WGTC News Releases & Events

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

  • WGTC Hosting Open House Events On All Five Campuses
  • Foundation Awards 62 Fall Scholarships
  • WGTC Adult Education Division Preparing Students For College, Careers
  • U.S. Congressman Graves Visits WGTC Campus
  • WGTC Foundation Receives $36,000 Endowment Gift
  • Technology Upgrades Coming For WGTC Students
  • Piedmont Newnan Donates $75,000 To WGTC Foundation
  • WGTC Foundation Raises More Than $45,000 At Black Tie & Boots
  • WGTC, Carroll County Partner To Break Cycle of Recidivism
  • Jordan Truck Sales Donates Tractor-Trailer To Carroll Campus
  • Ingham Named ASCLS District Director
  • WGTC Librarian Authors Book Exploring Fantasy Heroine
  • Todd Davis Hired As WGTC Athletic Director
  • Seven WGTC Students Place In Top 10 In National Competition
  • WGTC Program One Of Five In Nation To Receive $2,500 Grant
  • WGTC Cuts Ribbon On Coweta Campus Academic Resource Center
  • State Announces New Name For Grant Offering Free College Tuition
  • WGTC Hosts Summer Stem Camps
  • Voith Donates To WGTC Scholarships
  • WGTC, UWG Sign Transfer Agreement For Psychology Degree
  • WGTC Foundation Awards Scholarships
  • John Michael Montgomery To Headline Black Tie & Boots
  • Kia Donates Optima To WGTC
  • Jackson Family Establishes WGTC Scholarship
  • WGTC Hosts GED Graduation Ceremony
  • WGTC Training Powertech Employees During Retool
  • Southwire Makes $200,000 Donation To WGTC Foundation
  • WGTC Adult Education Expanding GED-To-College Program
  • German Technical College President Visits WGTC
  • WGTC Partner Named Manufacturer of The Year
  • Gov. Deal Signs Budget On WGTC Campus
  • Robinson Named Finalist For State Goal Award
  • WGTC Qualifies 24 For National Business Competition
  • WGTC Students Fare Well At SkillsUSA Events
  • German Students Visit German Style Apprenticeship Program
  • WGTC Celebrates 7th Annual Art Exhibit
  • German Apprentices Training At WGTC
  • WGTC Adding Cybersecurity Program
  • WGTC Hosts Professional Makeup Conference
  • WGTC Greenville Site Offers Classes To High-Schoolers And Beyond
  • WGTC Seeking Alumni Stories
  • WGTC's Dr. Angela Brown Visits Capitol
  • WGTC Adult Ed Recruiting Volunteers
  • WGTC Advisers Honored At State Conference
  • 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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    WGTC Hosting Open House Events On All Five Campuses
    Posted: September 18, 2017

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

    open house

    West Georgia Technical College has planned Open House events at all five of its campuses over the next month. Prospective students are invited to their nearest campus to learn more about the college, get help with financial aid and even apply with the $25 application fee waived during the event. The Open House events will be held on select dates between Sept. 20 and Oct. 25 at each of the college’s five campuses.

    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 Sept. 20 and Oct. 25 on all five WGTC campuses. Open House will take place at the Carroll Campus on Wednesday, Sept. 20; the Douglas Campus on Tuesday, Sept. 26; the Murphy Campus on Thursday, Oct. 5; the Coweta Campus on Tuesday, Oct. 24; and the LaGrange Campus on Wednesday, Oct. 25. All events will be 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, tumblers 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 most recent 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 Carroll Campus is located at 997 S. Highway 16 in Carrollton; Douglas Campus at 4600 Timber Ridge Drive in Douglasville; Murphy Campus at 176 Murphy Campus Blvd. in Waco; Coweta Campus at 200 Campus Drive in Newnan; and LaGrange Campus at 1 College Circle in LaGrange.

    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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    Foundation Awards 62 Fall Scholarships
    Posted: August 30, 2017

    The West Georgia Technical College Foundation has awarded more than 60 scholarships for the Fall Semester, with nearly a quarter of those scholarships coming from new sources.

