Faculty, staff and students moved into the new building just in time for the fall semester to begin in August. They are already seeing the transformation this space provides for the college’s business and technology programs.
“The technology available for application to UNG through these academic programs will help meet the demands of employers who are experiencing rapid innovation in their industries,” state Rep. Will Wade said. “As a MCCB graduate, I am pleased to see this facility development support its fast-growing and high demand academic offerings.”
The Syfan Logistics Lab, JT Stratford Finance & Analytics Lab, and Cyber Range are among the industry-focused spaces that mirror what students will experience in their internships and careers.
“This facility not only provides beautiful, spacious areas, but the functionality of this building will continue to make the University of North Georgia among the best not only in the state of Georgia, but in the United States,” Perdue said.
Students, faculty, staff and industry advisory board members provided significant input for the center’s specialized labs, classrooms and collaborative spaces.
“We knew we would have a better outcome by including input from faculty, staff and students in the discussion of what was needed in the building. That process is why we have a building that is student-focused and learner-centric,” Dr. Mary Gowan, the MCCB dean, said. “It features a wide array of spaces for students to come together and learn in an environment like what they will experience in their jobs upon graduation.”
Students particularly like the many teamwork and study spaces in the building.
“You can get to know people here,” Catherine Jordan, a senior from Suwanee, Georgia, pursuing a degree in marketing, said. “You don’t come here for a class and leave. You hang out.”
Other students are excited about the possibilities presented by the new spaces.
“My first impression of the building is that it is revolutionizing computer science and cybersecurity,” Jacob Sapecky, a senior from Hoschton, Georgia, pursuing a degree in computer science, said. “The labs take computer science and cybersecurity to a new level.”
Faculty have embraced the new learning and work spaces as well. Dr. Mohan Menon, department head of management and marketing, described the facility as “absolutely, positively fantastic.”
“It makes sense to have the infrastructure to support programs that you offer,” Menon said. “Not every student can get practical experience while they’re taking a course, so having simulations and using software, such as the McLeod Software that professionals use, gives our logistics students a leg up on the competition for internships and employment.”
The Mike Cottrell College of Business offers undergraduate programs in accounting, finance, information systems, marketing, management, cybersecurity and technology management. In addition, it offers graduate degrees in accountancy and business administration, as well several graduate-level certificate programs.
MCCB programs have garnered significant state and national recognition:
- The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce ranked the Cottrell MBA program as No. 3 in Georgia, after Emory and Georgia Tech, for monthly earnings and for annual earnings net of debt payments out of the 79 programs included in the survey.
- The CyberHawks student club won the NSA Codebreaker Challenge in 2019 and 2020 and placed second only to Georgia Tech in 2021.
- Professional sales students have excelled at major competitions, including a fourth-place finish at the National Collegiate Sales Competition in March.
The facility was designed to elevate students’ academic experience and create an environment that fosters collaboration, innovation and a global-thinking approach to business education — an outcome Gowan observes happily each day.
“Our students and programs are increasingly bringing top recognitions to the college and UNG. The Cottrell Center for Business, Technology & Innovation sets the bar even higher for us, and we are ready to reach it,” she said. “We are eternally grateful to Lynn and Mike Cottrell for their vision for the Mike Cottrell College of Business that has inspired us to continue to make our programs among the best in the state.”