Georgia Gwinnett College to bolster student success 

Thanks to the largest private grant in its history, Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) will expand programming in Living Learning Communities (LLCs), increase student mentoring and advising programs, and support recruitment and retention strategies. 

“Student success has always been in our DNA,” said GGC President Jann L. Joseph. “This grant will allow Georgia Gwinnett College to reach more students and make an incredible impact on their pathway to success.”

LLCs—residential housing programs where students study in intentionally linked courses designed around an interest or academic focus area—are common in higher education. Students who participated in LLCs achieved a higher GPA, demonstrated improved critical thinking skills, and made a smoother academic and social transition to the higher education setting, according to a 2010 study. 

At GGC, learning communities were launched in 2017 and focus on first-year students with courses matched to a student’s academic focus area. GGC offers six focus areas, including business, education, health professions, humanities and arts, social sciences and STEM.

One of the programs bolstered by the three-year phased grant includes the Spanish as a Heritage Language LLC, which targets first-year students who identify as Hispanic or Latino. Reflecting the rich demographics of Gwinnett County, Hispanics are a rapidly growing student population at GGC, which was ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the most ethnically diverse Southern regional college for the seventh year in a row. 

In 2008, GGC’s Hispanic student population was 6%. Recently released enrollment numbers place the college’s Hispanic/Latino population at 25%, which makes GGC eligible for a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) designation.

 GGC was awarded a $750,000 grant from The Goizueta Foundation, officials announced today. 

We’re so grateful to The Goizueta Foundation for recognizing and supporting GGC’s goal for its students,” said Joseph. 

To assist incoming and current Hispanic/Latino students who meet certain criteria, The Goizueta Foundation grant will help the college offer GGC Aspirational Recruitment Scholarships and Grizzly Success Retention Scholarships.

Other programs gaining a boost from the grant include GGC’s Grizzly Mentor Collective, where students identified with leadership qualities or leadership potential will be supported as they hone their skills through mentoring, tutoring and leading campus workshops. GGC’s award-winning Mentoring and Advising Center also will expand its intuitive advising and focused tutoring support initiatives. In addition, the grant will support GGC Reads, a campus-wide common reading program with a goal of providing a unifying, integrative campus experience.

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