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SGTC initiates survey for upcoming classes in Marion County

From STAFF REPORTS

BUENA VISTA — South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) and the Marion County School System offered college classes in Buena Vista fall semester and now officials are hoping to expand those course offerings in January for SGTC’s Spring Semester.
Individuals who are interested in taking college introductory classes in Buena Vista beginning in January are encouraged to fill out an on-line survey at:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XR7BWS2.  This will give Marion County and South Georgia Technical College officials the opportunity to tailor classes to fit the needs of the Marion County individuals who would like to start or continue their college education.
“We have had great success this semester with the partnership with Marion County. We would like to expand on those efforts and offer additional courses in January,” said SGTC Vice President for Academic Affairs David Kuipers.
George Porter, Marion County Schools’ administrator, echoed Kuipers’ statement.
“This was a great start,” said Porter. “Now we want to continue to offer the citizens of Marion County the opportunity for a better quality of life by helping our citizens obtain the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in today’s work force.”
A special task force of Marion County Schools’ employees, community leaders, and SGTC officials met in May at the Marion County Schools Superintendent’s office to discuss ways to provide greater access to college courses and workforce development options to the citizens of Marion County.
Approximately 15 individuals signed up to participate in employability and introduction to computers classes fall semester. They also received information from SGTC’s mobile registration team about the over 200 different associate degree, diploma, and technical certificates of credit available to students on the Americus and Crisp County campuses.
“Our goal was to remove as many barriers as possible for the citizens of Marion County to get the skills and education needed to find good jobs,” said Marion County Schools Interim Superintendent Richard McCorkle, who also serves on the SGTC board of directors. “It can be very intimidating for some people to even think about enrolling in college. They may want to attend, but they are unsure about what to do next, who to talk with, how to begin, the costs, and how to proceed. All of that can be a barrier for not going to college and gaining the skills needed for the job market of today. We need to do everything we can to eliminate those obstacles.”
McCorkle talked with SGTC President John Watford, Ed.D., about this concept and the two met with officials from Marion County and South Georgia Tech to implement the program that got underway in August.
Now with almost one semester over, Marion County and South Georgia Tech officials are trying to decide what classes to offer Spring Semester.
“We were very pleased with the initial turnout,” said Dr. “This was a good start.  Now we just need to see what people want to take next and to see if there is still interest in this program.”
The Marion County School System agreed to provide classroom space in the Marion County Performing Arts Center (old middle school location) at 100 Burkhalter Ave. in Buena Vista for SGTC to offer classes to the community. SGTC provided the instructors and sent a registration team to help individuals apply, enroll, and fill out financial aid forms to begin their journey for careers of a lifetime.
For more information about this project, contact George Porter at the Marion County Board of Education, 229-649-2234 or porter.george@marion.k12.ga.us or Karen Werling at SGTC at 229-931-2902 or kwerling@southgatech.edu.
The link to the survey is:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XR7BWS2.