Our Heritage and History

DeKalb Technical College History Rich with Achievement

In almost fifty years of service to students and the community, DeKalb Technical College – now Georgia Piedmont Tech – has a rich tradition and an impressive track record of growth. From its earliest days as DeKalb Area Vocational School, the name and operational control of the college have changed, but the mission to educate the community has been constant.

Significant milestones from our first fifty years:

  • Founded in 1961 as the DeKalb Area Vocational School

  • Earned accreditation from Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1970.

  • From 1972 – 1986, operated as a division of DeKalb Community College, under the governance of the DeKalb County Board of Education.

  • In 1997, construction of the Covington campus was completed.

  • In 1996, transitioned from county governance to state governance under Georgia’s technical college system.

  • In 2000, name changed to DeKalb Technical College.

  • By 2009, the college's service area includes DeKalb, Rockdale, Newton and Morgan counties.

  • Today, the college employs 264 fulltime and 662 part-time faculty and staff members, and serves almost 18,000 students annually.

Mission and History

Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) promotes a student-centered environment for lifelong learning and development, encompassing academic and technical education for employment in a global community.

Now celebrating its 50th year, Georgia Piedmont Technical College was first established in 1961 as DeKalb Area Vocational School. The college was initially organized in cooperation with the Vocational Division of the State Department of Education as a part of the total educational program operated by the DeKalb County Board of Education. DeKalb Technical College operated as a division and campus of Georgia Perimeter College from 1972 to 1986, and as the post-secondary unit of DeKalb County School System until June 30, 1996. On July 1, 1996, DeKalb Tech began operating as a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia. In 2000, DeKalb Technical Institute's name was officially changed to DeKalb Technical College. Established to serve a multi-county area east of Atlanta, the college is part of the Technical College System of Georgia.

The college enrolled its first class of 18 students in Electronics Technology in 1961. At that time, the college was in temporary quarters while the DeKalb Campus facility was under construction. The facility on North Indian Creek Drive in Clarkston opened in October 1963 and consists of five buildings, totaling 275,000 square feet of floor space.

Today, the college has nine centers of learning in DeKalb, Newton, Rockdale and Morgan counties. Georgia Piedmont Technical College currently has more than 8,000 students enrolled in credit programs and more than 9,000 in adult education and continuing education classes. Academic and technical programs at GPTC cover more than 120 different occupations. There are more than 260 full-time members of the faculty and staff, and part-time faculty and staff number approximately 660. Changing to semester scheduling in Fall 2011, Georgia Piedmont Technical College offers classes year-round, in fall, spring and summer terms.

Georgia Piedmont Technical College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award Associate of Applied Science degrees, diplomas and technical certificates of credit.