Nov 29, 2022  
2011-2012 Academic Catalog 

Educational Programs


Economic And Workforce Development/Continuing Education Programs

As a non-credit arm of the college, Economic and Workforce Development, has the flexibility to offer short-term courses, broad-based programs, and various services to the citizens of Gaston and Lincoln counties.

For information and current schedules related to Economic and Workforce Development/Continuing Education, visit the Gaston College website at

Childcare Workforce Development

The Childcare Workforce Development Program assists childcare providers with their advising and registration needs. The objective of this program is to allow childcare providers the opportunity to be advised and to be registered for classes without leaving their workplace.

Community Education Programs

Community Education offers a wide range of courses from occupational to personal interest. We also are able to offer customized classes for industry and other groups. We are the approved provider for the Safety and Health Council’s defensive driving classes that are approved in the Gaston and Lincoln County court system. Additionally, Community Education offers computer classes during the day. Classes are available at Gaston College’s three campuses located in Dallas, Belmont and Lincolnton, North Carolina. Community Education also offers over 400 Internet-based courses, many of which are approved for teacher renewal. Our classes are convenient, affordable, and high-quality. For additional information, visit

Corporate Education

Corporate Education provides customized training for businesses in Gaston and Lincoln Counties. This training is designed to help businesses meet their goals and remain competitive in the global marketplace. Examples of customized training include Process Improvement programs. These include Lean Manufacturing, ISO and AS9100 certifications, 5S, and Six Sigma. A variety of safety and safety certification programs are also available including forklift safety, confined space, and Hazwoper. Courses are taught by certified instructors. For a complete listing of Corporate Education courses visit

Customized Training Program

North Carolina’s Customized Training Program supports economic development efforts through education and training opportunities for eligible businesses and industries. The program recognizes the fact that one of the most important factors for a business or industry considering locating, expanding, or remaining in North Carolina is the presence of a well-trained workforce. The Customized Training Program is designed to meet business needs and respect the confidential nature of proprietary processes and information within those businesses.

The Customized Training Program provides assistance for full-time production and direct customer service positions created in the State to enhance the growth potential of these companies and simultaneously prepare the State’s workforce with the skills essential to successful employment in emerging industries.

Business and industries eligible for support through the Customized Training Program include Manufacturing, Technology Intensive (i.e., Information Technology, Life Sciences), Regional or National Warehousing and Distribution Centers, Customer Support Centers, Air Courier Services, National Headquarters with operations outside North Carolina, and Civil Service employees providing technical support to U.S. military installations located in North Carolina. To receive assistance, eligible businesses and industries must demonstrate two or more of the following criteria:

  • Making an appreciable capital investment;
  • Deploying new technology;
  • Creating jobs, expanding an existing workforce, or enhancing the productivity and profitability of the operations within the State; and
  • Enhancing workers’ skills.

Full-time probationary employees (temp-to-hire) of qualified Customized Training companies are eligible for training delivered by Gaston College. The use of Customized Training funds requires that trainees are paid by the company for all time during training hours.

Criminal Justice Academy

The Criminal Justice Academy serves regional criminal justice agencies by offering a wide range of professional courses to maintain and supplement their specialized training needs. These courses include:

  State Mandated In-Service Training Courses:
      Firearms Training and Qualification; Legal Update; Juvenile Minority Sensitivity Training; Interactions, Communications, and Understanding; Career Survival; Leadership and Mentoring; Domestic Violence; Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Relationships.
      Elder Abuse Awareness and the Telecommunicator, Tactical Dispatch: An Overview, Handling Difficult Callers.
  In-Service Training Course - Topics of Choice:
      JMST: The System and Options, Courtroom Testimony, Active Shooter: Practical Refresher, Human Trafficking, Dealing with the Older Driver, Arrest, Search and Seizure.
      Effectively Working Through Major Events, Healthy Living for Telecommunicators, Shift Work: Effective Coping Skills for Telecommunicators.
  Certification/Recertification Courses:
    Radar Operator, Time-Distance Operator, Radar/Time-Distance Operator, Chemical Analyst Certification, Drug Recognition Expert (DRE), Detention Officer Certification, General Instructor Training, Animal Control Officer Basic Training.
  Specialized Training Courses:
    First Line Supervision, Comprehensive Roadside Interdiction, Standardized Field Sobriety Testing, Rapid Deployment: Immediate Response to an Active Shooter, Law Enforcement Driving, SWAT Training, Patrol Rifle, Advanced Patrol Rifle, High-Risk Warrant Service, Firearm Skills for Female Officers, PRISim (Simulator) Use of Force Training, TASER Training, Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) Aerosol Spray, School Resource Officer Training, Bloodborne Pathogens, Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT).

 Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Education

The EMS Education program is approved by the North Carolina Office of EMS and leads the region in providing an Associate Degree in Emergency Medical Science – Paramedic, emergency medical services education and training for EMS departments, volunteer and career first responders, healthcare agencies, schools, business, industry, and the public. The Department for EMS Education provides initial and renewal certification education for Paramedic, Emergency Medical Technician, EMTIntermediate, and Emergency Medical Responder. Additional EMS Education courses include EMS Instructor Methodology (Level I EMS Instructor), EMS Education Administration (Level II Instructor), International Trauma Life Support, Prehospital Trauma Life Support, Advanced Medical Life Support, Geriatric Emergency Medical Services, and Pediatric Education for Prehospital Professionals. Gaston College is also an approved American Heart Association (AHA) Training Center offering CPR, First Aid, Bloodborne Pathogens, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, ECG, and Pharmacology.

Fire and Rescue Training

Gaston College leads the state in the delivery of Fire and Rescue Training. The program assists local municipal and volunteer fire departments and rescue squads in the overall training of firefighter and rescue personnel. Certification training is delivered in cooperation with the NC Fire and Rescue Commission and the National Fire Academy, utilizing standards of the National Fire Protection Association. Programs offered for North Carolina certification are Firefighter-Levels I & II, Technical Rescue, Rescue Technician, Rescue Technician Specialist, and Emergency Driver/Operator & Pumps, and Aerial Operations. Courses are offered on the Dallas Campus, at the Regional Emergency Services Training Center, and at various off-campus locations throughout Gaston and Lincoln counties.

Regional Emergency Services Training Center (RESTC)

The Regional Emergency Services Training Center (RESTC) provides basic, continuing, and advanced training in all areas of emergency services including fire, rescue, law enforcement, and emergency medical services. The primary intent of the RESTC is to improve the training and level of expertise within emergency services across the state of North Carolina.

The facility began operation in January 1991 and is located on 25 acres on Gaston College’s Dallas campus. The RESTC includes a five-story, 21,000 square foot commercial burn structure, which is used for real-life fire and emergency training. The burn structure is the largest of its type in the United States. The burn structure houses a pitched-roof ventilation training area, industrial simulation areas, interior combustible liquid area, five-story vertical confined space shaft, and 1,800 square foot simulated smoke maze. A second 1,500 square foot burn building, simulating a three bedroom ranch style house was added in 2004. In addition to the burn structures, there are also 12 flammable liquid/liquid petroleum gas pits, confined space areas, hazardous materials areas, and a training pavilion with fitness center located at the RESTC. The center also operates a mobile Swede Flashover Survival training unit which is used for firefighter survival training on campus and across the southeast. For more information, visit the RESTC website at

Industrial Emergency Response Team and Fire Brigade Training: Gaston College’s RESTC specializes in Nuclear Fire Brigade and High-Risk Response Training and leads the state in the delivery of Industrial Fire Brigade Training. This program provides training for local, regional, and national industry through the delivery of customized programs of training addressing the specific needs of each customer. These programs include on-site visits, consultations, and specialized courses in the areas of confined space, hazardous materials, basic and advanced fire suppression techniques, and rescue operations.

Life Skills Program

The Life Skills Department Program is designed to raise the literacy level in Gaston and Lincoln counties. To be admitted to the Life Skills Program, students must attend the New Student Orientation. New Student Orientation schedules are available on the college’s website at

Students ages sixteen and seventeen who have been in school for at least six months must complete a Minor Student Application which can be obtained in the Pearson Life Skills Building.

