Jul 24, 2024  
2021-22 Gaston College Catalog 

Educational Programs


Continuing Education Programs

Gaston College’s Continuing Education Program offers a variety of short-term professional development programs, certifications and personal enrichment courses delivered traditionally or online. For more information and current course schedule visit: gaston.edu/economic-workforce-development/.

Center for Workforce Excellence

Gaston College’s Center for Workforce Excellence provides employers throughout Gaston and Lincoln counties with Corporate Training Solutions designed to assist them in meeting their organizational goals while remaining competitive in today’s global marketplace.  Examples of programs offered through the Center include Leadership Development, Building Maintenance Certification, Manufacturing Boot Camp, Quality Systems and Safety Certifications.  Center staff can also develop new programs or tailor existing courses and programs to meet an employer’s specific workforce needs. For more information on what Gaston College can do to assist you with improving your organization’s productivity and competitiveness visit: gaston.edu/economic-workforce-development/services-business-industry/customized-training-programs/.

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.

Continuing Education

Continuing Education offers a wide variety of courses including occupational and personal enrichment interests. Classes can be customized to meet industry and agency requirements as requested. We offer licensing and certification courses in Notary, Electronic Notary, Therapeutic Massage, Foodservice Nutrition, Nurse Aide I, II, and Refresher, Certified Production Technician, Private Pilot, Escort Vehicle Operator, and NC Auto Inspections. Our personal enrichment classes range in subjects such as Genealogy, Defensive Driving, and Motorcycle Two and Three Wheel Safety courses. Class availability is spread throughout 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. In addition to our seated classes, we offer over 400 internet-based courses in which many are approved for teacher renewal, as well as online Career Training Programs. All Continuing Education classes are convenient, affordable, and reflect the highest of quality.

Criminal Justice Academy

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

  State Mandated In-Service Training Courses:

Firearms Training and Qualification, Legal Update, School Safety and Responding to School Incidents, Continue to Make a Difference: Positive Engagement Stories and Studies.


Crisis Negotiations, Critical Thinking for Telecommunicators, Followership: Being an Influential Employee.

  In-Service Training Topics - Departmental Topics of Choice:

Hemp: Overview and Officers Roles, Officer Awareness: Responding to Victims of Trauma, Patrol Vehicle Operations, Physical and Mental Wellness: Building & Implementing a Plan for Improvement.


Handling the Active Assailant Call, Physical and Mental Wellness: Building & Implementing a Plan for Improvement, Shift Management Skills in the Communications Center, VIPER System and ESInet Explained.


Gaston College Criminal Justice Academy has partnered with The United States Army, and MANTA, North Carolina Counterdrug Program. This program provides federal funding to assist with advanced training for local law enforcement agencies. Gaston College will provide a paid firearms instructor to assist as needed. These classes will be held at the Gaston College Firearms Training Facility.

  Certification/Recertification Courses:

Radar Operator, Time-Distance Operator, Radar/Time-Distance Operator, LIDAR, Detention Officer Certification, Drug Recognition Expert.

  Specialized Training Courses:

Standardized Field Sobriety Testing, First Line Supervision, 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), Paramedic Online Hybrid, EMS Instructor Methodology - Level I EMS Instructor, EMS Educational Administration - Level II EMS Instructor.

     Renewal State Mandated Classes:

Recertification for Emergency Medical Responder, EMT, Advanced EMT and Paramedic, online and traditional classes, and Monthly EMS Continuing Education for Emergency Medical Technicians online and off campus.

     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, Professional Development for EMS Educators at all levels, TCCC, NREMT Prep Classes, etc.

     American Heart Association Training Center (AHA)

Gaston College is a full service American Heart 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), Pediatric Life Support (PALS), online and traditional classes. AHA Instructor classes are available as needed.

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 Office State Fire Marshal, 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, Technical Rescue, Hazardous Materials, Fire Officer, Fire Instructor, 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 live 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 gaston.edu/economic-workforce-development/public-safety-non-credit/restc/.

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 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 age 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/High School Equivalency (ABE/HSE): 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 Program 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 Campus and during the evening at the Lincoln Campus. 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 throughout Gaston and Lincoln counties. For additional information call 704.922.5205.

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.

WIOA NextGen Program:  NextGen is a federally funded program designed to help young adults, ages 16 - 24, achieve their educational and employment goals. The program offers a variety of supportive services to assist in-school, out-of-school and at risk youth, which include: academic assistance, occupational training, employability skills, work experience, career exploration, on-the-job training, post-secondary education, leadership development, employment and more. NextGen’s ultimate goal is to educate and prepare young adults for self-sufficiency in the world of work and life. For additional information and program eligibility call 704.923.8410.

Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP): Serves low-income unemployed persons who are 55 years of age and older, by training them in part-time community service assignments and by assisting them in developing skills and experience to facilitate their transition to unsubsidized employment. The SCSEP is locally sponsored by Gaston College. Funding comes from Senior Service America, Inc. (SSAI), headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland. SSAI administers the SCSEP on behalf of the U.S. Department of Labor. For additional information and program eligibility call 704.922.6318.

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 704.922.2244.

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 ncsbc.net/center.aspx?center=75220.

Work-Based Learning

Work-Based Learning (WBL) is an academic program that integrates classroom study with practical work experience in industry, business, and public agencies. The work experience constitutes a regular and essential element in the educational process by allowing students to apply their studies in a real work environment.

The WBL work experience is concurrent or alternates with academic studies. It is a paid or non-paid work experience, and students receive academic credit toward degree, diploma, or certificate requirements. Students work either part-time or full-time jobs with employers selected and/or approved by the College. Students are contacted and evaluated periodically by a faculty coordinator and receive on-the-job supervision by the employers.

WBL Eligibility

Students must meet the following criteria to be accepted into the program:

  • Be enrolled in an approved WBL curriculum.
  • Have a minimum 2.00 GPA or departmental approval.
  • Be recommended by a faculty member.
  • Complete a WBL application packet.

(Note: Enrollment in the WBL program does not guarantee placement for every student.)

Application Procedure

Interested students must complete a Work-Based Learning application packet and speak with a member of the Work-Based Learning staff. Note: Work-Based Learning staff will advise students to determine the correct WBL course(s) based on program area and state requirements.

Presently Employed Students

Students may qualify to receive academic credit if they are already employed in an area directly related to their academic major. The following general criteria will be used to determine eligibility:

  1. The student must be acquiring new skills or knowledge related to their academic major
  2. The student must be developing a recently learned skill or applying recently-learned knowledge related to their academic major
  3. The student must be receiving increased levels of responsibility related to their academic major
  4. The employer agrees to assist with an evaluation of the student’s progress and to permit on-the-job visits by WBL Faculty Coordinator.

Student Employment Services

Student Employment Services assists students and graduates who are seeking employment by making them aware of the range of career opportunities available, helping them present themselves effectively as candidates, and aiding them in finding part-time, full-time, temporary, or summer employment.

Some of the specific services and activities offered are Career Fair; employer on campus visits; recruiting events; resume writing information/workshops; interview techniques information/workshops; and posting of part-time, full-time, and temporary job openings on electronic Job Board (collegecentral.com/gastoncollege) and the bulletin board outside the Myers Center Cafeteria.

College Transfer Programs

(Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Associate in Fine Arts in Visual Arts, Associate in Engineering, and Associate in General Education-Nursing)

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 Science  (AS), Associate in Fine Arts in Visual Arts  (AFA), Associate in Engineering  (AE), and Associate in General Education-Nursing  (AGE-N). 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 an academic 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.

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 advising center 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.