South College, formerly Knoxville Business College, has been a part of the fabric of downtown Knoxville since 1882 when Jacob T. Johnson started a branch of Nashville Business College in Knoxville, Tennessee, and later renamed it Knoxville Business College. In 1900, KBC occupied part of the public library building on the corner of Gay and Vine where it boasted of a commercial department equipped with offices for the actual transaction of business in mercantile and banking lines. In 1910, KBC occupied the Cherokee Building on the corner of Church and Prince across from what is now known as Market Square. In the 1940's, KBC moved to 209 West Church - commonly referred to as the Keyhole Building - where it remained until the 1980's when it moved to North Fifth Avenue. Due to growth and program diversity, the institution changed its name to South College in 2001. In 2005, the institution relocated its main campus to a larger, newly renovated facility which is located on Hayfield Road. Then in 2006, the Hayfield Road campus was changed to a Learning Site as the institution completed its new main campus facility on Lonas Drive. As the institution continued to grow, in 2011, the institution moved its Learning Site to a larger facility in Parkside Centre.
Throughout its history South College has endeavored to meet the demands of the East Tennessee business community. Under the direction of the current administration, (1989- present), the college has revolutionized its curriculum and facilities. The institution is proud of its heritage rooted in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and accepts the challenges of the twenty-first century.
South College is a private, co-educational, non-sectarian academic institution that embraces the traditional higher education mission triad of teaching, scholarly contribution, and service. Consistent with its long history, the institution places primary emphasis on providing quality undergraduate and graduate educational opportunities and associated student support services, for the intellectual, social, and professional development of a diverse student body.
South College offers professional and career-focused curricula designed to cultivate students' successful learning and the ability to apply knowledge, think critically, and communicate effectively. Through comprehensive academic programs, innovative and contemporary in content and mode of delivery, students are exposed to diverse perspectives and skills essential to independent and life-long learning. Because academic programs are professional and career-focused, South College responds to local, regional, and national employment needs and supports current workforce trends.
In addition to providing quality educational opportunities, South College promotes the advancement of knowledge by supporting and recognizing the scholarly activities of its faculty and students and the use of scholarship in education and service. The South College faculty seeks to advance knowledge by conducting research and publishing research results as appropriate, creating artistic and literary works, presenting at professional and scientific meetings, and participating in professional development activities, as consistent with the role of each faculty member.
As an institution of higher education, South College recognizes its responsibility to society and supports both institutional and individual commitments to service. Therefore, South College encourages its administration, faculty, and staff to invest their knowledge, experience, and expertise in community, professional, and institutional service.
The definition and achievement of this mission guides South College in strategic planning and decision making at all levels of the institution. The core values of excellence, responsibility, and integrity serve as the foundation for assessing the quality of institutional, school/departmental, and individual performance in achieving this mission.