Gwinnett Tech sees increase in student enrollment

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Enrollment at Gwinnett Technical College continues to grow at a blistering pace, with significant increases posted for both the summer quarter and the 2010 academic year overall.

Summer quarter enrollment is up 12 percent over summer 2009, an increase of more than 532 students, according to a news release. For the year, total enrollment has increased 22 percent to 10,684, an increase of 1,935 students over the prior mark of 8,749.

Gwinnett Tech has now recorded double-digit enrollment growth for 14 consecutive quarters -- more than three years, the news release states.

"We continue to be energized by the opportunity to serve increasing numbers of students and train a highly skilled work force for our community and state," Gwinnett Tech President Sharon Bartels said. "While our growth has been strong and steady for some time, the recent challenges in the economy have emphasized the need for up-to-date training in high-demand fields. The demand for our health care, business, IT and education programs really reflects that trend."

Signs of growth are everywhere on the campus -- from new campus roads and parking facilities to the under-construction Life Sciences Center, scheduled to open in August 2011. When complete, the three-story classroom and lab complex will serve 3,000 students annually, enabling Gwinnett Tech to accept more health care students and to expand and add new life science programs.

Health care science continues to be the largest program at Gwinnett Tech, with more than 1,275 students. For the summer, program enrollment grew 25 percent. Also in the life sciences sector, biotechnology and clinical research posted growth rates of 153 and 133 percent, respectively, for summer quarter.

In addition to health sciences, Gwinnett Tech's largest programs include computer networking (338 students), accounting (279), business management (246) and early childhood education (234).

For the 2010 academic year, Gwinnett Tech saw a boost not only in student enrollment, but also in the number of credit hours those students were taking, with a 25 percent year-to-year increase, the news release states.