For a four-year education in Gwinnett, students enroll in Georgia Gwinnett College. This accredited liberal arts college provides access to more than 40 concentrations in 12 majors, teacher education tracks and pre-health courses. Plus, nearly all the college’s full-time faculty holds a Ph.D., Ed.D., or other professional terminal degree to teach and engage their students in learning. Starting this fall, Georgia Gwinnett College plans to introduce their Intercollegiate Grizzly Athletics program, featuring men’s baseball, soccer and tennis and women’s softball, soccer and tennis.
The University of Georgia-Gwinnett campus offers the opportunity for non-traditional and working professionals to earn a University of Georgia degree without the drive to Athens. The college has 11 master’s degrees, four educational specialist degrees, three doctoral programs, three graduate certificates as well as numerous professional development courses for small business owners, entrepreneurs and community leaders. Flexible class schedules offer both evening and weekend hours.
To serve a growing need for primary care physicians and other clinicians in both Gwinnett and across the region, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) decided to built a state-of-the-art branch campus in Suwanee in 2005. Today, GA-PCOM offers academic programs including doctoral degrees in Osteopathic Medicine and Pharmacy, and master’s degrees in Biomedical Sciences and Organizational Development and Leadership. In addition, GA-PCOM is the only branch of the college that boasts a 150,000-square-foot facility, housing a comprehensive library, modern labs and classrooms.
But, what about your time away from the classroom? What’s Gwinnett got to offer for college students to enjoy? Because the majority of those enrolled in Gwinnett County colleges are commuters, they are not limited to finding entertainment near campus like many who attend large universities in small towns. Of course, many of Gwinnett’s treasures are widely-known: Stone Mountain Park, the Mall of Georgia, Gwinnett Place Mall, Gwinnett Arena, and Discover Mills. But with a little gas in the tank and knowing where to look, Gwinnett County college students can find plenty to keep them busy outside of class.
So crack the books, and then go have some fun!
Take Time Off from Studying to Attend One of Gwinnett’s Top Performances. The Red Clay Theatre at 3116 Main Street in Duluth offers special live performances from local and regional independent artists in the series Eddie Owen Presents. www.eddieowenpresents.com Also, the Performing Arts Center at Gwinnett Arena offers a variety of entertainment in this 700-seat theatre. Menopause the Musical and The Nutcracker will highlight the fall 2012 season. www.gwinnettcenter.com/artcenter.0.html
Catch a Flick at Movie Tavern at Horizon Village. Located in the former Publix supermarket space in Suwanee, this recently opened (May 2012) complex features nine screens, including 3-D screens, and stadium seating, first-run films, but distinguishes itself from the usual metriplex by going beyond the popcorn and Milk Duds concessions to offer casual dining fare like burgers, paninis, wraps and pizza, and adult beverages like beer, wine and margaritas. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, you can enjoy breakfast and a movie! And, of course, popcorn is still available for the hardcore traditionalists. movietavern.com
Cheer on Your Favorite College Team at McCray’s Tavern. You’ll find this classic sports bar and grill on the square in Lawrenceville. If you can’t be at the game, meet your friends at McCray’s to watch NFL and college football on the big screen! They’ll be featuring special game day menus starting in the fall. You’ll find a wide selection of pilsners, ales, stouts, porters and an extensive wine selection along with appetizers, sandwiches and burgers. mccraystavernlawrenceville.com
Listen to Music in the Great Outdoors. Every other Friday through August 31, Thrasher Park in Norcross will play host to a variety of musical acts, among them tribute bands playing the music of Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffet, and the Rolling Stones. You can bring your own picnic or grab a picnic-to-go at one of the nearby restaurants. www.norcrossga.net/info-full-text.php?page_ID=1262818282