    Four new scholarships have been established by the Foundation: the Coweta-Fayette EMC Scholarship, the GreyStone Power Capstone Scholarship, the J. Randy Jackson Legacy Scholarship and the Manufacturers Education Foundation Scholarship. Fourteen students received funds from these scholarships.

    “We are proud to be able to invest in the education of so many students,” said Kim Learnard, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at West Georgia Tech. “These students have bright futures ahead of them, and I highly commend our donors for their generosity and our Foundation trustees for investing in our students. We are fortunate to have a very engaged set of stakeholders, both internal and external.”

    Learnard said scholarships have a real effect on keeping students from dropping out of their programs, with the average unmet financial need standing at approximately $471 for West Georgia Tech students.

    For one student – Gemma Papsodero, who hopes to become a registered nurse – the WGTC Foundation scholarship is more than just financially helpful.

    “I have faced many obstacles during my college career, some harder to overcome than others,” Papasodero said. “By being awarded this scholarship, it helps reassure myself that I’m on the right path and that much closer to reaching my goals. It helps me believe that I can truly do anything that I put my mind to.”

    Michael Dixon, a non-traditional student who balances his studies with a job and family responsibilities, said the Robert D. Tisinger Scholarship he received will help keep him on track toward his Licensed Practical Nursing degree.

    “This scholarship will help me move toward my goal of earning the degree, which will prepare me for a rewarding career in the health care field,” Dixon said. “I want to be of service to others who are unable to care for themselves. After having family members who have been unable to live independently in their later years of life, I have seen firsthand the benefits of a compassionate caregiver, and I want to make a career out of that. This scholarship means I’m one step closer to that goal.”

    Learnard said scholarships are also useful in creating or maintaining interest in a technical field, as well as helping a business or industry attract students into the technical programs they need.

    One student – Jordan Shiery, who hopes to earn degrees in both Accounting and Business management – is close to finishing her degrees and said her GreyStone Power Capstone Scholarship will lighten her financial burden as she races for the finish line.

    “That allows me to focus more on the most important aspect of school: learning,” Shiery said. “GreyStone Power’s generosity has inspired me to help others and give back to the community. I hope one day I will be able to help students achieve their goals as they have helped me.”

    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 Adult Education Division Preparing Students For College, Careers
    Posted: August 24, 2017

    The West Georgia Technical College Adult Education Division is embracing new opportunities this year, by placing a greater focus on helping students enrolled in GED preparation classes reach long-term goals like college degrees and meaningful careers.

    Karen Kirchler

    Karen Kirchler, Vice President of Adult Education at West Georgia Technical College, speaks during a recent Adult Education staff development day, which brought together the entire Adult Education team from across the seven-county service area to focus on goals, new initiatives and program improvement.

    At least twice a year, Karen Kirchler, Vice President of Adult Education at West Georgia Tech, pulls her entire team together from through the seven counties served by the department to focus on goals, new initiatives and program improvement.

    The staff held its semi-annual development day recently, and Kirchler used the time to share information regarding the shift to a higher goal than just ensuring students have the knowledge to pass the four GED exams and invited a pair of leadership speakers to inspire the group.

    Mack and Ria Story, a married couple who have together written more than a dozen books, spoke on the opportunities presented by change in an organization.

    “We’re here to make sure these fine employees understand how change can be leveraged to unlock a greater potential,” Mack Story said. “We’re all dealing with change in all aspects of our lives, and change can be viewed as an obstacle or an opportunity. We want to ensure that these instructors and administrators are able to inspire their students to reach for a higher future.”

    Kirchler said the division has always been focused on making sure graduates have viable options for the future, but with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act – which funds Adult Education programs – being in full effect now, some changes have been brought to the program.

    “These changes are pushing us to do more for our students by putting a heavier emphasis on helping students attain long-term goals like college degrees and meaningful careers,” Kirchler said. “We will be integrating employability skills into our curriculum and digital literacy certifications.”

    adulted

    Mack and Ria Story, leadership speakers and authors of more than a dozen books, spoke during the development day, inspiring the gathered instructors and administrative personnel to inspire the students who have enrolled in GED exam preparation courses at West Georgia Tech to pursue higher goals like college degrees and a meaningful degree after they’ve attained their GED.

