A Year to Celebrate Georgia Gwinnett College’s amazing history
Starting about 30 years ago, the Gwinnett community had a dream: a four-year college of its own. The largest county east of the Mississippi River without a four-year college, Gwinnett County invested in its dream by purchasing 160 acres of land in 1994 for a future college.
In 2005, that land became the home of the newly founded Georgia Gwinnett College.
However, the dream was not for a typical college, but a wellspring of innovation in 21st Century higher education that would discard traditional practices unsupportive of student success. Faculty mentorship and student engagement would be its hallmarks. As an access institution, GGC would serve all students – no matter the level of academic preparation, learning style, work schedule or financial barrier.
GGC was conceived with a bold vision that higher education could be done better. The college had its skeptics, often calling it “an experiment.” We’ve since proven that the experiment works through success measures such as student retention rates, student engagement scores and most importantly – our students’ successes.
Because of GGC’s success and innovations, I was invited to attend the recent White House College Opportunity Summit, and will take part as one of only a few U.S. college presidents in an international program later this spring. Such programs focus on important issues such as access, diverse communities, increasing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) enrollment, retention, college completion and other areas in which GGC already excels. These areas all support the Complete College Georgia initiative.
During 2015, we will look back on the college’s amazing first 10 years and celebrate the many milestones reached as it grew from a kudzu patch to a dynamic learning community uniquely dedicated to giving each student every opportunity to turn dreams into reality.
At Georgia Gwinnett College, we believe in dreams. With the support of a college uniquely dedicated to student success, dreams can and do come true.