Life Skills programs include the following:

Adult Basic Education Program/General Education Development (ABE/GED): The ABE component provides basic skills education for adults with less than an eighth grade education. The ABE curriculum focuses on the development of skills required for employability such as reading, writing, speaking, computation, and critical thinking. The Life Skills department maintains ABE/GED classes at the Dallas and Lincoln Campuses, as well as at other sites throughout Gaston and Lincoln counties. For additional information call 704.922.6322 or 704.748.1047.

Adult High School (AHS): AHS offers high school courses for adults 18 years or older. Program participants are awarded a high school diploma based on successful completion of the necessary coursework. Adult High School classes are offered during the day and evening at the Dallas and during the day at Lincoln Campuses. For additional information call 704.922.6319 or 704.748.1045.

Compensatory Education (CED): CED provides instruction to help mentally handicapped adults develop skills and abilities necessary to obtain employment and achieve self-sufficiency. Courses are offered in the areas of community living skills, consumer education, health, language, math, social science, and vocational education. For additional information call 704.922.6320.

English as a Second Language (ESL): ESL provides instruction for individuals with limited English proficiency. ESL stresses development of basic language skills and preparation for daily life, employment, and citizenship. Gaston College offers ESL classes that teach speaking, reading, and writing English to immigrants preparing them for citizenship and life in the community. Instruction is provided in a structured class and/or lab environment that is enhanced with computer-based tutorials at several locations throughout Gaston and Lincoln counties. For additional information call 704.922.6318.

GED Testing: GED Testing is designed to measure academic skills in reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies. Persons who pass the GED test receive a high school equivalency diploma. GED testing services are provided at the Dallas and Lincoln Campuses. For additional information call 704.922.6321.

Human Resources Development (HRD) Program

The Human Resources Development Program is a job seeking/job keeping program that prepares the participants for the workplace. It is designed to help participants develop a positive attitude and self-concept as well as upgrade the level of education needed to prepare for, obtain, and maintain employment. Many of the classes are tuition-waived for qualifying adults and are available at convenient locations throughout Gaston and Lincoln counties. For additional information call 704-922-6546.

Small Business Center

The Small Business Center is a specially funded program that provides no-fee consulting and seminars for entrepreneurs. The Gaston College Center is one of 58 Small Business Centers comprising the NC Community College Small Business Center Network. The Small Business Center provides assistance in business planning, marketing, accounting, personnel, financing, and management concerns relating to small business. For more information, refer to the Small Business Center webpage at

Teacher Renewal Program

The Gaston College Teacher Renewal Program responds to the needs of educators offering a great variety of innovative and effective courses designed to maximize student learning. Courses are offered at various times, and online at any of our three locations. Each course offers Continuing Education Units for renewal of a North Carolina Teaching Licensure.

Economic and Workforce Development/ Continuing Education Repeat Policy

Students are limited to two enrollments in the same state-supported occupational course within a five-year period. Students may enroll more than two times, but must pay the regular registration fee per contact hour rather than the regular course fee. (Exception: Enrollment in courses for a certificate is not restricted by the repeat policy.)

General Education Competencies

Upon successful completion of any associate degree program at Gaston College, students will demonstrate the following general education competencies:

  Competency 1: Use computers and other educational technologies to achieve academic and work-related goals.
  Competency 2: Communicate non-verbally by reading analytically and writing fluently.
  Competency 3: Analyze problems and make logical decisions.
  Competency 4: Examine the arts/humanities and social behavioral sciences from cultural and historic perspectives.
  Competency 5: Analyze, manipulate, and interpret quantitative data.

Learn 4 Life Program

The Learn 4 Life program is an educational enrichment program at Gaston College. The program provides a high degree of individual choice and challenge for motivated students. The Learn 4 Life program is designed to promote personal discovery and reflection, a sense of community, and an awareness of diversity. Students are required to complete four (4) learning experiences from areas such as Service Learning, completion of an honors course, educational club participation, and other approved options. Students are required to maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher and must graduate with either a diploma or degree. Students should check with the Dean’s Office in their division to learn if their program is participating in the Learn 4 Life Program

College Transfer Programs

(Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, and Associate in Fine Arts)

Gaston College offers a college transfer program for students intending to transfer to a four-year college or university by offering courses that parallel those offered during the first two years at four-year institutions. Students who transfer from Gaston College pursue majors such as Agriculture, Anthropology, Architecture, Art, Business Administration, Commercial Art, Design, Education, Engineering, English, Fine Arts, Foreign Language, History, Mathematics, Music, Pre-Law, Pre-Medicine, Pre-Ministry, Pharmacy, Psychology, Science, Sociology, Textiles, and others. Students may complete a 44-hour Diploma in Arts  (DA) or Diploma in Science  (DS) or a 64-65 hour Associate in Arts Degree  (AA), Associate in Fine Arts  (AFA), or Associate in Science Degree  (AS). Students not interested in pursuing a degree may enroll in courses for personal growth and fulfillment.

