WGTC News Releases & Events

The following articles have been recently released by West Georgia Technical College

  • Google Donates 20 Servers To WGTC
  • Hernandez Chosen As 2017 WGTC Eagle Student
  • WGTC Instructor Named Officer For GAAE
  • WGTC Grad Named Morrow Fire Chief
  • Yancey Bros. Co. Makes $3,500 Donation To WGTC Foundation
  • WGTC Enrollment Up 6 Percent
  • WGTC Taps Higher Ed Veteran For Institutional Effectiveness
  • WGTC Collects Donations For Georgia Tornado Victims
  • WGTC Hosting Open House Events On All Five Campuses
  • WGTC Renews Grant-Funded Driver's Ed Courses
  • WGTC Hosts Korean Chamber Annual Dinner
  • Nursing Students Test Out Geriatric Suit, Paid For By Sewell Grant
  • Students Make GED Scholarship Pay Off
  • 13th Edition of Voices, WGTC's Literary Magazine, Unveiled
  • WGTC Faculty Member Creates Scholarship For Cosmetology Students
  • WGTC’S Pratt Headed Back To The Pros

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    Google Donates 20 Servers To WGTC
    Posted: February 20, 2017

    Google Inc. has donated 20 refurbished servers to West Georgia Technical College to be used in the college’s Computer Information Systems program.

    The servers were donated by the California-based technology company earlier this year, when they became too outdated for Google’s use. Although the servers could no longer be utilized by the company, they were still valuable, said Russell Bonds, Google’s data center facility manager.

    So Google started to look into other ways they could put the machines to use and give them a second life, finding WGTC’s CIS program in Douglas County, where Google has a data center.

    “Our goal is to support our local community in every way we can,” Bonds said. “We want WGTC students to have the tools and resources they need so that one day they have the opportunity to work at a company like Google.”

    So far, the servers have been of great benefit to the college, said Eugene Jones, an instructor in Computer Information Systems at the WGTC Douglas Campus.

    “We are very appreciative for the servers that were donated by Google,” Jones said. “We will be using these servers to give our students who are currently majoring in networking practical experience. The College provides instruction in the field of Network Administration, Active Directory Administration and Server Infrastructure.”

    Jones said the donated servers will enable WGTC instructors to set up real-world training and problem-solving exercises that will pay off for students as they pursue careers in the networking field.

    Babs Russell, dean of the School of Business and Public Services at WGTC, said she’s proud to have the servers, as they’re still valuable even though they outlived Google’s lifetime range.

    “The nature of Google’s business requires servers that are highly efficient in performance,” Russell said. “While Google could no longer utilize these servers, their generous donation for educational application provides exposure for our students to innovative equipment."

    Kim Learnard, WGTC Vice President of Institutional Advancement, thanked Google for its generous donation to the CIS program.

    “Partnerships with local business and industry are vital in order for us to fulfill the mission of providing our students with the necessary instruction and skills as they enter the workforce,” Learnard said.

    The Computer Information Systems program prepares a graduate for entry-level employment as a networking specialist or in other IT professions.

    Completion of the program of study leads to an associates degree in Computer Information Systems with a specialization as a Network Specialist or Computer Support Specialist.

    West Georgia Technical College, with campuses in Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Troup counties and class sites in Heard and Meriwether counties offers over 120 associate degree, diploma and technical certificate programs of study. A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, West Georgia Tech is the fourth largest of the state’s 22 technical colleges. For more information, please visit westgatech.edu.

     


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    Hernandez Chosen As 2017 WGTC Eagle Student
    Posted: February 20, 2017

    Maria Hernandez came to the United States from Mexico when she was 15 years old. Her family experienced a severe financial strain after immigrating, which meant Hernandez couldn’t finish high school and had to start working right away.

    Maria Hernandez

    Twenty years later, Hernandez decided it was her turn. A stay-at-home mother of two children, she entered the West Georgia Technical College Adult Education program in October 2012, earning her GED in 2016.

    Now, she’s encouraging other parents like her to earn their GEDs and has been named WGTC’s EAGLE (Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education) Award recipient for 2017.

    Hernandez learned of the achievement recently, saying she was “honestly surprised” to hear she was selected as the college’s EAGLE student.

    “I felt so honored that I was chosen,” Hernandez said. “I tried my best when I was a student at WGTC, and I had the best teachers I could have who worked with me every step of the way. When my former teacher called me and asked if I’d be willing to represent the school as the EAGLE winner, I said, ‘Of course.’ ”

    The EAGLE Awards is a statewide annual competition sponsored by the Technical College System of Georgia in which local programs select current or recently graduated GED or ESL students to represent their program at the state level. Participants are selected based on their speaking skills, their community involvement and commitment to education.

    Hernandez, 34, of Newnan, will represent WGTC at the statewide competition in mid-March.

    Karen Kirchler, Vice President of Adult Education at WGTC, said she’s proud of Hernandez’ accomplishments since beginning the program in late 2012.

    “She spent a total of three-and-a-half years improving her English and mastering the skills needed to pass the GED test,” Kirchler said. “One of the most remarkable things about Maria is that she was determined to pass the test in English, even though she had the option to take it in Spanish.”

    Kirchler said over the course of Hernandez’ experience in the WGTC program, she began to “find her voice.”

    “She started to fully understand the importance of education in general, as well as the importance of her role as a parent in her children’s education,” Kirchler said. “She volunteered at her daughter’s elementary school and encouraged other parents to become more involved in their children’s education.”

