Georgia Gwinnett College has been awarded the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerces 2016 IMPACT Regional Business Award in the education category. The Gwinnett Chamber honored more than 100 finalist organizations across several industry categories at a luncheon today. Presented by BB&T, the award program is designed to be reflective and unique to the Gwinnett area.
The IMPACT Regional Business Awards recognize premier organizations in critical industries that are driving economic development and job creation, while enhancing our quality of life, said Dr. Dan Kaufman, president and CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber. In 2015, we launched this pivotal program and received a great response with nearly 500 nominations. Bringing together leaders across these important industries is another example of how the Gwinnett Chamber can fulfill its mission to serve as a community forum.
We are delighted that our efforts have been recognized by the Gwinnett Chamber through the IMPACT Award program, said Dr. Stas Preczewski, GGC president. All GGC students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners can be proud of this achievement because they have all contributed to the colleges success. As the college moves into its second, game-changing decade, we look to a future full of promise and continued impact for Gwinnett County, Georgia and beyond.
In accepting the award, Preczewski invited Gwinnett County Commission Chair Charlotte Nash and Lawrenceville Mayor Judy Jordan Johnson to join him at the podium to share the moment.
While all of GGCs community partners have provided critical support for the college, Gwinnett County and the City of Lawrenceville have been particularly supportive, Preczewski said afterward. No public college can succeed without community support, especially governmental support.
According to the University System of Georgias annual economic impact study, GGC is responsible for well over $1 billion in cumulative economic impact since it opened in 2006. The most recent study, based on fiscal year 2015 data, indicated $416 million in economic impact. In addition to about 1,300 campus jobs, the colleges presence has created about 2,900 community jobs.
Founded in 2005, Georgia Gwinnett enrolls about 12,000 students, the majority of whom are from the Gwinnett area. Its 15 degree programs are aligned with regional employment and economic development needs, ensuring maximum opportunities for students and a skilled workforce.
GGC was established as an innovative model for higher education. Its emphasis on access, affordability and student engagement and mentorship were designed to facilitate individual student success no matter the level of academic preparation, learning style, work schedule or financial barrier. Success measures such as student retention rates and engagement scores indicate that GGCs model produces results. Its student retention rates are almost 70 percent, with nearly 15 percent more staying in college after transfer. GGCs retention rates are higher than other Georgia state colleges and comparable to state universities a feat rarely achieved by access institutions.
U.S. News & World Report magazine lists GGC as having the lowest in-state tuition and fees among ranked Georgia public colleges. It also ranks Georgia Gwinnett as having the fifth lowest student debt in the Southern region.
Reflective of the rich diversity of the Gwinnett community and northeast Atlanta metropolitan region, GGC is ranked as the most ethnically diverse Southern regional college, both public and private, by U.S. News & World Report (2015, 2016). Its student body also includes representation from most U.S. states and more than 100 nations.