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SGTC has fifth consecutive year of enrollment growth

AMERICUS — South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) just completed its fifth consecutive year of enrollment growth and its sixth consecutive year of earning marks as the most efficient college in the Technical College System of Georgia based on enrollment, retention, and graduation ratios.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment and I would like to thank the entire SGTC faculty and staff for their hard work in helping to increase our enrollment this past year and for the past five years,” said SGTC President John Watford, Ed.D. “Enrollment growth is a positive indicator for the college and has a tremendous impact on the communities we serve.”

Enrollment growth alone is strong but when consistent growth is combined with retention and graduation increases and a 99 percent job placement rating for graduates, that is even more impressive. “Our success impacts everyone in South Georgia Technical College’s immediate service delivery area. We are providing a trained workforce for Sumter, Crisp, Schley, Macon, Marion, Webster, and Taylor counties and the surrounding areas. The impact is felt by the students who come to learn and leave with skills and a career. Business and industry gains a trained workforce and our communities benefit from both,” stated Watford.

SGTC served 3,082 different students this past year. That is an 8.6 percent increase over the previous year. The college has increased enrollment a total of 8.2 percent over the past five years. “That is a strong, steady increase in enrollment each year. To increase enrollment for five years, we have to constantly improve on what we did the year before. South Georgia Technical College is currently the only college in the Technical College System of Georgia that has recorded enrollment increases for the past five years. That is a statistic to be proud of and I would like to commend the faculty and staff for their efforts to make this happen,” said Watford.

“Our mission is workforce development or workforce education training. The careers we prepare students for are in demand. There are jobs waiting for our graduates,” explained Watford. “Enrollment is important but we also must focus on retention and completion or graduation. For the past six years, we have led the Technical College System of Georgia in efficiency in enrolling, retaining, and graduating the students that we serve. We are not the largest but we are efficient and that speaks well of our students and our faculty and staff.”

And not only has SGTC excelled in enrollment, retention, and graduation, the college has increased its number of full-time students at a time when nearly half of the college’s students do not receive federal or state financial aid.

“Right now, we have had four consecutive years of increasing full-time equivalent rates (FTE) based on the sum of total credit hours for all students. Enrollment rose 8.2 percent, and the FTE rate is up 8.3 percent. That means students are taking a full-load and graduating on time. And our students are able to accomplish this without any student debt despite the fact that about half of our students are having to pay their own way without the benefit of financial aid,” said Watford.

SGTC’s industrial and personal service programs have been the key to its enrollment growth over the past five years. The industrial division has been the largest program area for the past three years with personal services claiming the most enrollment the first two of the five-year growth period.

“Our growth helps improve the economic situation for this entire area,” explained Watford. “We provide our community with a trained workforce. Education with an emphasis on job placement is the key to our success. Our goal is to prepare individuals for the workforce through expanded educational opportunities. The skills and knowledge obtained by 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 Technical College is vital to the communities we serve. And we appreciate the partnerships that we have established with business and industry, city and county government entities, other educational organizations, and individuals. By working together, these partnerships are paying big dividends not only for South Georgia Tech and its students but also for our communities,” added Watford.

SGTC is currently accepting applications for Fall Semester. Students can apply and register in the same day. Individuals with a 2.6 high school GPA or acceptable SAT/PSAT, ACT, and GED scores may not need to take placement tests for admissions. To apply and enroll today contact the admissions office at 229-931-2394 in Americus or 229-271-4040 in Crisp County. Fall semester begins Aug. 13.