SGTC enrollment up 12.6 %
Published 9:40 am Friday, August 31, 2018
AMERICUS — “South Georgia Technical College posted a 12.6 percent increase in enrollment growth for summer semester 2018,” announced President John Watford, Ed.D. This is the college’s largest single semester growth since the college converted from the quarter system to the semester system in fall 2011. It is also the third consecutive year of annual enrollment increases for South Georgia Technical College (SGTC).
“I would like to thank the entire South Georgia Technical College faculty and staff for their hard work in helping to increase our enrollment this past semester,” said Watford. “Enrollment growth is a positive indicator for the college but it is also good news for the local communities in South Georgia Technical College’s immediate service delivery area that includes: Sumter, Crisp, Schley, Macon, Marion, Webster and Taylor counties. We are providing a trained workforce for these communities.”
SGTC served nearly 3,000 students in its credit enrollment programs in 2018. That total was over 2 percent higher than in 2017. Over the last three years, SGTC has grown by 11 percent. Based on early fall semester indications, SGTC should record its fourth straight year of enrollment increases.
Early indications for fFall semester show that nearly 400 different individuals have already enrolled in the different medical programs, approximately 300 signed up for classes in the business programs, and over 150 students registered for the early childhood care and education classes. Other programs with high enrollments include the criminal justice and Law Enforcement Academy, the diesel field which includes John Deere and Caterpillar, and the aviation programs. Sports and fitness management and commercial truck driving have almost doubled their enrollment from the past year this fall. On the Crisp County campus, the new sports and fitness management, air conditioning, and industrial systems programs are looking good as well.
“Our mission is workforce development or workforce education training. The careers we prepare students for are in demand. There are jobs waiting,” explained Watford. “Enrollment is important, but we also must focus on retention and completion or graduation. For the past four years, we have ranked number one in the Technical College System of Georgia in efficiency in enrolling, retaining, and graduating the students that we serve. That is a testimony to our faculty and staff.”
In addition to posting one of the largest percentages in enrollment growth in the state this summer, SGTC is also one of top three technical colleges that had a double-digit increase in full-time enrollment and an increase in the number of credit hours taken per student per semester over last summer’s numbers.
“Our growth helps improve the economic situation for this entire area,” said Watford. “We provide our community with a trained workforce. Education with an emphasis on job placement is the key to our success. Our ultimate goal is to prepare individuals for the workforce through expanded educational opportunities. 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.
“Educationally and economically, South Georgia Tech is vital to the communities we serve. South Georgia Technical College is very fortunate to have established partnerships with business and industry, city and county government entities, other educational organizations and individuals. These partnerships are paying big dividends not only for South Georgia Tech and its students but also for the communities we serve,” added Watford.
SGTC touches approximately five percent of the total population (one out of every 20 people) living in Sumter, Crisp, Schley, Macon, Marion, Webster and Taylor 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 South Georgia Technical College Foundation and Jets Booster Club.
“We are making good things happen at South Georgia Technical College,” said Watford. “We have over 200 associate degree, diploma, and technical certificates of credit opportunities for students and we offer the complete college experience.”