LAWRENCEVILLE (AP) — The state’s newest college is all grown up. Mostly.

Georgia Gwinnett College opened last fall with a big party for its first 118 students — all juniors. This fall they expect 3,000 students, and they’ve been getting ready for them.

The college created a foundation to raise money for scholarships and construction projects, began building a student parking deck and ordered hats, T-shirts and coffee mugs with the school’s name. They also began adding classroom space and put in an application for accreditation.

Not to mention, the recruiting. The college held two open houses this month to introduce students and parents to the campus in an effort to attract the college’s first freshman class.

Advertising has popped up everywhere from the side of the interstate to movie theaters. College officials set up a kiosk at the nearby Mall of Georgia to promote the campus and answer questions. And college admissions staff have visited every Gwinnett County high school and schools in surrounding counties.

“A lot of the students don’t know who we are, so that’s been a lot more problematic than we thought,” President Daniel Kaufman said. “But we’re getting out there and telling them all out about us. Once we get their attention, they like what we have to say.”

Recruiters tout the chance for students to create traditions for the brand new campus. They highlight the innovative technologies that professors use, including using cell phones to dole out information to students.

Adam Greene, a senior at Peachtree Ridge High in Gwinnett, applied to the college because it is only 15 minutes from where he lives.

“The best part of being in the first-ever freshman class is that in 60 years, GGC could be one of Georgia’s top colleges, and I can say that I was a part of the first class,” Greene told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The campus — the state’s first new public four-year college in more than 100 years — hopes to enroll 15,000 students by 2012. So far, more than 500 people have applied this year, 95 percent of whom are freshmen.

Right now the college offers degrees in biology, business, psychology and information technology. Another three programs — education, nursing and radiologic technology — will be phased in as the college adds students.

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