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October 18, 2005
Gwinnett Technical College Chosen as Excalibur Award Semi-Finalist
Finalists to be presented at Technology Summit on October 19
Gwinnett Technical College is among the nine semi-finalists in the running for the state’s Excalibur Award, which recognizes Georgia companies for their use of technology to gain competitive advantage.
In addition to the local technical college, also up for the award are a global hotel chain, an online legal document preparation company and a global package delivery and logistics organization.
The finalists for the Excalibur Award will be presented during the Georgia Technology Summit: "Technology as a Competitive Weapon," Wednesday, October 19 at the Gwinnett Center. The Summit is co-hosted by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and the Business and Technology Alliance (B&TA).
The full list of the nine semi-finalists for the Excalibur Award, which goes to technology-enabled organizations, includes:
- Small Organizations - Infomentis, Law Docs Xpress and Prime Point Media
- Medium Organizations - Gwinnett Technical College, Harbin Clinic and Travel Inc.
- Large Organizations - InterContinental Hotels Group, Scientific Atlanta and UPS
"Congratulations to all the semi-finalists for the Excalibur," said Tino Mantella, president of TAG. "We were very pleased with the number and caliber of all the nominees during this first year of the award. The competition was lively and vividly demonstrated the impact that technology products have on a wide range of organizations."
Gwinnett Tech integrated technology to support learning without limits of time or place, to supplement the traditional face-to-face class structure that previously existed. It is this use of technology – building an online component for the college – that has landed the area technical college as a semi-finalist for the award.
In five years, the college’s online component is the state’s largest provider of online technical education, making up nearly one-eighth of the state’s online technical college population.
Accomplishing that mission was no easy feat. To do so, Gwinnett Tech leveraged technology by:
- adding necessary hardware to support online programs and systems backup;
- shifting to online registration, streamlining admissions processes;
- issuing student e-mails, allowing better security and efficiency;
- adding wireless capabilities;
- providing federal- and state-mandated annual training online for employees; and
- upgrading technology in classrooms, allowing some courses to become hybrids (half online/half on campus), maximizing use of limited campus facilities.
“Allocated resources and strong institutional support, coupled with the online instructional initiative, has had a direct return to the college,” said Dr. Britt Watwood, director of online learning, Gwinnett Tech. “In five years, Gwinnett Tech’s enrollment has grown 30 percent while growth in technical colleges across the state has been flat to declining. Gwinnett Tech’s growth can be attributed to quality education and, in part, to this strong online presence.”
“Gwinnett Tech will continue to use technology as a competitive weapon to gain market share in the increasingly competitive higher education arena of Georgia,” said Sharon Rigsby, president, Gwinnett Tech.
Nominees for the Excalibur Award were judged on a variety of criteria including the scope of the problem solved, the creativity of the technology- enabled solution, return on investment and business results.
More than 400 people have registered for the Georgia Technology Summit, the fall phase of TAG's annual two-part series of Summits.
Bernie Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot and Atlanta Aquarium benefactor, will make the keynote presentation at the upcoming Summit. Pete Kight, founder, chairman and CEO of CheckFree Corporation, will also be a featured speaker at the event, which, in addition to TAG and B&TA, is also supported by the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.
"Things are shaping up that will make this year's event one of the best in our history and seats are going fast," said Optimus CEO Mark Metz, who is also serving as the chair of the fall Summit. "We are very excited to hold the event in Gwinnett County, which has become a major center of technology innovation in the state. And, we are looking forward to launching the Excalibur as one of TAG's premier annual awards."
For more information on the Georgia Technology Summit hosted by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) visit www.tagonline.org.
The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support its members by generating opportunities for personal, professional and business growth. By forging strategic alliances, TAG serves as a primary catalyst to foster a rich environment for economic development in Georgia's technology community.
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About Gwinnett Tech
Gwinnett Technical College, one of Georgia's largest technical colleges, is committed to delivering relevant knowledge to meet the workforce training needs of the region it serves. The college offers more than 50 associate degree, diploma and certificate programs and hundreds of seminars, workshops and courses providing specialized training. Gwinnett Tech's service area includes Gwinnett and North Fulton counties. Gwinnett Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the associate degree. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Gwinnett Technical College. In addition, some college programs hold separate licensure or accreditation status with appropriate agencies. For more information, visit www.GwinnettTech.edu.
A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.