources to Support Quality Educational Programs and Services

  • Secure financial, facility, material, and personnel resources to effectively operate educational programs and support services.
  • Update and implement the facilities master plan.
  • Develop strategies to ensure retention and advancement of quality staff and faculty.
  • Review and update the College’s safety and security plan to meet changing needs.
  • Encourage and foster innovation, including the integration of new systems and technologies, throughout the Institution.
  • Continue to support the unique statewide mission of the Textile Technology Center.

Enhance Communication

  • Continue the implementation and assessment of an integrated marketing strategy.
  • Develop effective communication to encourage participation, interaction, and engagement from constituency groups, stakeholders, and the community.


  • Students
  • Excellence
  • Accessibility
  • Employees
  • Responsibility
  • Ethical Behavior
  • Public Trust
  • Communities
  • Cooperation and Partnerships
  • Diversity
  • Our College

Educational Philosophy

Gaston College students, faculty, and staff share a committed responsibility to nurture a mentoring, collaborative, and diverse culture of skilled lifelong learners who are empowered to succeed in a constantly changing world. Self-growth and empowerment are realized through many innovative processes, including an effective balance of assessment and evaluation. Empowered people set and achieve high standards of quality, create challenges for themselves and others, and support an active learner-centered environment offering real-life educational experiences.

Ethical Principles

  • Integrity
  • Competence
  • Equality and Acceptance
  • Honor and Trust
  • Privacy