Greensboro: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

The Guilford County Schools (GCS) system was created on July 1, 1993, when the former Greensboro, High Point, and Guilford County school systems merged to form the third largest school district in North Carolina. The system continues to grow each year by approximately 1,200 new students. The academic achievement of GCS students has risen each year since the merger, as well. GCS offers its high school students two directions to help them prepare for future careers: College Tech Prep and College Prep. The system has earned a state and national reputation for its technological innovations that help its own students and students in other districts statewide.

Sixteen Magnet Schools focus on specialized topics such as communications, cultural arts, and foreign language. Other local high schools include International Baccalaureate programs while Middle College High Schools operate on area college campuses. The Early College at Guilford provides high school students the opportunity to earn college credits, and the Saturn Academy has flexible schedules. High school students may also take advantage of performing arts courses, television production classes, and courses in photography and commercial food service. Students with autism, cerebral palsy, orthopedic impairments, and severe and profound handicaps can attend GSC's Gateway Education Center, a facility that is world-renowned for its exceptional programs. McIver Education Center serves about 100 mentally challenged students from age 3 to 22.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Guilford County Schools as of the 2003–2004 school year.

Total enrollment: 65,828

Number of facilities

elementary schools: 64

junior high/middle schools: 19

senior high schools: 22

other: 2

Student/teacher ratio: 20:1 (kindergarten-grade 5); 23:1 (grades 6-8); 20:1 (grades 9-12)

Teacher salaries

minimum: $28,890

maximum: $64,320

Funding per pupil: $6,587 (2001–2002)

The city also is served by 48 private schools, including church-related (37) and nonreligious (11) institutions.

Public Schools Information: Guilford County Schools, 712 N. Eugene St., Greensboro, NC 27401; telephone (336)370-8100

Colleges and Universities

The 200-acre University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), with more than 14,300 students and 800 full-time faculty members, is the largest of the colleges and universities in Greensboro. Founded in 1891 as a women's school, it became coeducational in the fall of 1964. Undergraduate degrees are offered in more than 100 fields, and graduate and professional degrees are granted in more than a dozen areas of study.

The city's other state university, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (A & T), was founded in 1891 as a land-grant institution offering agricultural and mechanical training to African Americans. In 2004 more than 10,000 students were enrolled at the university. Known for its nationally accredited engineering department, the university offers undergraduate and master's degrees in a half dozen engineering specialties.

The oldest college in Greensboro, Guilford College, is also one of the city's most respected institutions. Founded in 1837 by the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, Guilford is the third oldest coeducational institution in the United States. Majors are offered in more than three dozen areas, ranging from accounting to criminal justice to women's studies.

One year after Guilford College was founded, Greensboro College opened its doors, becoming the third college chartered for women in the United States. It became coeducational in 1954. Located in the historic College Hill area, Greensboro College today is a Methodist-affiliated institution with 1,300 students that emphasizes individual attention (student-teacher ratio is 14:1) within a traditional liberal arts framework.

Rounding out the private liberal arts colleges in Greensboro is Bennett College, which opened in 1873 as a school for the children of former slaves, and became a women's college in 1926. Bennett is still for women only and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Among the most popular areas of study for its approximately 600 students are interdisciplinary studies, biology, and business administration.

A wide variety of opportunities, from career exploration to high-technology business training, are offered through Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC), which has a main campus in nearby Jamestown and satellite campuses in downtown Greensboro. Established in 1958, GTCC is the third largest public two-year college in the state and has a student body in excess of 11,000 along with nearly 21,000 in continuing education programs. The college provides important training to the local work force.

The Greater Greensboro Consortium (GGC) provides the unique opportunity to degree-seeking students of the eight participating institutions in the metropolitan area (Bennett College, Elon College, Greensboro College, Guilford Technical Community College, High Point University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (A & T), and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro) to take classes at any of the schools that meet specific criteria.

Libraries and Research Centers

The Greensboro Public Library, opened in 1902, consists of a central facility (founded in 1998) and six branches, has some 541,000 books and more than 17,000 serial volumes in its collection, as well as audio tapes and video tapes, CD ROMs, DVDs, slides, maps, and art prints. All locations have computers with Internet access (about 200 in total) and some provide classes. Special collections are maintained in the areas of business and management, local history, and genealogy; resources are available for the use of nonprofit agencies.

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is the home of the 220,000-square-foot Walter Clinton Jackson Library. It maintains more than 3.4 million items featuring 700,000 federal and state documents and 5,100 serial subscriptions.

Several research centers are based in Greensboro; most are affiliated with either the University of North Carolina at Greensboro or North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. The topics under investigation include business and economics, transportation, nutrition, semiconductors, and the effects of social, economic, and cultural deprivation. The city also boasts a Center for Creative Leadership that has a variety of programs geared toward the development of leaders in the business world.

Public Library Information: Greensboro Public Library, 219 N. Church St., Greensboro, NC 27401; telephone (336)373-2471