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October 28, 2004
Gwinnett Technical College to Construct New Facility
Gwinnett Technical College recently announced the kick-off of the college’s $5.3 million capital campaign for the Early Childhood and Teacher Preparation Center, which is intended to satisfy the need for qualified Early Childhood teachers and K-3 paraprofessionals in the community.
“As we prepare people to work in the early childhood field, they will obviously have an edge over the competition if they have a chance to work with children while they’re learning about them,” said Priscilla Smith, early childhood education program director for Gwinnett Technical College.
Groundbreaking for the new facility is slated for this spring, with an anticipated completion date of summer 2006. The 26,000 sq. ft. facility will be located on Gwinnett Tech’s campus, directly adjacent to The Busbee Center. Following National Association for the Education of the Young Child (NAEYC) accreditation standards, the center will be able to accommodate up to 220 children.
Gwinnett Tech began offering an associate’s degree in early childhood care and education in 2003. The first students enrolled in July of last year and already the program has more than 100 students on the roster with a number of applications still yet to be processed.
The addition of the state-of-the-art Early Childhood Development and Teacher Preparation Center to the Gwinnett Tech campus will further develop the college’s role as a leader in training the early childhood workforce of Gwinnett County. In partnership with Smart Start Georgia, Early Learning Property Management, the Gwinnett Tech Foundation, and other community participants, the center will function as a model that will serve many purposes, including a ‘lab’ for giving students hands-on experiences in a quality center, as well as providing a research site for learning and understanding children. Equipped with observation facilities within the facility, it will also be used as a model for other centers in the community, and will provide a safe, quality learning environment for Gwinnett’s youngest citizens.
“There are other technical colleges that have childhood centers on campus, but ours is unique,” said Smith. “We will have a different curriculum approach in different classrooms so students will have a diversified background on all teaching techniques. Not only will this approach work well for our students who are learning the various techniques, but it will be good for the children in the center. Teachers can observe the children in the various environments and place them in the setting in which they learn and prosper the most.”
“Other programs on campus will benefit from observing the children in the center, as well,” said Smith. “Many programs, like nursing, photography, cosmetology, dental assisting – they all have to work with children. The more they learn about children from observing them in the center, the stronger they’ll be in working with them in their own careers.”
For more information about Gwinnett Tech’s Early Childhood program, please contact us at 770-962-7580, ext. 6616 or www.GwinnettTech.edu.