Dr. Mark Iken: Georgia Gwinnett College Update

At the noon meeting on October 7, Dr. Mark Iken brought his home Rotary Club up to date on developments and growth at Lawrenceville’s four-year college, Georgia Gwinnett College. Dr. Iken is Vice President for Educational Technology at GGC. After reviewing the vision and institutional goals for the school, he noted how the college has grown from a population of 118 in 2006 to 10,000 in 2013. He described the commitment to an electronically enhanced education, emphasizing that that does not mean online courses but, rather, the best facilities possible to enhance students’ learning. GGC distinguishes itself by being an “access” college where students who would not qualify for other state schools can find acceptance and a chance to get a college degree. Dr. Iken featured the Student Success Program which helps students build their skills and cited excellent retention rates for freshmen in the developmental classes. In fact, the overall retention rate for students who continue their college education at GGC or elsewhere after the freshman year is an impressive 84%. He described the diverse student population, which reflects the diverse population of Gwinnett County. He ended by showcasing the successful athletic programs and the new Allied Health and Science Building which will house the newly approved School of Nursing.