Let us join those congratulating the administration, faculty, staff and students of Georgia Gwinnett College. The infant institution is now an officially accredited, bona fide member of the world of academia.
To gain Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation is no small feat for any academic institution, much less a fledgling college. It's a laborious process that often requires five years of research, reports, site visits, inspections and thousands upon thousands of pages of documentation. Even then success is not guaranteed.
The fact that GGC achieved accreditation two years after it applied is astounding. Everyone who contributed should take a deep breath and a day off.
The official sanctioning comes with benefits. The Grizzlies of GGC - both students and faculty - can now apply for certain scholarships and research grants previously unavailable to them. The college can now move forward in adding education and nursing programs to its curricula.
Thursday's announcement of accreditation is a big benchmark for the campus on Collins Hill Road, but it's just one of many recent signs of progress:
In its 2006 inaugural year, GGC welcomed 118 students. That number grew to 1,700 students this past spring. The enrollment is expected to double each year for the next several.
The college in May held its third commencement exercises, graduating 38 students. Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. Central Command, served as speaker.
GGC received University System permission to begin to add bachelor's degrees in English, history and mathematics to its already impressive list of offerings.
Cranes on the GGC campus herald the coming of a new library.
Georgia Gwinnett College's student center is expected to open in August 2010. The 70,000-square-foot building will house an expanded bookstore, a new dining hall and the Student Affairs offices.
Student housing is included in future phases of construction.
Georgia Gwinnett College has come a long way in a short time. Not long ago the land at Ga. Highway 316 and Collins Hill Road was little more than rolling hills.
Today it's the place of an official, accredited member of the University System of Georgia. It's a place where students learn, laugh and live. It's a place where innovation, creativity and inspiration meet.
Congratulations to Georgia Gwinnett College. When it came time for the big exam, you aced it.
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