Enjoy the Arts in Norcross. Home to the award-winning Lionheart Theatre Company, The College Street Playhouse is located in the 1875 chapel of the Norcross Methodist Church. Rumor has it that the chapel is home to a resident ghost, but by all accounts, he is purported to be quite charming and harmless . . . The company will present The Jungle Book in July, Of Mice and Men in September, and The Hobbit in December. lionhearttheatre.org
Escape to the Coast. At 3590 Breckenridge Blvd in Duluth, Bahama Breeze offers live reggae, contemporary and Caribbean music Wednesday through Sunday through the summer. The restaurant serves traditional tropical dishes – coconut shrimp, jerk chicken – as well as less-familiar choices, like the West Indies ribs. Mai tai optional. www.bahamabreeze.com/pdf/locator/ent/ENT_3006.pdf
See the Hottest Shows. The Gwinnett Arena is the go-to place for the big-name concerts and events in Gwinnett County. Highlights of the upcoming season include Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, as well as such musical acts as Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, American Idol Live!, and The Story, a musical journey from Genesis through Revelation. www.gwinnettcenter.com/thearena.0.html
Swing from the Trees. Zip on over to the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center’s Treetop Quest for some zip lining adventure! The zip lines are divided into five skill and age levels; unlike some zip line experiences, Treetop Quest is self-guided. Personnel will show you the “ropes” regarding strapping in, and then you’re free to zip to your heart’s content for up to 90 minutes. (Not to worry: guides are stationed along the way if you have questions). Online booking is highly recommended. Treetop Quest is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily during June and July, and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during August at 2020 Clean Water Drive in Buford. www.treetopquest.com
For the Over 21 Crowd. Not only is Taco Mac THE place to stuff yourself with wings, burgers and. . . yes. . . tacos, you can also enroll in the Taco Mac Brewniversity in person or online and start earning reward points. With 100 draft and 270 bottled brands from which to choose, these folks are serious about beer. Don’t miss catching up on news and sports on the three big-screen and 36 smaller screen TVs at 3250 Woodland Crossing Boulevard in Buford or at 3443 Lawrenceville Suwanee Road in Suwanee. tacomac.com
Relax with Yoga. If you find yourself needing a more focused, relaxing break from classes and studying, you might want to check out one of the many yoga studios in Gwinnett County. Yoga in Daily Life (yogaindailylifeus.org), located in Buford, helps support humanitarian efforts worldwide while offering traditional yoga exercises for personal growth. Yoga North Atlanta in Duluth (www.yoganorthatlanta.com) specializes in Ashtanga yoga, while The Yoga Source Studio (www.theyogasource.com/page/page/4987843.htm) in Snellville teaches the Hatha, Vanyasa, and Kundalini traditions. Dahn Yoga (www.dahnyoga.com), also in Duluth, combines yoga, meditation, and tai chi. Hot yoga is available at several of the gyms listed below.
Work Out! Interested in a more vigorous workout? Gwinnett County is home to more than 80 gyms. Fitness 19 (www.fitness19.com) in Duluth receives rave reviews for its “Rocky-type” workout, great prices, and for being a bit less crowded. Gold’s Gym (www.goldsgym.com) in Norcross is also a crowd-pleaser with its personal trainer availability, tanning, and smoothies! If you’re looking for a gym in Lawrenceville, check out LA Fitness Sports Club (www.lafitness.com/Pages/clubhome.aspx?clubid=195), which also receives excellent reviews and offers tons of amenities, including a spa, sauna, pool, racquetball and basketball courts, and a juice bar.
College 411: Ready to enroll?
Check out these nearby colleges for more information:
Agnes Scott College
American Intercontinental University
Clark Atlanta University
Clayton State University
DeVry Univerisity (Decatur campus)
Gainesville State College
Georgia College and State University
Georgia Gwinnett College
Georgia Perimeter College
Georgia State University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Gwinnett Technical College
Kennesaw State University
Macon State College
Toccoa Falls College
Savannah State University
University of Georgia
University of West Georgia
Valdosta State University