May 29, 2023  
2015-2016 Gaston College 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

Business and Industry Training Services

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. Many leadership and supervisory development classes are also offered. 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.

Continuing Education

Continuing Education offers a wide range of courses from occupational to personal interest.  Customized classes for industry and other groups are also available and may be designed to meet industry and agency requirements.  Gaston College Continuing Education is the approved provider for the Safety and Health Council’s defensive driving classes that are sanctioned in the Gaston and Licoln County court system.  Additionally, computer classes from beginning to advanced are offered during the day and evening.  Classes are available at Gaston College’s three campuses located in Dallas, Belmont, and Lincolnton, as well as online.  Continuing Education is also an approved provider for a wide variety of CEU classes that are required for many occupations, including healthcare related courses such as Certified Nurse Aide and cosmetology.  Also available are over 400 Internet-based courses, many of which are approved for teacher renewal. All the classes are convenient, affordable, and high-quality.

Criminal Justice Academy

The Criminal Justice Academy provides professional training for the regional criminal justice community.  Courses include law enforcement, detention, and telecommunications.  In-service training courses are designed to facilitate the mandated training requirements for criminal justice personnel, state certification and recertification programs, and advanced specialized training.

The Criminal Justice Academy surveys regional criminal justice agencies and works closely with the Southern Piedmont Law Enforcement Trainers Association (SPLETA) to determine their training needs and to develop innovative courses.  Following are some of the courses available.

  State Mandated In-Service Training Courses:

Firearms Training and Qualification, Legal Update, JMST: What does it have to do with me?, Domestic Violence: Teen Dating Violence

      Crisis Negotiation, Interpersonal Communications: Team Building, Emotional Survival, Tactical Dispatch.
  In-Service Training Course - Topics of Choice:
      Officer Safety: Use of Force Overview, Law Enforcement Intelligence Update, Public Safety: Storm Spotting, Missing and Abducted Children, Emotional Survival, Active Shooter Overview.
      Law Enforcement Intelligence Update, Missing and Abducted Children, Domestic Violence: Teen Dating Violence.
  Certification/Recertification Courses:
    Radar Operator, Time-Distance Operator, Radar/Time-Distance Operator, Chemical Analyst-Intoximeter EC/IR II, Detention Officer Certification, General Instructor Training, Drug Recognition Expert
  Specialized Training Courses:
    Standardized Field Sobriety Testing, Executive Protection, First Line Supervision, Comprehensive Roadside Interdiction, Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) Aerosol Spray, Rapid Deployment: Immediate Response to an Active Shooter, Hazardous Materials, Bloodborne Pathogens, Law Enforcement Driving, SWAT Training, Patrol Rifle, High-Risk Warrant Service, Firearm Skills for Female Officers, Advanced Patrol Rifle, TASER Training, PRISim (Simulator) Use of Force Training, School Resource Officer Training.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Education Continuing Education

The Department for EMS Education provides initial certification courses and specific continuing education courses and programs for public safety agencies, business and industry, and the public. The classes offered include the following:

     Initial State Certification Classes:

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), EMS Instructor Methodology - Level  EMS Instructor, EMS Administration - Level II EMS Instructor.

     Renewal State Mandated Classes:

EMT Refresher, Paramedic Refresher, and Monthly EMS Continuing Education for Emergency Medical Technicians.

     Specialty Classes and Training Courses:

Prehospital Trauma Life Support Provider, Instructor, and Renewal; Pediatric Education for Prehospital Professionals Provider, Instructor, and Renewal; Advanced Medical Life Support Provider, Instructor, and Renewal; FEMA/DHS.

     American Heart Association Training Center (AHA)

Gaston College is a full service American Heartt Association Training Center serving Gaston and Lincoln Counties offering Healthcare Provider CPR, Heartsaver CPR, Heartsaver First Aid with CPR and AED, Bloodborne Pathogens, Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), and Pediatric Life Support (PALS).

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, Hazardous Materials, Fire Officer, Fire Instructor, Rapid Intervention Team, 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 flat 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. It has two pitched-roof ventilation areas. 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 restroom and shower facilities 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. Also located at the RESTC is the Bernard Dalton Driving Track which is used for small vehicle (police and ambulance) emergency driving training. Offices and classroom facilities for the RESTC are housed in the Albright Public Safety Building, along with additional locker room facilities, refreshment area, and a fitness center.  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 a Basic Skills Student Success Class. Depending on the program you plan on entering you will first need to attend a Student Success Class. For Adult High School please call 704.748.5205 (Lincolnton) or 704.922.6319. For Adult Basic Education/High School Equivalency please call 704.922.6545, 704.748.5206 (Lincolnton) or 704.922.6320.

Students ages sixteen and seventeen must complete a Minor Student Application which can be obtained in the Pearson Life Skills Building, or Life Skills office on the Lincoln Campus.

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/HSE classes at the Dallas and Lincoln Campuses, as well as at other sites throughout Gaston and Lincoln counties. For additional information call 704.922.6320 or 704.748.5206.

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 704.748.5205.

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 Reasoning through Language Arts, 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, financing, and management concerns relating to small business. To register for Small Business Center seminars, or to schedule a counseling appointment, please visit

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 online. Each course offers Continuing Education Units for renewal of a North Carolina Teaching Licensure.

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 effectively through writing, reading, and speaking.
  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 60-61 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 Work-based Learning (WBL) or ACA course of one semester hour of credit may be included in a 61 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 academic 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.

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 N.C. 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.