By academic standards, scoring a 98 or 100 percent is quite an achievement. Placing 98 to 100 percent of your graduates in jobs – with an average starting salary of $37,000 – in these economic times is even more amazing.
But that”s exactly what”s happening at the college some have begun referring to as the area”s best kept secret. Gwinnett Technical College is blowing away the numbers. Over the last three years, the college has recorded double-digit enrollment growth for 13 consecutive quarters. Last year, it was ranked as the 20th fastest growing public two-year college in the nation. Today, enrollment for the most recent period is up 25 percent, with GTC serving over 22,000 students through its credit, continuing education and adult education programs.
Gwinnett Tech opened its doors in 1984 with the mission to provide students in the area with an education that would lead directly to a rewarding career. Almost 26 years later, from the looks of things on a recent campus tour packed with students of all ages and aspirations, GTC gets it done – and then some.
Gwinnett Tech”s growth can be directly attributed to the increasing demand for business-smart education – education that prepares students for jobs as soon as they graduate. A campus tour clearly leaves prospective students with the impression that job placement will actually be embedded into their curriculum. Signage and plaques reflecting the college”s relationships with some of the area”s largest employers can be seen throughout classrooms, hallways and lobbies.
Most of the college”s 160 plus programs of study have required internships and clinicals that offer students the opportunity to network with professionals. Some get hired permanently upon graduation. Others are placed through GTC”s Career Services Center, which helps with resume preparation, mock interviewing, job search and placement. Not only do 98 to 100 percent of these grads get placed, they”re in demand.
"I”m a graduate of Gwinnett Tech and have had the chance to hire many surgical techs from the college," said Rusty Jackson, sterile processing department coordinator at Gwinnett Medical Center. "Certification in your field plays a major role in your success, therefore Gwinnett Tech graduates go into their fields with a career mindset. I have had nothing but great experience with GTC new hires."