    Hernandez was offered a job as a para-professional at her daughter’s school – Ruth Hill Elementary in Newnan – and has since become an integral part of the school team.

    Hernandez was appointed to the state school superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council, on which she’s provided input on new policies, projects and materials that affect students and their families.

    Ruth Hill Elementary principal Aaron Corley thinks highly of Hernandez – so highly, in fact, that he was inspired by her journey to partner with WGTC to offer a GED class at the school for other parents.

    “I was motivated by Maria’s growth as a student and as a para-professional, and I wanted to provide a similar opportunity for other parents,” Corley said. “I reached out to West Georgia Tech’s adult education program to partner, providing space and supporting outreach and recruitment efforts for a GED class here.”

    Later this month, WGTC will hold its first registration at Ruth Hill Elementary. An instructor has already been hired.

    CLICK, the Coweta County Certified Literate Community Program, is a collaborative partner with WGTC and served as the connection between Ruth Hill Elementary and West Georgia Tech. CLICK is also helping with some community outreach to support the class, Kirchler said.

    Hernandez said she’s encouraging her peers to continue their education because, in her words, if she can do it, anyone can.

    “I know better than anyone else that it doesn’t matter where you’re from or who you are, you can find success if you work hard and put your mind to something,” Hernandez said. “I want to keep educating myself and keep learning more, and I want to encourage others to do the same thing. If I can do it, everybody can do it.”

    Hernandez, a legal resident of the United States, has two children, a 15-year-old son and a nine-year-old daughter, and resides with her husband, Gabriel, in Newnan. She will advance to the statewide EAGLE Awards competition, to be held in mid-March.

    West Georgia Technical College, with campuses in Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Troup counties, and class sites in Heard and Meriwether counties, offers over 120 associate degree, diploma and technical certificate programs of study. A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, West Georgia Tech is the fourth largest of the state’s 22 technical colleges. For more information, please visit www.westgatech.edu.

     


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    WGTC Instructor Named Officer For GAAE
    Posted: February 14, 2017

    A West Georgia Technical College accounting instructor has been elected an officer of the Georgia Association of Accounting Educators, and will become president of the association in the next four years.

    John Parton

    Joey Sanders was recently named to the four-year progressive leadership role and will start as secretary of the organization before advancing to treasurer, then to vice president and finally to president in 2020. As president, Sanders will host the annual two-day meeting of the association, which will likely be held in the Carrollton area, where Sanders teaches at the Carroll Campus.

    Sanders will serve as the first president to come from a member of the Technical College System of Georgia, as all former presidents have been accounting faculty members at University System of Georgia institutions.

    “I am both honored and humbled to be chosen to serve in this role,” Sanders said. “I am all about expanding educational opportunities for our graduates, and I fully intend to take advantage of the opportunities that this position affords to promote ways for us to work more closely with our counterparts within university system.”

    The GAAE began in the 1950s and has always consisted primarily of USG accounting professors, Sanders said.

    Three of WGTC’s accounting instructors, Sanders included, began attending GAAE meetings in 2011 and have diligently worked to encourage more involvement by TCSG accounting faculty over the years in order to hopefully change their perception of the accounting programs at our technical colleges.

    “As evidenced by last week’s election results, we’ve come a long way in our efforts, as in four years I will be the first TCSG accounting faculty member to serve as president of the organization,” Sanders said.

    Babs Russell, dean of the WGTC School of Business and Public Services, said Sanders will be a great fit as an officer of the association.

    “This is such an honor for Joey, and certainly something he’s been working toward for quite some time,” Russell said. “We are appreciative of his willingness to serve and to accept this leadership role.”

    West Georgia Technical College, with campuses in Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Troup counties, and class sites in Heard and Meriwether counties, offers over 120 associate degree, diploma and technical certificate programs of study. A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, West Georgia Tech is the fourth largest of the state’s 22 technical colleges. For more information, please visit www.westgatech.edu.

     


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    WGTC Grad Named Morrow Fire Chief
    Posted: February 13, 2017

    A West Georgia Technical College graduate has been named fire chief after taking classes in fire science technology online.

    Roger Swint

    Roger Swint, who graduated from WGTC in 2008, was named chief of the Morrow, Ga., Fire Department in late 2016, and he said he couldn’t have become chief without the skills he learned at WGTC.

    Swint, who owns a feed store in Jonesboro, Ga., graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in agribusiness in 1987. A volunteer fireman for more than two decades, he started a second career in the mid-2000s when he graduated from WGTC.

    “I was promoted to battalion chief about two months before I graduated from West Georgia Tech,” Swint said. “I think that I was in college and pursuing the degree at that level had a huge effect on the city’s decision to promote me because they were able to see I was only one semester away from having this associates degree and could continue moving up the ranks.”

    Swint said he and a couple fellow firefighters took the course together, finishing up in 2008.

    “Since it was completely online, we were allowed to do most of our classwork while we were in the station on a shift,” Swint said. “That flexibility was huge, and the class itself has been incredibly pertinent to the job and has helped me in several aspects of my firefighting career.”

    Swint is the first permanent fire chief for the city of Morrow since 2015, when a longtime chief retired. Beyond his associates degree from WGTC, Swint has received training at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md., in 2010 and 2012.

    fire chief

    Morrow Fire Chief Roger Swint – with his wife, Kathy, at his side – takes the oath of office from Mayor Jeff DeTar, right..