A Cooperative Education (COE) or ACA course of one semester hour of credit may be included in a 65 semester hour credit degree program such as Associate in Arts, Associate in Fine Arts, and Associate in Sciences. This course will receive transfer evaluation (not necessarily credit) by the receiving institution.

Each student should confer with a counselor or advisor about course selection prior to registration. Only with approval of the appropriate dean may students substitute courses for those specifically required for graduation and courses outside the area of specialization. Students are responsible for the proper completion of their academic programs based upon the requirements stated in the Gaston College Catalog in conjunction with the current schedule.

Counselors or advisors will provide assistance to students regarding transfer to other institutions. Transfer of credits from one institution to another is subject to change. It is the responsibility of the transferring students to research their prospective senior institution. Students may contact the counseling department of Gaston College or the admissions office at the college to which they plan to transfer for information and guidance on transfer of credits. Although faculty, staff, counselors, advisors, and administrators are available to help students with planning, the responsibility rests upon the individual student.

Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA)

Under the provisions of House Bill 739 and Senate Bill 1161, the North Carolina Community College System and the University of North Carolina system have developed a Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA) to facilitate the transfer of credits for community college students.

Gaston College graduates of Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degree programs who have made a C or better in each course will be considered to have fulfilled the institution-wide, general education requirements of UNC schools to which they are admitted and will be admitted as Juniors. Foreign language and physical education requirements of receiving institutions must still be met.

Transfer students from Gaston College who have completed the 44 hours of general education classes (core classes or Diploma in Arts or Diploma in Science) with a C or better in each class will be considered to have fulfilled the institution-wide, general education requirements of UNC schools. The general education core is a set of 44 semester hours (S.H.) that specifically includes approved courses in the following:

English Composition 6 SHC 6 SHC
Humanities/Fine Arts 12 SHC 9 SHC
Social Behavioral Sciences 12 SHC 9 SHC
Natural Sciences 8 SHC 8-12 SHC
Math 6 SHC 8-12 SHC

Transfer students from Gaston College who have not completed the 44 hours of general education classes (core classes) with a C or better in each class or who have not graduated will have to meet the general education requirements of the receiving institution. These students will have their transcripts evaluated on a course-by-course basis by the receiving universities.

The North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities have adopted a parallel version of the CAA (ICAA). The following private colleges and universities in North Carolina honor the ICAA: Barton, Belmont Abbey, Bennett, Brevard, Campbell, Catawba, Chowan, Gardner-Webb, Johnston C. Smith, Lees McRae, Livingstone, Louisburg, Mars Hill, Montreat, Mount Olive, North Carolina Wesleyan, Peace, Pfeiffer, Queens, St. Andrews, Saint Augustine’s, Shaw, Warren Wilson, and Wingate.

Associate in Applied Science Degrees

The Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees are two-year programs that prepare the student for the workforce. Additionally, there are some senior institutions where all or part of these degrees are accepted as the first two years of a four-year program. A few of the senior institutions that accept some of Gaston College A.A.S. degrees are the following: Appalachian State University, Belmont Abbey College, Gardner-Webb University, Lenoir Rhyne College, Pfeiffer College, Mars Hill College, University of NC at Charlotte, Western Carolina University, and Winston-Salem State University.

Some senior institutions will evaluate the Associate in Applied Science Degree on a course-by-course basis.

The minimum requirements for the Associate in Applied Science Degree vary with the degree program. The completion of no fewer than twenty (20) semester hours while in attendance at Gaston College is required.

A student is eligible to graduate with an Associate in Applied Science Degree upon completion of the curriculum requirements for the particular program listed in this catalog. A student must have a 2.00 grade point average on courses presented for graduation.