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Gwinnett Tech sees enrollment increase

LAWRENCEVILLE - Summer enrollment at Gwinnett Technical College is up 24 percent over last year, marking the college's 10th straight quarter of double-digit enrollment growth, officials announced Friday.

More than 4,370 students started class on June 27, the highest summer quarter enrollment at the college in more than 10 years.

"The current economic conditions and tight job market have underscored the value of relevant job skills and the most up-to-date education in high-demand sectors, and we can see that reflected in new applications and in enrollment," Gwinnett Tech President Sharon Bartels said.

"At the same time, we've been growing at this incredible pace for over two and half years and continue to see steady increases in the enrollment of younger students and in more full-time students," Bartels said. "We believe this across-the-board growth reflects our strong role in work force development and a growing understanding of the great value of and need for technical education."

The largest enrollment increase - 63 percent - is in the college's health science programs, according to a news release. Currently, 55 percent of all Gwinnett Tech applicants are seeking admission to one of the 10 programs.

Gwinnett Tech's first class of associate degree nursing students will begin classes this fall. Groundbreaking for a new Life Sciences Building, which will offer expanded classroom and lab space to serve additional health science programs and students, is also scheduled for this fall.

Overall, summer quarter applications were up 51 percent compared to last year. Computer networking, early childhood education, criminal justice, automotive technology and accounting all had significant enrollment increases - 47 percent, 42 percent, 41 percent, 28 percent and 18 percent, respectively.