    Kirchler said students will leave much better equipped for the workforce, which will be a “win-win for students and employers.”

    The division has also been tasked to implement a Youth Service Project, thanks to funding through the Three Rivers Regional Commission Workforce Board.

    “This project focuses on serving out-of-school youth, aged 16-24 years, who are looking to earn a GED or gain some employability skills,” Kirchler said. “We’re working in partnership with Goodwill to offer paid work experiences to students, as well help them earn a GED and transition to college.”

    For more information on Mack and Ria Story, visit www.BlueCollarLeadership.com.

    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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    U.S. Congressman Graves Visits WGTC Campus
    Posted: August 21, 2017

    U.S. Congressman Tom Graves, who represents Haralson County in the U.S. House of Representatives, visited West Georgia Technical College’s Thomas B. Murphy Campus in Waco last week, updating a gathered audience on recent legislation and what the 115th U.S. Congress has accomplished since January.

    Graves

    U.S. Congressman Tom Graves spoke on a variety of issues during the meet-and-greet last week, citing the current U.S. Congress as “the most productive in history.”

    Graves visited the campus during a meet-and-greet event hosted by the Greater Haralson Chamber of Commerce. The congressman spoke on a variety of issues, calling the current iteration of Congress “the most productive in history.”

    “One thing I’m glad to do when we are in recess is visit the local communities I represent and update everyone about what has been happening in Washington, D.C.,” Graves said. “I think too often we’re perceived as being so far removed from the communities we serve, and I love getting to meet members of the families I’m working for at events like this when I’m in Georgia.”

    Graves spoke before an audience of more than 40 local community members, including several who asked questions during a question-and-answer session.

    The congressman spent most of his time speaking on the health care legislation, with a proposed bill failing in the Senate in July.

    “Unfortunately, the well-being of American families has become a partisan issue,” Graves said. “I don’t think the Affordable Care Act was ever intended to hurt anyone, but families are suffering and need our help. We’ve put a lot of work into reforming health care, and that work will continue.”

    Graves praised the current presidential administration for terminating more than 180 federal programs, repealing more than 800 rules and regulations and creating one million jobs since January.

    Graves

    Congressman Graves took several questions from the audience during his recent visit to West Georgia Tech, covering topics like health care legislation, veterans’ affairs and economic development.

    “It’s been a very interesting year, of course, but I think one thing that’s often overlooked is how much progress is being made in our country,” Graves said. “We are proud to say that there are one million Americans who have a purpose and dignity through work that they didn’t have at the beginning of the year.”

    Graves was first elected to public office in 2002, when he won a seat in the Georgia House of Representatives. After serving in the General Assembly for more than seven years, he was sworn in to the U.S. Congress in June 2010, after winning a special election.

    In Congress, Graves serves on the House Appropriations Committee, which determines how the U.S. government spends taxpayer dollars. On this committee, Graves serves as chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee, where he authors the annual bill funding our nation's financial infrastructure, such as the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration.

    Graves also serves on the Defense Subcommittee, which funds the national defense, and the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee, which funds the nation's transportation and infrastructure programs, as well as the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    Graves lives in Gordon County with his wife, Julie, and children John and Janey. His eldest daughter, JoAnn, is a freshman at Georgia Tech.

    For more information on Congressman Graves, visit http://www.tomgraves.house.gov/

    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 Foundation Receives $36,000 Endowment Gift
    Posted: August 15, 2017

    The West Georgia Technical College Foundation has received an endowment gift in excess of $36,000 from a Haralson County foundation and will honor the gift by creating a permanent legacy scholarship.

    Star Foundation

    Pictured left to right are Dallas Moon, instructional coordinator at West Georgia Tech and grandson of Wes "W.G." Littlefield; Delores Goldin, president of the WGTC Foundation; Gail Carnes, member of the board of trustees of the Star Foundation; James Parrish, member of the board of trustees of the Star Foundation; Sue Muse, chair of the board of trustees of the Star Foundation; and Kim Learnard, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at West Georgia Tech.

