Georgia Gwinnett College
|Established||May 10, 2005|
|President||Dr. Jann L. Joseph|
|698 full-time and part-time (2019)|
|Campus||Suburban, 250 acres (101.2 ha)|
Georgia Gwinnett College opened on August 18, 2006. It has grown rapidly from its original 118 students in 2006 to over 12,000 in 2019. Georgia Gwinnett College prides itself on small class sizes, individual student attention, a diverse and inclusive culture, and affordability.
Recognizing that Gwinnett was the largest county east of the Mississippi River lacking a four-year college, the county purchased 160 acres of land located off Georgia 316 and Collins Hill Road in 1994 and designated it specifically for the development of a college campus. Five years later, the Georgia Legislature showed their support by allocating nearly $20 million for the signature building which serves as the focal point on the campus today.
Site construction began in June 2000 to establish the Gwinnett University Center (GUC), a partnership among several state institutions. The Board of Regents approved a unique public-private venture to construct the first classroom building on the new campus. The new 120,000 square-foot building was constructed in a record 10 months.
In October 2004, the Georgia Board of Regents voted to create a new four-year college in Gwinnett County. The new college would inhabit the GUC campus and replace the four institutions then offering courses on the site.
In March 2005, the Georgia General Assembly passed Senate Resolution 33, authored by Sen. Don Balfour, establishing a new college in Gwinnett County. That same year, Gov. Perdue deferred a $5 million appropriation in the 2006 state budget for a 29,000 square-foot classroom building.
In September 2005, the Board of Regents hired Dr. Daniel J. Kaufman, a retired Army brigadier general, as the College's inaugural president. A month later, the Board voted to name the institution "Georgia Gwinnett College."
Before the end of the year, the Board of Regents approved several initial bachelor degree programs: Bachelor of Science with a major in Biology, a Bachelor of Science with a major in Psychology, a Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in Early Childhood Education (including eligibility for certification in special education), a Bachelor of Applied Science with a major in Technology Management, a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in General Business, a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Georgia Gwinnett College officially opened on August 18, 2006, as Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, GGC President Daniel J. Kaufman, Georgia Board of Regents Chairman Allan Vigil, U.S. Representative John Linder and GGC Foundation Chairman Glenn White cut the ceremonial ribbon for the first four-year public institution created in the United States in the 21st Century.
In 2006, Georgia Gwinnett College accepted 118 juniors as its first students. The following fall, GGC admitted its first freshman class. In 2008, the college held its inaugural commencement ceremony, graduating 17 students.
In June 2009, the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools granted Georgia Gwinnett its initial accreditation in record time, giving it the ability to apply for research grants and awards from foundations for students and faculty members, and expand its degree programs. GGC began offering majors in History, Exercise Science, Mathematics, Special Education, English, Political Science and Criminal Justice/Criminology.
Expansion and GrowthEdit
In the summer of 2010, GGC celebrated the opening of its new Library and Learning Center and its first student residence halls, transforming the commuter college into a residential campus. More than 5,300 students enrolled for the 2010 fall semester. The new GGC Student Center opened in January 2011. A new laboratory building opened in August 2011 to serve the college's dramatically expanding enrollment, which reached 9,400 in the fall of 2012.
In early 2013, the college broke ground on its Allied Health and Sciences Building, future home of the School of Science and Technology and the newly formed School of Health Sciences and its nursing program, which began in the fall 2014 semester.
The 2012-13 academic year was the Grizzlies' first season of official intercollegiate competition in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, and marked the completion of the varsity athletics facilities.
On March 22, 2013, GGC President Daniel J. Kaufman was named as the new president of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce. Kaufman, who had been president of GGC since the institution's founding in 2005, stepped down from his role on June 30, 2013. University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby announced that he had appointed Dr. Stanley "Stas" Preczewski, then-vice president for academic and student affairs at GGC, to serve as interim president. In May 2014, Chancellor Hank Huckaby announced that the Board of Regents approved his recommendation to name Dr. Preczewski, president of Georgia Gwinnett College.
The college now enrolls more than 12,000 students.
Dr. Preczewski announced his retirement on January 10, 2019, effective the following day. The University System of Georgia announced Dr. Mary Beth Walker to serve as interim president while a national search was conducted to find the college's third president.
On April 5, 2019, USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley announced Dr. Jann Luciana Joseph would become GGC's president July 1, 2019.
The current campus consists of buildings A, B, C, H and W that are used for classes and activities. There are also a Wellness Center (Building F), Administration building (Building D), Athletics Complex (Building G), Student Center (Building E), the Daniel J. Kaufman Library & Learning Center, and several student residence buildings.
GGC has full accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and received this accreditation in record time. The college has been fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges since June 25, 2009. In addition, the School of Education is completely accredited by Georgia Professional Standards for teachers education. In 2018, Georgia Gwinnett College earns Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation for its business school.
The college is classified as a Baccalaureate college by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
GGC offers over 45 areas of concentration in 17 majors. The college offers the following degrees:
- Bachelor of Business Administration
- Bachelor of Arts
- Bachelor of Science
There are teacher certification tracks in some programs for students interested in teaching at the secondary level.
GGC has more than 12,000 students, with campus housing for more than 1,000. There are more than 160 student organizations and a very active student government association. There are 15 National Honor Society Chapters on campus. The campus has a 24/7 police and security force, and employs around 30 Student Patrols (who provide services that range from collecting lost and found to locking up buildings and providing courtesy escorts). The college's location near the charming downtown of Lawrenceville, and its convenient access to the big-city amenities of Atlanta and the many recreational opportunities in the Georgia mountains, make it attractive to a wide variety of students. GGC has the most diverse student body in the southern region, according to the U.S. News & World Report. The college enrolls students representing 32 states and 120 nations, as of fall 2018.
A new model in public higher education, Georgia Gwinnett College is an access institution built from the ground up to facilitate student success, its hallmark. It has achieved retention rates comparable to state universities. It also has a unique organizational structure that omits academic departments and other units typically found in higher education. Under the leadership of a president and cabinet, the college has several administrative divisions and schools, including:
- School of Business
- School of Education
- School of Health Sciences
- School of Liberal Arts
- School of Science and Technology
- School of Transitional Studies
The current student-to-faculty ratio for the college is 18:1, as of the 2018-19 academic year. Faculty at Georgia Gwinnett College are not eligible for tenure, but are instead hired through renewable one- to five-year contracts. The college emphasizes faculty/student mentorship.
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Georgia Gwinnett teams, known athletically the Grizzlies, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing as an Independent of the Association of Independent Institutions (AII). Men's sports include baseball, soccer and tennis, while women's sports include soccer, softball and tennis.
In 2008, GGC students selected the grizzly bear as the college's official mascot; the mascot's name is General, in honor of the college's founding president, Dr. Daniel J. Kaufman, who served as a brigadier general in the U.S. Army.
In 2013, the college completed a $13 million athletic complex that includes a soccer field, baseball and softball fields and an athletics building for lockers, coaches and athletic staff offices. In August 2011, Dr. Darin Wilson was hired as the first director of athletics for Georgia Gwinnett College.
In 2014, both the men's and women's tennis teams won the NAIA national championship in their first year of eligibility. The baseball team advanced to the NAIA World Series.
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