    Swint was formally sworn in at a recent Morrow City Council meeting. He said his family will take over the feed store business while he serves as fire chief for the city.

    The fire science program is a sequence of courses designed to prepare fire service personnel at all levels to become better officers and leaders.

    The program provides learning opportunities which introduce, develop, and reinforce academic and occupational knowledge, skills and attitudes required for job acquisition, retention and advancement.
    Additionally, the program provides opportunities to retrain and upgrade present knowledge and skills. Completion of the program of study leads to an associates degree in fire science.

    West Georgia Technical College, with campuses in Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Troup counties and class sites in Heard and Meriwether counties offers over 120 associate degree, diploma and technical certificate programs of study. A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, West Georgia Tech is the fourth largest of the state’s 22 technical colleges. For more information, please visit westgatech.edu.



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    Yancey Bros. Co. Makes $3,500 Donation To WGTC Foundation
    Posted: February 13, 2017

    Yancey Bros. Co. presented a check for $3,500 to the West Georgia Technical College Foundation to support WGTC’s Diesel Equipment Technology program at the Carroll Campus Thursday.

    West Georgia Tech and Yancey Bros. Co. have enjoyed a 13-year partnership, with the company providing WGTC with resources for instructional purposes while hiring approximately 100 West Georgia Tech graduates over that time period.

    Yancey Bros.

    Jim Larson, corporate training manager for Yancey Bros. Co, hands WGTC President Steve G. Daniel a check for $3,500 in a presentation Thursday morning in the Diesel Equipment Technology workshop at Carroll Campus. Pictured in the front row (L-R) are Diesel Equipment Technology instructor Trevor Key; WGTC Vice President of Institutional Advancement Kim Learnard; Yancey Bros. Co. technical recruiter Gary Coombs; Larson; Daniel; Dean of the WGTC School of Trade & Technology Linda Sullivan; WGTC Provost Dr. Perrin Alford; and Executive Director of Campus Operations for WGTC Carroll Campus Julian Schmoke. Standing behind them are students enrolled in Key’s Diesel Equipment Technology course at Carroll Campus.

    "Partnerships with local business and industry are such a vital part of our mission at West Georgia Technical College," WGTC President Steve G. Daniel said. “Yancey Bros. Co. has been one of our more dedicated and consistent partners for over a decade. When the economy went into recession, Yancey Bros. Co. remained committed to hiring our graduates and continued to provide us with resources that are still being used in our instruction labs.”

    Daniel said the partnership is a “shining example” of how business and industry can work with higher education to give students a chance to learn and be ready to enter the workforce from day one.

    “I want to express my sincere thanks to Jim Larson, Randy Cone, Chris Snow and the rest of the Yancey Bros. Co. family for their generous donation to our Diesel Equipment Technology program, as well as for their commitment to hiring our graduates on an ongoing basis,” Daniel said.

    Jim Larson, Yancey Bros. Co Corporate Training Manager, was on hand for the check presentation and said the company could not accomplish what it does without partnerships such as the one with WGTC.

    “We hire West Georgia Tech students because we know they will have the knowledge and skills necessary to be a productive employee from day one,” Larson said. This is a perfect case study in the benefits of partnerships between business and industry and education. It’s a total win-win for us and the college, and we’ve enjoyed the decade-and-a-half partnership we’ve had.”

    West Georgia Tech’s Diesel Equipment Technology program provides training in the theory, diagnosis and repair of basic systems on diesel engines and diesel equipment. Successful completion of the program, which takes a year-and-a-half to complete, provides graduates with a Diesel Equipment Technology Diploma as well as a Heavy Diesel Service Technician Certificate. The program recently added two additional certificates, the Electrical & Electronic Certificate along with the Diesel Engine Specialist Certificate.

    West Georgia Technical College, with campuses in Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Troup counties and class sites in Heard and Meriwether counties offers over 120 associate degree, diploma and technical certificate programs of study. A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, West Georgia Tech is the fourth largest of the state’s 22 technical colleges. For more information, please visit westgatech.edu.



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    WGTC Enrollment Up 6 Percent
    Posted: February 8, 2017

    West Georgia Technical College’s spring semester enrollment is up by 6 percent from last year to 6,588 students, the college announced today.

    This enrollment number makes WGTC the third-largest technical college in Georgia by enrollment. The number of Move On When Ready students taking classes at WGTC also increased this spring – by 31 percent.

    The spring enrollment number marks the fourth consecutive semester of growth for WGTC.
    Dr. Tonya Whitlock, vice president of student affairs, said faculty and staff members at the college are all responsible for the continued enrollment growth.

    “We continue to work together to expand our strategic enrollment efforts and redirect resources to markets where there are growth opportunities,” Whitlock said. “This is truly a group effort, and something we’re proud to see happening at West Georgia Tech.”

    President Steve G. Daniel said enrollment numbers rising means more students are taking advantage of the technical education offered at WGTC to prepare for careers that are in demand across the college’s seven-county service area.

    Enrollment at the college’s five campuses is evenly divided, with each campus having more than 1,000 students enrolled.

    “We are proud of the broad growth we’re seeing across all five of our main campuses, with some significant growth in our Move On When Ready program,” Daniel said. “We have a good number of brand new students to our college, and it’s clear that students are coming to West Georgia Tech to receive the quality, hands-on education we’re known for.”

    The number of high school students taking WGTC classes through the state’s Move On When Ready program is up 31 percent over last spring to 1,218 students.