    An endowment agreement between the WGTC Foundation and Star Foundation Inc. was signed recently, creating the Star Scholarship Endowment, which will benefit students who reside in Haralson County or east Alabama.

    The Star Foundation – formed in 1961 by Wes “W.G.” Littlefield, the plant manager of the American Thread Company mill in Tallapoosa – has awarded scholarships in excess of $145,000 over the past five decades.

    “Because of the generosity of these foresighted men, the fund lives on,” said Sue Muse, who served as chair of the Star Foundation’s board of trustees. “This just shows how one good deed can keep going beyond what you’d ever imagine.”

    Believe it or not, the $36,000 endowment gift got its start as change at the bottom of the vending machines housed inside the Tallapoosa mill.

    “Vending machines had been installed in the plant, and funds were being collected from the sale of items in the machines,” Muse said. “[Littlefield] wanted his employees to benefit from these funds, so he and several other men – W.I. Lanier, R.J. Simanton, Howard C. Brooks and Don B. Howe – framed a charter for a corporation under the name of Star Foundation Inc.”

    The foundation was so-named because of the American Thread Company’s logo of a star.

    The charter stated the purpose of the corporation was “to promote the welfare and education of the worthy and needy employees of the Tallapoosa plant,” without profit to the members of the corporation or their successors.

    The charter went on to add that in the event of a dissolution of the corporation, which took place with the Star Foundation’s gift to the WGTC Foundation, any remaining assets of the corporation shall be used exclusively for educational purposes.

    “We are honored and proud to have been chosen to receive this significant gift from the Star Foundation,” said Kim Learnard, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at West Georgia Tech. “We will be good stewards of these funds, so that they may live on in perpetuity to match the larger-than-life legacy of the generous men who started the Star Foundation many years ago.”

    Star Scholarship Endowment will benefit, in perpetuity, deserving WGTC students majoring in an area of their choosing and attending classes at any of the campuses. Eligible students must be residents of Haralson County or east Alabama who are enrolled in a program at West Georgia Tech and have demonstrated financial need.

    The first scholarships will be awarded for Fall Semester 2018.

    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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    Technology Upgrades Coming For WGTC Students
    Posted: August 8, 2017

    West Georgia Technical College students will see major technology upgrades on campuses this fall, as the College deploys almost 600 new workstations and doubles the bandwidth of its internet connection.

    workstations

    West Georgia Technical College is deploying about 600 new computer workstations along with other technology upgrades in advance of Fall Semester.

    Executive Director of Information Technology Sam Jenkins said technicians are working to install the new desktop workstations in classrooms and labs with greatest need.

    “We have worked directly with Academic Affairs to identify the specific programs and rooms that need new computers,” Jenkins said. “We’re focusing on our business and computer information systems programs initially. These areas also will be upgraded to the latest version of Microsoft Office software. The programs are teaching this software beginning in the fall.”

    Overall, the College is investing about $350,000 in new equipment for fall semester, Jenkins said.

    “I meet with students periodically throughout the year, and this investment in technology is a direct response to feedback I’ve received from students,” President Steve G. Daniel said. “We are a technical college, our slogan is ‘Technically, the Best!’ and we need to make sure our students have current equipment.”

    Jenkins said the entire College will benefit from a higher speed internet connection.

    “We’re doubling the speed of our network’s connection to the internet, so all students, faculty and staff should notice an improvement in network speed, whether they are using a new computer or not,” Jenkins said.

    “We’ve also removed some network bottlenecks between the Douglas Campus and our network hub at the Murphy Campus. Douglas Campus has a high student volume and network load, so this should be a notable improvement for them.”

    Daniel said West Georgia Tech intends to make an increased IT investment over the next several years.

    “We plan to invest about $1 million in IT upgrades over the next four years,” Daniel said. “I think it’s important for students to know that we’re investing in technology to improve their experience,” he said. “It’s vital to us that students are trained on the same technology they will encounter on the job.”

