Gwinnett Technical College has a rich history of providing career-focused education and training that support economic and workforce development in the community. Since opening its doors as the Gwinnett Area Technical School in 1984, the college has added numerous programs, made two name changes, greatly expanded its facilities and experienced record-setting enrollment growth. All are the result of its primary aim to be the recognized provider of relevant knowledge to students and businesses for life.
From its inception, Gwinnett Tech's purpose has been to provide students with an education that leads directly to a rewarding career. Throughout the years, it has partnered with business and industry who play an integral part in guiding curriculum development and ensuring that what is taught in the classroom will keep students on the cutting edge of workplace demands.
In the 1980s, business and industry experienced a vast change in technology. To meet the demand for technological training, Gwinnett Tech expanded its offerings to include a wider variety of high-tech programs. In 1988, the institution's name was changed to Gwinnett Technical Institute, aligning Gwinnett Tech with the network of state technical institutes under the Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education (DTAE).
The following year, DTAE approved Gwinnett Tech to grant the associate degree in applied technology (AAT) in six programming areas, which paved the way for Gwinnett Tech to pursue accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Gwinnett Tech gained accreditation in record time for a state technical institute, making it one of the few technical schools with this accreditation. Gwinnett Tech now confers the associated of applied science degree.
Gwinnett Tech reached another benchmark in its history on July 6, 2000, when it changed its name to Gwinnett Technical College to better reflect its position within the region's higher education market. The name change was made possible by Georgia's A+ Education Reform Act of 2000, which allowed technical institutes with proper accreditation to be designated as colleges.
During its 20-year history, Gwinnett Technical College has expanded its campus to include a variety of new facilities, including the Health Sciences Building, Corporate Training Center, Environmental Horticulture Center and Computer Training Center. The college embarked on yet another historical milestone in August 2000 when it broke ground on the George Busbee International Center for Workforce Development. The multi-million dollar center opened in spring 2003 and is dedicated to workforce training. Designed to accommodate the unique technological needs of corporate training programs and special events, the Busbee Center includes a 350-seat Scientific-Atlanta Auditorium and an Advanced Technology Center with flexible meeting, conference, classroom and exhibit space.
Gwinnett Tech celebrated the opening of the D. Scott Hudgens, Jr. Early Education Center during the summer of 2006, the college's latest live learning lab. The $7 million state-of-the art facility meets two vital community needs. The Center serves as a 26,500 square-foot interactive classroom and observation site for students enrolled in the college's Early Childhood Care and Education program and provides the community with early childhood care and pre-school instruction, including Georgia Pre-K classes. Equipped with the latest in communication and observation systems, the Center serves 215 children, ages six weeks to 12 years.
Today, Gwinnett Tech offers more than 45 associate degree, diploma and certificate programs and hundreds of continuing education seminars and workshops each semester to improve job skills and provide specialized training.
Since the beginning of the new millennium, the college has experienced enviable growth. Online learning has fueled much of this growth, with nearly half of all students enrolled in online classes. High growth can also be attributed to the communities increasing demand for business-smart education-education that prepares students for jobs as soon as they graduate.
Gwinnett Tech is now the state's third largest technical college in terms of credit enrollment, and is the state's largest technical college when credit enrollment, continuing education enrollment and adult education enrollment are combined.