    Move On When Ready proves to be the brightest spot in the report. After legislative changes in the 2015 session of the Georgia General Assembly, more high school students than ever are taking advantage of free college courses.

    “We believe Move On When Ready will continue to be a growth area for us going forward,” Daniel said.

    Daniel said high school students who are interested in taking college courses should contact their high school counselor’s office for guidance or visit www.mowrga.org.

    West Georgia Technical College, with campuses in Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Troup counties and class sites in Heard and Meriwether counties offers over 120 associate degree, diploma and technical certificate programs of study. A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, West Georgia Tech is the fourth largest of the state’s 22 technical colleges. For more information, please visit westgatech.edu.

     


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    WGTC Taps Higher Ed Veteran For Institutional Effectiveness
    Posted: February 7, 2017

    His father was a civil engineer, responsible for building bridges across the Mississippi River.

    Now, John Parton builds bridges of his own – between West Georgia Technical College and an integrated system of planning, assessment and evaluation.

    John Parton

    WGTC recently hired Parton as Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness. Parton has more than two decades of experience in higher education.

    A native Texan – evidenced by the “Don’t mess with Texas” coffee mug on his desk – Parton said he’s enjoyed his time with WGTC so far, and he’s looking forward to new challenges and opportunities in 2017.

    “I’m fascinated by the complexity of our college as an organization, and I find the opportunity to direct IE efforts in an organization our size, scope and quality to be very appealing,” Parton said. “I’ve already been impressed with the professionalism and friendliness of everyone I’ve encountered so far throughout the college’s five campuses, and I’m most impressed by the college’s efforts to engage with the communities the campuses and sites can be found in.”

    Parton previously held positions at Chattahoochee Technical College and Berry College, both for nearly a decade. He was executive director of institutional effectiveness at Chattahoochee Tech, and served as director of undergraduate programs for the Campbell School of Business at Berry College.

    A graduate of Morehead State University and Eastern Kentucky University, Parton holds degrees in political science and public administration.

    The Office of Institutional Effectiveness initiates and coordinates the evaluation of college effectiveness toward fulfilling the mission of West Georgia Technical College through a collaborative, continuous, and comprehensive system of assessment, research, and planning activities. Planning and evaluation processes at West Georgia Technical College reflect the College’s commitment to the systematic assessment of outcomes and the use of results for continuous improvement of programs and services.

    "John Parton possesses the ideal skill set to lead this function of the college," WGTC President Steve G. Daniel said. "He has extensive experience in the principles of accreditation and student success metrics, and great knowledge of the technical college system.  Likewise, his passion for all things involved in institutional effectiveness is unparalleled."

    Parton said he’s looking forward to “digging into” the challenges of 2017.

    “The face of higher education is changing so quickly,” Parton said. “It’s really a moving target when it comes to compliance and accreditation, as reporting requirements keep being added to our workload, but it’s rewarding work because I know the work I’m doing is help the college improve every single day. WGTC is a good fit for me and my background, and it’s a good time to be a part of West Georgia Tech.”

    Parton has three teenaged children and lives in Cartersville, where he has resided since 1998.

    West Georgia Technical College, with campuses in Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Troup counties, and class sites in Heard and Meriwether counties, offers over 120 associate degree, diploma and technical certificate programs of study. A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, West Georgia Tech is the fourth largest of the state’s 22 technical colleges. For more information, please visit www.westgatech.edu.

     


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    WGTC Collects Donations For Georgia Tornado Victims
    Posted: February 6, 2017

    Items donated by West Georgia Technical College faculty, staff and students were delivered last weekend to tornado victims in south Georgia.

    A truck from Albany Technical College picked up the donations last Friday morning from WGTC’s sister college, Georgia Northwestern Technical College, in Rome. Three pallets’ worth of donations from WGTC were taken to Albany over the weekend.

    bus

    Staff members of Georgia Northwestern Technical College and West Georgia Technical College unload a WGTC bus that was loaded down with donated items for victims of last month’s tornadoes in south Georgia.

    Donations from WGTC included cleaning products, canned food items, blankets and many other items.

    WGTC President Steve Daniel said he’s proud of the students, faculty and staff members who donated items.

    “This was a tragic natural disaster that communities in southern Georgia will be recovering from for quite some time,” Daniel said. “I’m proud of WGTC for stepping up and supporting this cause.”

    Daniel said technical colleges across the state were participating in efforts coordinated by Albany Technical College, Southern Regional Technical College and Wiregrass Technical College. All three schools are in areas hardest hit by the January storms.

    forklift

    A GNTC forklift driver picks up the third and final pallet of donated items from WGTC to be placed on the Albany Technical College truck and taken to the college in south Georgia over the weekend.

    Forty tornadoes ripped through south and middle Georgia Jan. 21 and 22, according to the National Weather Service — twice the state’s average for a whole year, and the largest two-day tornado outbreak on record. The 27 tornadoes that struck Jan. 21 were also the most recorded on a single day in the state.

    The violent storms killed 16 people in Georgia and left behind at least $100 million in property damage.

    West Georgia Technical College, with campuses in Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Troup counties and class sites in Heard and Meriwether counties offers over 120 associate degree, diploma and technical certificate programs of study. A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, West Georgia Tech is the fourth largest of the state’s 22 technical colleges. For more information, please visit westgatech.edu.



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    WGTC Hosting Open House Events On All Five Campuses
    Posted: February 2, 2017

    Prospective students interested in attending West Georgia Technical College this year will get a great chance to discover what WGTC has to offer at five Open House events to be hosted by the college.

