South Georgia Technical College hosts Jefferson State officials
By Su Ann Bird
AMERICUS – South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford hosted officials from Jefferson State Community College in Birmingham, AL recently and showcased SGTC’s partnership programs that provide students with excellent educational and workforce development training.
Jefferson State Community College Associate Dean for Technical Programs Deana Goodwine and Director of Workforce Education Leah Bigbee made the trip to South Georgia Tech and talked with Dr. Watford as well as SGTC Director of Business and Industry Services Paul Farr and SGTC Vice President of Institutional Advancement Su Ann Bird.
Jefferson State Community College is one of Alabama’s leading two-year colleges. It is a public community college with multiple campuses in Alabama, including the Jefferson Campus in northeastern Birmingham, Alabama, the Shelby-Hoover Campus in northern Shelby County, the St. Clair-Pell City Campus in Pell City, and the Chilton-Clanton Campus in Clanton. Jefferson State Community College’s vision is to be recognized as the most effective community college in the state of Alabama by providing individuals with knowledge and skills needed to function in a technologically demanding society.
South Georgia Technical College has been ranked as the top community college in Georgia by Niche.com for the past two years. The ranking considered statistics such as: academics, average loan amount, alumni earnings, student surveys regarding value, awards won by faculty, student-faculty ratio, student surveys regarding professor quality, grades including retention and graduation rates, and overall student experience. Those qualities along with the partnership expertise of SGTC’s faculty and staff led Jefferson State officials to reach out for a visit and tour of the Americus campus.
Dr. Watford shared with the Jefferson State officials that “South Georgia Technical College has a tremendous reputation for providing an outstanding two-year education that prepares students for the workforce. Partnerships with industry leaders such as Caterpillar, John Deere, Georgia Power, Delta, and others have helped the college to earn world-wide recognition in graduating students while also providing the complete college experience for students including on-campus housing, a full-service cafeteria, men’s and women’s intercollegiate basketball teams, intramural sports, and nationally ranked clubs and student organizations.”
The group discussed the similarities between the credit and non-credit course offerings of the two colleges as well as the need to provide business and industry leaders with a trained workforce for today and tomorrow. Following that discussion, SGTC President Watford offered to give the officials a tour of the campus. The tour included the academic programs located in the John M. Pope Industrial Technology Center as well as the programs in the Griffin Bell Aerospace Technology Center, the Caterpillar Heavy Equipment Diesel Technology and Electric Power Generation classrooms and labs, the John Deere Agricultural Technology program area, and the Electrical Lineworker classroom and skills field area. Dr. Watford shared how South Georgia Tech leverages the support of its partners to provide students with an outstanding education while providing business and industry with a trained workforce.
He also shared that South Georgia Technical College has the longest continuous Aviation Maintenance training facility in the nation and has been training individuals for careers in aviation maintenance since 1917 when it was an Army Aviation Training School. Aviation Maintenance was also one of the original six educational programs offered by South Georgia Tech when it opened in 1948.