    Jenkins said the new workstations have also allowed WGTC to repurpose about 130 older computers that still have value into other areas.

    "Our ongoing plan is to place the newest and best equipment in our high technology programs,” Jenkins said. “As we move older equipment from these areas, we can use it to replace outdated systems in other areas."

    The College is replacing equipment used to test incoming students for placement and has also installed a new deployment server to help technicians push new software out as they set up labs.

    "We have made a significant investment for fall semester," Jenkins said. "I'm pleased to say we have a good plan to continue upgrading our technology infrastructure."

    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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    Piedmont Newnan Donates $75,000 To WGTC Foundation
    Posted: August 1, 2017

    Representatives from Piedmont Newnan Hospital recently presented a check for $75,000 to the West Georgia Technical College Foundation to support student scholarships and strengthen the partnership between the hospital and college.

    Piedmont

    Pictured left to right are Buck Anderson, Executive Director of Patient Services, Piedmont Newnan; Kim Learnard, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, West Georgia Technical College; Michael Robertson, CEO, Piedmont Newnan; Steve Daniel, President, West Georgia Technical College; and Vicki Kaiser, Executive Director of Oncology and Community Affairs, Piedmont Newnan.

    “This is a great collaboration we have with Piedmont Newnan because we know we have the answers to some of the challenges they’re facing when it comes to hiring a well-trained, qualified workforce,” West Georgia Technical College President Steve G. Daniel said. “We’re excited to continue this partnership, as we work together to ensure every resident of Coweta County is healthy and well taken care of.”

    Piedmont Newnan Hospital CEO Michael Robertson presented the check – which represents a multi-year commitment to the college’s foundation – to Daniel in the Community Room at West Georgia Tech’s Coweta Campus.

    One portion of the partnership is the planned rebranding of the Student Center at the Coweta Campus to become “The Piedmont Newnan Student Center.”

    “We’re excited to hear students tell each other to meet them at ‘The Piedmont,’ and we’re positive this is the kind of exposure that Piedmont Newnan deserves from their commitment to our efforts,” Daniel said. “We have plans to move forward with the rebranding as soon as possible.”

    Robertson said he’s excited to continue Piedmont’s partnership with West Georgia Tech.

    “As a not-for-profit organization, our success enables us to give back to our community and support local partners like West Georgia Technical College, aligning our healthcare focus with their student’s needs to promote academic success and healthy living at an early age,” Robertson said.

    Also present from Piedmont Newnan were Vicki Kaiser, Executive Director of Oncology and Community Affairs, and Buck Anderson, Executive Director of Patient Services.

    Daniel said the college’s partnership with Piedmont Newnan is a “shining example” of how West Georgia Tech can team up with community partners to give students a chance to learn and be ready to enter the workforce from day one.

    “Support from the communities we serve means everything to us at West Georgia Tech,” Daniel said. “We’re trying our best to make sure those commitments are met with support from us in the form of a qualified, well-trained workforce. Mutually beneficial partnerships like the one we enjoy with Piedmont Newnan Hospital are critical to our mission of providing a relevant and affordable education for our students.”

    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 Foundation Raises More Than $45,000 At Black Tie & Boots
    Posted: July 31, 2017

    John Michael Montgomery

    Country music star John Michael Montgomery performs at the 16th annual Black Tie & Boots, hosted by the West Georgia Technical College Foundation, last Saturday night.

    The West Georgia Technical College Foundation awarded its annual Spirit of Giving Award to the Hightower family at the 16th anniversary Black Tie & Boots Fundraiser on Saturday, July 29. The Spirit of Giving Award recognizes outstanding commitment and generosity to the West Georgia Technical College Foundation and technical education.

    Country artist John Michael Montgomery performed in front of a large crowd at the West Georgia Tech Murphy Campus Conference Center in Waco. In total, the event raised more than $45,000, breaking the event’s previous record.

    Richard Hightower – along with his two sons, Bryant and Bill – accepted the award prior to the concert. The award has been given annually since 2008.