    Whether prospective students are first-time freshmen, wanting to earn their GED, current high school students or returning to school to move ahead, everyone will be able to find relevant information, take tours and have the chance to win some prizes at the Open House events.

    The events will be held on select days between Feb. 7 and March 21 on all five WGTC campuses. Open House will take place at the Coweta Campus on Feb. 7; Douglas Campus on Feb. 21; Murphy Campus on March 1; LaGrange Campus on March 16; and Carroll Campus on March 21, with all events being held from 5-7 p.m.

    Open House events will feature tours starting every 20 minutes, with tour guides showing visitors the campus, special labs and classrooms and an academic program fair, where prospective students can meet their future instructors and learn all about programs offered at WGTC. If participants visit all booths at the fair, their names will be entered to win prizes like a Kindle Fire, a Yeti tumbler, a Cosmetology gift certificate and more.

    Prospective students will also be able to apply during the event, with WGTC waiving the $25 application fee. Additionally, those who are stumped about their FAFSA will find trained professionals who will help them apply for financial aid. If you’re interested in getting help with the FAFSA documents, please bring or have electronic access to your 2015-16 tax returns and Social Security numbers of everyone in your household.

    The event is free, with free food, T-shirts and other giveaways being provided.

    If prospective students are unable to visit their closest campus, they can stop by an Open House event on another campus and still apply to WGTC for free.

    The Coweta Campus is located at 200 Campus Drive in Newnan; Douglas Campus at 4600 Timber Ridge Drive in Douglasville; Murphy Campus at 176 Murphy Campus Blvd. in Waco; LaGrange Campus at 1 College Circle in LaGrange; and Carroll Campus at 997 S. Highway 16 in Carrollton.

    For more information, email admissions@westgatech.edu or call 1-855-887-9482 and ask about Open House.

    West Georgia Technical College, with campuses in Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Troup counties and class sites in Heard and Meriwether counties offers over 120 associate degree, diploma and technical certificate programs of study. A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, West Georgia Tech is the fourth largest of the state’s 22 technical colleges. For more information, please visit westgatech.edu.

     


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    WGTC Renews Grant-Funded Driver's Ed Courses
    Posted: January 31, 2017

    West Georgia Technical College will again offer driver education courses this year – in some cases for free – thanks to grant funding from the Georgia Driver’s Education Commission (GDEC).

    West Georgia Tech’s Joshua’s Law teen driver education courses are offered through the WGTC Community Education Department. Tuition for the course is $375.

    The grant from the GDEC allows West Georgia Tech to offer the driver education courses free of charge to local teenagers who meet eligibility requirements.

    This year’s courses start Feb. 25 and grant-funded courses will begin March 11 at the Carrollton City Police Department and the WGTC LaGrange East Campus. Courses are scheduled from now until June, and additional dates will be added later in the year as the demand increases. Courses are offered in Carrollton, Douglasville, LaGrange and Waco.flyer

    “We are excited that the additional seats provided by GDEC under the existing grant will extend the Joshua’s Law Teen Driver Education program to many more families in our service area,” said WGTC Director of Economic Development Anita Williams. “We’ve had a huge response since the initial funding started in July 2015, and we anticipate that the community will once again take advantage of the funded program. Seats are limited and we encourage local school systems to relay this opportunity to students and their parents.”

    In a change from the last time the classes were offered by WGTC, students must now submit a “redemption code” dated before the start date of their class, unless they choose to pay the $375 fee out of pocket. Parents are advised to submit applications for approval at least 30 days prior to the class start date.

    Parents or students must apply for the scholarship directly through GDEC and an online application. The application will be available March 1.

    To view the application and all details pertaining to the grant process, visit www.gahighwaysafety.org/gdec/.

    Only Georgia residents between the ages of 15 and 17 with a valid learner’s permit are eligible to receive the driver’s education scholarship. Seating is limited, and the courses are expected to be at full capacity.

    To secure a seat in one of WGTC’s upcoming driver’s education classes, parents must register their child online. For a list of available courses, dates, and locations, go to www.westgatech.edu, click on the Community Education button, and then click the box that is labeled “Personal Development Education Center.”

    In order to receive a Class D license, an individual is required to attend 30 hours of classroom training and complete six additional hours of drive time with an approved instructor. The requirements were put in place when the Georgia General Assembly passed the Joshua’s Law legislation in 2007.

    Most insurance companies reduce premiums by an average of 10 percent upon completion of the course.

    “The course helps teenagers learn the rules of the road before getting behind the wheel,” Williams said. “This program has also significantly reduced the total number of crashes involving Georgia teenagers.”

    West Georgia Tech is offering nine courses over the next five months.

    For more information on the driver’s education classes and scholarship eligibility, call 1-855-209-3640 and select option 1, or email coned@westgatech.edu.

    West Georgia Technical College, with campuses in Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Troup counties and class sites in Heard and Meriwether counties offers over 120 associate degree, diploma and technical certificate programs of study. A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, West Georgia Tech is the fourth largest of the state’s 22 technical colleges. For more information, please visit westgatech.edu.

     


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    WGTC Hosts Korean Chamber Annual Dinner
    Posted: January 30, 2017

    West Georgia Technical College hosted the annual dinner of the Southeast United States Korean Chamber of Commerce at the college’s Callaway Conference Center in LaGrange Thursday night.

    The college was a platinum sponsor of the event, along with Kia Motors and Korean Air. WGTC President Steve gave welcoming remarks, as well as speaking the invocation before dinner.

