Clayton State University

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Clayton State University
Clayton State University logo
© Clayton State University
Established 1969
Type Public
President Thomas J. "Tim" Hynes, Jr.
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 7145
Location Morrow, Georgia, United States
33°35′40″N 84°19′42″W / 33.59444°N 84.32833°W / 33.59444; -84.32833Coordinates: 33°35′40″N 84°19′42″W / 33.59444°N 84.32833°W / 33.59444; -84.32833
Sports Lakers, NCAA Division II Athletics Page

Clayton State University is a public university in Morrow, Georgia, serving Metro Atlanta, and is a selective Senior Unit of the University System of Georgia. In 2014, it was ranked #8 among Public Colleges in the Southern United States by US News & World Report.[1] In 2015, the Carnegie Foundation classified Clayton State as a Community Engaged university, acknowledging its significant university outreach to Metro Atlanta communities, businesses, and non-profit institutions.[2]

The main campus includes 192 acres (0.78 km2) of peaceful wooded grounds, featuring five lakes and a park-like atmosphere. Located in the north-central part of Clayton County in suburban south metro Atlanta, the main campus is a fifteen minute drive from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and about twenty minutes from downtown Atlanta.[3] Clayton State also maintains a separate Fayette County instructional site in Peachtree City and offers additional instruction at locations in Jonesboro in Clayton County and McDonough in Henry County.[4]

In 2014 the University enrolled 7145 students, served by 208 full-time faculty and 356 full-time staff.[5]

Upon opening in 1991, Clayton State's Spivey Hall began presenting jazz, classical music and other musical entertainment. It has since developed into one of the premiere chamber music venues in the Atlanta metropolitan area and offers more than 400 performances per year.[6] These performances air frequently on Georgia Public Broadcasting.[7]

Clayton State basketball, soccer, cross-country, tennis, golf, and cheerleading programs are part of the Division II NCAA sports conference. In 2011, the Clayton State women’s basketball team won the NCAA Division II national championship. [8]


The institution was founded in 1969 and was originally known as Clayton Junior College. When the school became a four-year institution in 1986, the institute took on the name Clayton State College. In 1996, the Georgia Board of Regents renamed many higher-education institutions, with Clayton State becoming Clayton College and State University. In 2005, the name was changed to Clayton State University to acknowledge its fast-growing undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Clayton State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, and masters degrees.[9]

Clayton State University is organized into four colleges and one school:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Business
  • College of Health
  • College of Information and Mathematical Sciences
  • School of Graduate Studies

The College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; only the top 5% of all business schools worldwide are AACSB accredited.[10] The Harry S. Downs Continuing Education Center, overlooking the main campus lake, is offers programs in language, personal growth, and technical subjects, and is also a venue for conferences and special events.

In 2004, approval for developing a masters program was given by the Georgia Board of Regents. Clayton State University currently offers nine masters degree programs and 40 baccalaureate degree majors.[11]

The School of Graduate Studies guides nine graduate programs:

  1. Master of Business Administration, concentrations in Accounting, International Business, Supply Chain Management, Sports and Entertainment Management, and Human Resource Leadership
  2. Master of Science in Nursing, concentrations in Education and Leadership
  3. Master of Science in Psychology, concentrations in Applied Developmental and Clinical
  4. Master of Archival Studies
  5. Master of Arts in Teaching English
  6. Master of Arts in Teaching Mathematics
  7. Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, concentrations in Political Science, English, Criminology, Liberal Studies, and History
  8. Master of Education with a major in Teacher Leadership
  9. Master of Healthcare Administration

The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.[12]

In the fall of 2008, Clayton State University opened its first on-campus housing facility, Laker Hall, with 451 beds. Laker Hall is Georgia's first and only gigabite ethernet service residence hall.[citation needed]

Student body[edit]

Clayton State students live throughout Atlanta and Georgia, and represent every region of the United States and some 30 foreign countries.

While one-third of the students are under 22, the median age is 28 and the University is recognized for two-thirds of its students being non-traditional, adult learners.

The US News & World Report ranking of colleges in 2010 identified Clayton State University as having the most diverse student body population among comprehensive baccalaureate-level colleges and universities in the Southern United States six times in the past decade.[13]

All students are required to own, or have access to, a laptop computer, regardless of major or status. On February 1, 2011 the student login "SWAN" (Student Web Access Network) was updated to be more secure against phishing of students' usernames and passwords.

The Campus Events Council is the largest student-based organization on the Clayton State University campus, providing informational and social events.

Recent developments[edit]

In addition to the significant expansion of the University's undergraduate and graduate academic programs, the past half dozen years[when?] at Clayton State have been highlighted by the establishment of the first joining state and federal archives facilities in the United States adjacent to campus, the institution of a comprehensive strategic planning process, and the reaffirmation of the University's accreditation by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).[citation needed]

The James M. Baker University Center, was completed in August 2004 and named in honor of Clayton State alumnus James M. "Jim" Baker in November 2005. The building contains a food service area, a help desk for servicing notebook computers, state-of-the-art visual technology in classrooms, offices and enhanced learning facilities including wireless capabilities and more than 2,000 data drops.

In a six-week period between August and October 2008, the University dedicated three new buildings: the University's first student housing (Laker Hall), the Student Activities Center, and a new building for the AACSB-accredited School of Business.

When President Dr. Thomas K. Harden left to become chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in May 2009, Dr. Thomas J. "Tim" Hynes, Jr., provost of the University of West Georgia, became Clayton State's interim president, being appointed permanently by the Board of Regents as the University's fourth president on February 9, 2010.

On January 26, 2011, Clayton State University officially opened the Laboratory Annex Building with a dedication ceremony. The new state-of-the-art building features 18,000 square feet (1,700 m2) of new laboratory and research space.

Clayton State University has two campuses in Morrow, the main campus and CSU East. The main campus is located 2000 Clayton State Blvd and the other is located at 5823 Trammell Rd. In addition to the two campuses in Morrow, there are also campuses located in Fayette/Peachtree City. Henry/McDonough, and Jonesboro.

On February 16, 2011 the Clayton State Laker women's basketball team became number one in Division II women's college basketball. This is the first number one ranking ever achieved by a Clayton State sports team.

In Summer 2011, Clayton State purchased the former Clayton Place apartment complex across the road and railroad tracks from the main campus. The renovated student housing is now known as Clayton Station.

In 2012, Clayton State was also ranked third among state universities in Georgia in economic impact by the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth.[14]

Clayton State University was named[when?] by the Arbor Day Foundation as Tree Campus USA.[15][dead link] For three consecutive years, 2011 - 2013, Clayton State University was named by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as one of the Top 100 Workplaces in Metro Atlanta.[16]


Clayton State University is an Division II member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), competing in the Peach Belt Conference (PBC). The university fields varsity teams, known as the Lakers and Lady Lakers, in five men's and five women's sports: men's and women's basketball men's and women's cross country, men's golf, men's and women's soccer, women's tennis men's and women's track & field.[17]

Women's basketball[edit]

Clayton State University won its first national championship in school history when the Lady Lakers won the NCAA Division II women's basketball national title in 2011.[18]


External links[edit]