As a leading city in the U.S. for higher education, Atlanta prides itself on its active student population and 22 institutions of higher learning. Both traditional and non-traditional students can take advantage of a wide range of degree and certificate programs, from the arts and sciences to medicine and law. With its large concentration of colleges and universities within its borders, Cobb County is a great place for students to earn their degrees, while also taking advantage of the recreational opportunities the county has to offer.
Kennesaw State University
As the third largest university in Georgia with more than 24,600 undergraduate and graduate students, Kennesaw State University (KSU) offers 80 bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degree programs. It has been a four-year institution since 1976 and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. KSU offers a wide range of programs from education, health, science and math to public administration and its recently introduced Ph.D. program in international conflict management, KSU’s local and national reputation is gaining steam. It has been recognized as one of the top universities in the region by U.S. News & World Report. KSU’s nursing program has the distinction of being the largest such program in the state, and its graduates are highly sought after in the medical community. In fact, many KSU graduates enter the job market prepared for careers in fields as wide ranging as communications and podiatry. A new certificate program in social media marketing shows that the university keeps up with trends in the job market.
Southern Polytechnic State University
Founded in 1948 as a two-year division of Georgia Tech University, Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU) has long attracted students eager to study engineering, technology and applied liberal arts. It relocated to Cobb County in 1961, and was accredited in 1970 as a four-year university. Since then, it has become one of the state’s leading educators in the fields of technology and engineering and an important part of the economy and job growth in Cobb County. Its enrollment of 6,500 students represent 36 states and 64 countries. In addition to its diversity, SPSU has also long been considered one of the best values in the Georgia University System. It recently received recognition from U.S. News & World Report for its online graduate computer information technology programs. Big changes are on the horizon for SPSU: In November 2013, it was announced that the university would merge with nearby Kennesaw State in August 2015.
Founded in 1974, Life University is best known for having the world’s largest chiropractic program. Over the past few years, it has expanded its academic curriculum and now offers a variety of degrees in programs like health care, science, business, psychology and other general studies fields. Its health programs teach the principle of vitalism, or the understanding that all living organisms are self-organizing, self-developing, self-maintaining and self-healing. Though it is a private school, U.S. News & World Report ranked Life No. 5 on its list of affordable private tuitions. Its rigorous coursework and innovative programs like Practice, Excellence, Art and Knowledge (or PEAK), an internship program that helps chiropractic students understand what is necessary to succeed in a practice, ensure that Life students are ready to hit the ground running in their professional careers as soon as they graduate. With an undergraduate population of more than 800 students, Life boasts a student-faculty ratio of 16:1. In their spare time, Life students stay busy cheering on their nationally ranked rugby and track teams.
Chattahoochee Technical College
In 2009, three schools within the Technical College System of Georgia came together to form Chattahoochee Technical College (CTC). The college’s eight campuses serve students in six counties in the Atlanta metro area, as well as those seeking degrees online. In Cobb, there are campuses in Austell, Marietta and Acworth. Altogether, about 20,000 students attend CTC each year. Degree programs include marketing management, accounting and television production, while those seeking certification or continuing education can pursue paralegal studies and CPR, among other topics. Students at CTC have won awards and accolades in competitions ranging from robotics to film. The return on investment from the community is profound: A study by the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business estimates that regional spending associated with CTC in adds up to more than $104 million in both the public and private sectors.