    Korean Chamber of Commerce

    WGTC President Steve Daniel spoke during Thursday night’s Southeast United States Korean Chamber of Commerce annual meeting, held at WGTC’s Callaway Conference Center in LaGrange. Daniel spoke on workforce development efforts being made by the college in its seven-county service area.

    “We believe there is a lot of untapped growth potential in this area,” Daniel said. “We’re spread out across seven counties in west Georgia, which can be challenging, but it’s better for our students because we can be there, in their communities and hometowns, to serve them and get them ready for a job in our workforce.”

    Daniel mentioned the college was recently named a finalist for the Technical College System of Georgia Technical College of the Year award, saying the honor was made possible by partnerships between the college and local industries.

    “Many of our students wouldn’t be able to attend our college without scholarships, which in large part are donated to us by our community and industry partners,” Daniel said. “Last year, we awarded more than $100,000 in 153 different scholarships, thanks to the partnerships we’ve grown with industries like the ones represented here tonight. It’s our strength as an institution and the strength of what we do.”

    After dining on dishes including Korean favorites kimchi, shrimp and broccoli and dumplings, attendees heard from the Honorable Seong-Jin Kim, consul general for the southeast U.S. from the Republic of Korea. Kim spoke on the favorable outlook for Korean-owned businesses in the southeast, particularly in Georgia.

    The evening’s keynote speaker was Michael Randle, owner, publisher and editor of Southern Business Development Magazine. Randle spoke on the economic forecast for the coming decade, focusing on manufacturing jobs in southern states and the labor crisis facing companies today.

    SEUSK Chamber President Jane Fryer, of the Meriwether County Industrial Development Authority, gave the chamber’s “year in review,” saying the chamber had a prosperous 2016, including a name change and new logo in the first part of the year.

    The chamber of commerce awarded a $500 check to the ThINC Academy, housed on the WGTC campus in LaGrange, in memory of deceased Kia Motors Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Randy Jackson.

    The donation check was accepted by ThINC CEO Kathy Carlisle, Jackson’s son Jamie and the current CAO of Kia, Stuart Countess.

    West Georgia Technical College, with campuses in Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Troup counties and class sites in Heard and Meriwether counties offers over 120 associate degree, diploma and technical certificate programs of study. A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, West Georgia Tech is the fourth largest of the state’s 22 technical colleges. For more information, please visit westgatech.edu.



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    Nursing Students Test Out Geriatric Suit, Paid For By Sewell Grant
    Posted: January 25, 2017

    The West Georgia Technical College School of Nursing has acquired a new piece of equipment that aims to help students have empathy for elderly patients.

    The geriatric simulation suit, known by students and instructors as the “geri suit,” has weights for the wrist, ankle and torso area to tire the wearer and restrict movement, along with restraints for the hands, elbows, knees and neck. Goggles and earplugs limit eyesight and hearing, and shoe covers change the gait when walking.

    geriatric suit

    Move on When Ready students at WGTC's Murphy Campus work with instructor Kristy Cole to test out the geri suit, paid for by a grant from the Bremen-based Warren and Ava Sewell Foundation.

    “All of these elements come together to give the wearer of the suit a realistic experience of being an elderly person and some of the challenges they face every day,” said Renee Rawlins, health sciences simulation lab specialist at WGTC’s Murphy Campus. “Everyone has been very enthusiastic about the new addition to our labs.”

    The suit was acquired with funds gained by the program through a Warren P. and Ava F. Sewell Foundation grant for education. Robin Sewell Worley, chairman, said the foundation was attracted to supporting WGTC’s need because of the foundation’s nearly 70-year history.

    “My grandfather, Warren, helped build nursing homes, so he was particularly attuned to the needs of the elderly,” Worley said. “Knowing that money from his foundation would be going toward such a worthy cause would please him, I’m sure.”

    Since 1948, the Bremen-based foundation has awarded more than $12 million in grants, particularly to churches and educational organizations. Most grants are geared toward the local community of Haralson and Carroll counties, but Worley said the foundation has awarded grants to other organizations outside those two counties, as well.

    “We’ve seen what West Georgia Tech has done, and the effect the college has had on our community is something we were eager to support,” Worley said. “We’re proud to be able to carry on the foundation’s mission to help in areas like this.”

    The Sewell Foundation also awarded a grant to WGTC’s marketing management program.

    Last week, Move on When Ready students taking certified nursing assistant (CNA) classes at the Murphy Campus had their first experience with the geri suit.

    “One student put on the suit, while others practiced their skills with moving patients,” Rawlins said.

    Rawlins said the geri suit will be a “real benefit” to the students at WGTC.

    “Learning how to care for elderly patients is serious business, but the students still had fun and enjoyed learning about the challenges elderly people face,” Rawlins said. “Hopefully, this piece of equipment will help them provide better care for elderly patients in the future.”

    West Georgia Technical College, with campuses in Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Troup counties and class sites in Heard and Meriwether counties offers over 120 associate degree, diploma and technical certificate programs of study. A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, West Georgia Tech is the fourth largest of the state’s 22 technical colleges. For more information, please visit westgatech.edu.



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    Students Make GED Scholarship Pay Off
    Posted: January 24, 2017

    Her 15-year-old son had something to tell her.

