Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local News

December 16, 2010

SGTC ranked 18th among fastest growing two-year colleges in nation

AMERICUS — South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) in Americus and Cordele was the 18th fastest growing public two-year college in the United States for colleges with enrollments between 2,500 and 4,999. This information was released by the Community College Week Magazine recently.

“There are more students enrolled at South Georgia Technical College now than ever before in the history of the college,” said SGTC President Sparky Reeves. “We currently have the longest consistent record of growth in the Technical College System of Georgia with 22 consecutive quarters, which is over five and a half years of growth upon growth.”

SGTC’s enrollment grew by 26 percent, or 526 students, between fall 2008 and fall 2009, which is the time frame used for the Top 50 fastest growing public two-year colleges ranking. Enrollment at SGTC has surged even higher between 2009 and 2010.

“Education with an emphasis on job placement is the key to our success,” said Reeves. “Our ultimate goal is to help prepare individuals for the workforce through expanded educational opportunities. A highly trained, motivated workforce can help lead this nation into economic recovery. The valuable skills and knowledge obtained by the students here are allowing them to retain their jobs or improve their skills to enter or return to the workforce.”

SGTC touches approximately five percent of the total population (one out of every 20 people) living in Sumter, Crisp, Schley, Macon, Marion and Webster counties each year. The college’s percentage of influence almost doubles when the individuals involved with other areas are added, such as the adult education and GED programs, continuing education and business and industry training courses, and community conferencing activities, as well as the SGTC Foundation and Jets Booster Club and athletic team supporters.

Enrollment at all of the 26 colleges in the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) has grown at a record pace over the last couple of years with the addition of out-of-work and under-employed Georgians returning to college to learn new skills and retool for in-demand careers in today’s highly competitive job market.

Fifteen of the 26 colleges in the TCSG earned the distinction of being among the fastest-growing public two-year colleges in the nation. Community College Week Magazine used U.S. Department of Education data to analyze enrollment increases between fall 2008 and fall 2009 at 1,058 public two-year colleges. The magazine then broke the rankings down into four categories based on institutional size.

SGTC was one of eight TCSG colleges ranked among the fastest growing two-year colleges serving 2,500 to 4,999 students, a number that was twice as many as the next state, North Carolina, which placed four colleges in the top 50.

Valdosta Technical College, which is now Wiregrass Technical College, earned the honor of being the fastest growing college in the nation among colleges with enrollments of equal size. Atlanta Technical College was third on that list, followed by North Georgia Technical College (4th), Albany Technical College (8th), Lanier Technical College (15th), South Georgia Technical College (18th), Middle Georgia Technical College (23rd), and DeKalb Technical College (47th).

“It’s a strong statement that more than half of Georgia’s technical colleges were ranked among the nation’s fastest growing public two-year colleges,” said TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson. “It reflects the increasingly important role that the TCSG has in the futures of nearly 200,000 Georgians who will attend our colleges this year and the many more who will follow. Our TCSG colleges are devoted to ensuring that their graduates are equipped with the skills and knowledge that will make them a vital part of our state’s 21st Century workforce.”

Jackson added that cost and quality are reasons why the demand for a TCSG education should remain strong.

“The TCSG colleges will continue to grow and serve record numbers of students of every age, all taking advantage of affordable TCSG tuition, easy access to our campuses and great instructors who open the doors to a vast array of programs and world-class training. It’s college that works,” Jackson said.

To access the Community College Week Magazine rankings online, go to www.ccweek.com/news/articlefiles/2198-CCW112910-AllPages3.pdf

 

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