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Grant to enhance GGC Student Success programs

LAWRENCEVILLE — As many as one in three incoming freshmen at Georgia Gwinnett College require extra help to be successful in achieving their goals of a college education.

To assist these students, the access institution offers Student Success courses, designed to provide additional support early in students’ college careers. This spring, GGC anticipates it will need up to 112 of these courses to serve its rapidly expanding student population.

To enhance the effectiveness of these courses, the college recently launched a pilot program that places tutors in Student Success classrooms, officials announced. Highly qualified, professional tutors, trained by the staff of GGC’s Academic Enhancement Center, assist the instructor and the students during lecture and small group discussions and provide one-on-one support to students.

Wells Fargo recently gave a $50,000 grant to the Georgia Gwinnett College Foundation to fund the innovative program, according to a news release. The grant will support tutors for 55 of the Student Success classrooms.

“At GGC we continually strive to find innovative ways to help students succeed,” GGC President Daniel J. Kaufman said. “We greatly appreciate the generosity of Wells Fargo, and we look forward to implementing this ground-breaking, pilot program.”

The tutors also support GGC’s commitment to proactive identification of students experiencing difficulties and are available for after-class instruction.

“(Student Success) courses help to assure that students have a strong foundation in English, reading and math, and they are a critical part of GGC’s overall approach to ensuring that its students will succeed in college and beyond,” said Stas Preczewski, vice president for academic and student affairs.

Not all high school students have been acculturated that obtaining a college degree is an expected follow-up to the high school diploma, and this lack of expectation to attend college often leads to students’ failure to prepare for college academically or financially, Preczewski said.

“Open access colleges like Georgia Gwinnett welcome such students and run placement and remedial programs that quickly prepare them for the rigors of college,” he said. “In addition, open access colleges run specialized academic, social and financial support programs to ensure their successful degree attainment.”

The Student Success program is designed to ensure that more students enter the K-12 to college pipeline and come out of college well prepared for a productive future, officials said.

“Wells Fargo is committed to student success programs focused on K-12 students,” said Jerome Byers, Atlanta regional president for Wells Fargo. “Entry into higher education is an important, final step for K-12 students. GGC’s innovative use of in-classroom tutors will help recent K-12 graduates make the transition into college and position them to succeed. We are delighted to support this program.”