    “He told me he wanted to withdraw from high school and join the military,” said Stephanie Womacks, the mother of Isaiah Wilkins, who recently graduated from West Georgia Technical College’s GED preparation program. “That’s a big deal for a 15-year-old to tell his mother. At first, I was worried, like any mother would be, but I told them if he was 100 percent committed to doing this, I would support him.”

    Not even 100 days after starting WGTC’s GED test prep class, Wilkins had received his GED. Now, he’s a member of the National Guard and is studying at Georgia Military College, having transferred more than 20 credit hours he earned while a student at WGTC. Wilkins, now 17 years old, has only two more quarters at GMC until he earns his associate degree.

    After being placed in an alternative school by his school system, Wilkins, of Temple, sought a new path and a fresh start. Upon completing his GED prep classes through West Georgia Technical College, he was able to take advantage of a scholarship program, funded in large part by a donation from Southwire Company that paid for his GED test.

    Karen Kirchler, Vice President of Adult Education at WGTC, said those kinds of stories are abundant in the GED testing program.

    Many students, like Wilkins, take advantage of the testing scholarship, which is offered to qualifying students who are residents of the college’s seven-county service area and who pass a GED practice test, which Kirchler said is a good indication of whether a student will earn his or her GED.

    While the GED classes at WGTC are free, the GED test comes at a financial cost. The scholarship pays for the four parts of the GED test. At a cost of $40 for each part, the $160 total price tag is a big barrier for some students. Kirchler said that money comes from private donations, with the bulk of the donation money coming from Southwire.

    “Most of the students who take our free classes are in need of some help when it comes to paying the $160 for the GED test,” Kirchler said. “We surveyed our population across the seven counties, and the No. 1 obstacle preventing people from taking the GED test is a lack of money.”

    Another successful graduate of WGTC’s GED program is Alexandra Crocker, 20, of Grantville. Crocker started the GED prep course in late 2014, earning her GED in early 2016.

    “I was in public school and moved to home-schooling before deciding to earn my GED because of some issues I had with home-schooling,” Crocker said. “It took me more than a year because I was employed and trying to stay on top of both my job and my school work, but I pushed myself the last few months and was able to accomplish my goal.”

    Crocker is now studying business management at WGTC and works full-time for Edible Arrangements in Newnan.

    “This is a big deal for me,” Crocker said. “I never expected to go to college. I never thought I’d have the opportunity. The scholarship I was able to get for my GED test was a huge help because I’m putting myself through school with no help, so every dollar that I can save means a lot.”

    Crocker said it was more than just about the money, though.
    “Earning the scholarship showed me that hard work and having the knowledge paid off in the long run,” Crocker said. “That pushed me, not only to earn my GED, but toward going to college, and I’ll always be thankful for that boost of self-esteem the scholarship gave me to say, ‘I can do this.’ ”

    Kirchler said donations to the GED scholarships have a tremendous effect on student success.

    “The positive outcomes are almost too numerous to count, from students gaining a higher wage to students becoming less likely to rely on public assistance,” Kirchler said. “If you look at the statistics on wage gain from earning a GED, there can be up to $250,000 difference in earnings between having a high-school diploma and having nothing over your working life.”

    WGTC offers adult education classes with flexible schedules at twenty sites throughout the area, including all five of the college’s main campuses. GED testing is also available at four central locations.

    Kirchler said without Southwire’s generous donations over the past several years to the WGTC GED program, the program would likely not be recognized as one of the top GED-earning programs in the state.

    “We’re grateful for Southwire’s generosity and willingness to provide support where people don’t typically see the need,” Kirchler said. “We’re one of the most successful programs in the state, and that’s in large part thanks to the scholarships we’re able to provide because of Southwire and other generous donors.”

    To find out more information about GED classes and testing, visit www.westgatech.edu/AdultEd.

    West Georgia Technical College, with campuses in Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Troup counties and class sites in Heard and Meriwether counties offers over 120 associate degree, diploma and technical certificate programs of study. A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, West Georgia Tech is the fourth largest of the state’s 22 technical colleges. For more information, please visit westgatech.edu.

     


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    13th Edition of Voices, WGTC's Literary Magazine, Unveiled
    Posted: January 23, 2017


    VOICES Vol. 13 was a lucky one for several students, faculty and staff members of West Georgia Technical College who walked away from the unveiling event of the college’s literary magazine with cash prizes for their submissions.

    Voices Cover

    VOICES, WGTC's annual creative arts magazine, was unveiled during an event at the college's Douglas Campus Thursday night. The cover photo, taken by student Misty Williamson, received the first-place award in photography.

    The creative arts magazine was unveiled at an event held on the college’s Douglas Campus Thursday night, with awards handed out in the five genres featured in the publication: short fiction, poetry, photography, art and short non-fiction.

    VOICES editor-in-chief, English instructor Lisa Cunningham, said she was pleased both with the “quantity and quality” of submissions received for this year’s magazine.

    “We had more than 100 great submissions, which is way more than we usually have,” Cunningham said. “The six winners in each category were chosen anonymously by our four student editors, and we’re excited for these WGTC students and employees to get the recognition they deserve.”

    Established in 2004, VOICES is published annually by WGTC. The magazine seeks to showcase the best examples of the creative spirit that is “alive and well at WGTC,” Cunningham said. Submissions are solicited year-round and are welcome from all current and recently graduated students, as well as staff and faculty members and members of all WGTC boards and committees.

    Voices Magazine

    Scores of copies of VOICES were available for attendees to pick up while leaving the event Thursday night. The magazine includes pieces in the genres of art, photography, poetry, fiction and non-fiction created by WGTC students and members of WGTC faculty and staff.

    The magazine is free for WGTC students and employees and can be picked up starting next week.

    Three third-place winners were chosen in each genre of the magazine, with each winner receiving a check for $25. Two second-place winners in each category received $50, and the first-place winner in each category received a check for $100. Some students who submitted more than one piece received multiple awards.

    Three attendees also walked away with brand new Kindle Fires, which were raffled off during the event. Students in the culinary arts program at the Douglas Campus prepared and served a light meal to attendees, as well.

    Student editors, who anonymously judge and award the winners in each category, are encouraged to volunteer to assist with selections, compilation and publication of the magazine. For more information about how to become a student editor, email voices@westgatech.edu.

    Food

    Students in the Douglas Campus culinary arts program served a light meal to attendees during the unveiling event Thursday.

    For more information, or to view the magazine online, visit www.westgatech.edu/voices. Past issues of the magazine can also be viewed online.

    West, a Sharpsburg resident, is in the Registered Nursing program at West Georgia Tech.

    West Georgia Technical College, with campuses in Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Troup counties and class sites in Heard and Meriwether counties offers over 120 associate degree, diploma and technical certificate programs of study. A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, West Georgia Tech is the fourth largest of the state’s 22 technical colleges. For more information, please visit www.westgatech.edu.

     

     

     

     


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    WGTC Faculty Member Creates Scholarship For Cosmetology Students
    Posted: January 10, 2017

    A cosmetology instructor at West Georgia Technical College has started a scholarship in memory of her former mentor to which she hopes others will contribute.

    Jennifer Meacham, who teaches at the college’s Franklin Instructional Site, donated funds to start the Raymond Van Sensing Jr. Memorial Scholarship in memory of her former teacher and mentor who passed away in 1996.

    Jennifer Meacham

    Jennifer Meacham, right, looks on as West Georgia Technical College student Alycia O’Neal practices coloring technique on a mannequin at the college’s Franklin Instructional Site. Meacham, an instructor at the site, has donated to the college to start a scholarship in memory of her former mentor, Raymond Van Sensing Jr.

    The scholarship will be managed by the WGTC Foundation and awarded to a qualifying student enrolled in the cosmetology diploma program at WGTC’s Franklin Instructional Site.

    Meacham said she was inspired to create the scholarship fund in Sensing’s memory after speaking with former co-workers who also learned from him.

    “There’s a group in this area who all worked together when we started off about 30 years ago, and we’re all still friends and still doing hair,” Meacham said. “We’ve found great success because of what he taught us, and I wanted to start this scholarship just to honor him because of the gift he gave me.”

    Sensing, who lived in Newnan, served as vice president of California Concept Corporation, a nationally recognized institution known for its precision hair-cutting techniques and high quality hair-care products.

    “First and foremost, though, Raymond Sensing was a teacher,” Meacham said. “The investment he made through his dedication in educating those desiring to learn, accompanied by his vast knowledge of the hairdressing industry, has served as the cornerstone of success for numerous hairdressers across our country.”

    Meacham said the invitation to make a donation to this scholarship fund extends to include anyone who “feels moved to make an investment into the life of another person.”

    To donate to the Raymond Van Sensing Jr. Memorial Scholarship, email Kim Learnard at Kim.Learnard@westgatech.edu.

    “There are many people who reap benefits from his training, and people still get haircuts from salon owners he trained,” Meacham said. “There are thriving businesses in our area that are booked for a month in advance, and I’d love for those owners to be able to join in on this effort to keep his legacy going.”

    West Georgia Technical College, with campuses in Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Troup counties and class sites in Heard and Meriwether counties offers over 120 associate degree, diploma and technical certificate programs of study. A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, West Georgia Tech is the fourth largest of the state’s 22 technical colleges. For more information, please visit westgatech.edu.



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    WGTC’S Pratt Headed Back To The Pros
    Posted: January 9, 2017

    West Georgia Technical College Athletic Director and Head Baseball Coach Todd Pratt has resigned to accept a position with the Miami Marlins organization, the College announced today.

    Pratt – the only baseball coach in Golden Knight history – has been leading the NJCAA Division I (GCAA) program since its inception in 2010 as a club team. He was named Athletic Director in November 2015.

    “Coach Pratt has done a great job leading the Golden Knights first as baseball coach and then as athletic director,” WGTC President Steve G. Daniel said. “His departure will certainly leave a void at WGTC, but we wish him the very best with the transition back into professional league baseball. Plus, we know he’ll always be a Golden Knight.”

    WGTC Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Tonya Whitlock has appointed Athletic Coordinator Misty Lang as Interim Athletic Director and assistant baseball coach Beau Welborn as Interim Head Baseball Coach. Both appointments began January 1 will last up to six months or until a permanent replacement is named.

    “I’m thankful that Lang and Welborn were able to step in so quickly to help fill the void left by Coach Pratt,” Whitlock said. “I’ve met with both of them and I am certain they’ll keep the programs moving forward. I’d also like to congratulate Coach Pratt and thank him for his service to the WGTC Golden Knights.”

    Welborn played college baseball at University of West Georgia, West Georgia Tech and University of North Georgia, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in health and physical education.

    West Georgia Technical College, with campuses in Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Troup counties and class sites in Heard and Meriwether counties offers over 120 associate degree, diploma and technical certificate programs of study. A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, West Georgia Tech is the fourth largest of the state’s 22 technical colleges. For more information, please visit westgatech.edu.

     


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