    “The members of the Hightower family are not only great businessmen, but generous benefactors and accomplished leaders,” said Delores Goldin, president of the West Georgia Technical College Foundation. “Through their generosity and countless hours of work on boards and committees, this amazing family has had a tremendous effect on the students, faculty and staff at West Georgia Tech.”

    The Hightower family owns and operates a group of funeral homes in the west Georgia area. Bill Hightower recently ended a nine-year stint on the College’s board of directors and has been nominated to return, and Bryant Hightower has served on the Foundation’s board of trustees since 2007, currently serving as vice president.

    “You don’t do the things that everybody in this room does for recognition,” said Bryant Hightower while accepting the Spirit of Giving Award. “That’s not why we’re here. Several years ago, my family decided we would use our resources in a way that would improve the quality of life for the families we meet every day. We’ve invested in our communities. We want to make the place we live the best it can be, and because of everyone here and this College, we’re making that happen.”

    BTB

    Bryant Hightower, son of Richard and brother of Bill, accepts the 2017 Spirit of Giving Award, given to the Hightower family. The Hightower family, which owns and operates a group of funeral homes in the west Georgia area, was selected to receive the award because of its numerous years of service to the College and Foundation.

    The WGTC Foundation raised more than $45,000 at this year’s fundraiser. Proceeds from Black Tie & Boots allow the Foundation to provide student scholarships, purchase equipment, support advanced labs and classrooms and provide professional development opportunities for faculty and staff.

    “We are proud to say that the majority of our tickets were sold through sponsorships,” said WGTC Vice President of Institutional Advancement Kim Learnard. “That shows you the tremendous support that we have from our business and community partners. I want to thank everyone who came to the concert. Not only did everyone have a great time, but it was for a great cause – supporting students who are working hard to better their lives through education.”

    BTB

    A large crowd of donors, partners and stakeholders enjoyed a catered Kentucky barbecue prior to the concert at the West Georgia Tech Murphy Campus Conference Center in Waco.

    Prior to the concert, WGTC Foundation scholarship recipient Tareva Gates – who currently serves as a financial aid specialist at West Georgia Tech’s Coweta Campus – shared her story and thanked the audience in prepared remarks.

    Gates, a LaGrange resident, graduated from West Georgia Tech in 2015 with an associate degree in Business Management.

    “After getting my degree here at West Georgia Tech, thanks in large part to your generosity, I had a new sense of confidence that I could take care of myself and my family,” Gates said. “My heart is always touched when I hear how the Foundation has helped students in our community with real-life issues to ensure they receive the best education they can. We are truly building leaders that will manage and innovate the new tomorrow, and that’s why I’m proud to give to the West Georgia Tech Foundation.”

    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, Carroll County Partner To Break Cycle of Recidivism
    Posted: July 20, 2017

    Ten inmates at the Carroll County Prison are learning a skill while incarcerated they hope will lead to a career once they’re released.

    prison

    A Carroll County Prison inmate welds as part of a Welding & Joining Technology program taught at the prison by West Georgia Technical College.

    West Georgia Technical College, Carroll County and the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board have partnered to offer a Welding & Joining Technology program at the Carroll County Prison facility on Horsley Mill Road in Carrollton. Program leaders have plans to expand the number of inmates in the program in the coming months.

    West Georgia Tech instructor Scott Eidson started holding formalized classes in a portable classroom last month, hoping his work with the inmates will “break the cycle” of recidivism, or repeated criminal behavior.

    “Our goal is to stop the revolving door of individuals who enter the prison system, get released and wind up back in prison shortly after,” Eidson said. “A lot of these inmates lacked a direction in their life, which was a factor in their ending up here in prison. We want to make sure when they’re released that they have a direction and a viable career choice that won’t land them back here in a year.”

    That’s what one inmate, who worked at an exhaust shop prior to being incarcerated, hopes.

    “My whole purpose of taking these classes is to get certified in a new field I have very little experience in,” said the inmate, who preferred to remain anonymous. “Having this experience will open new doors for me, especially when I’m looking to regain employment after I’m released.”

    The inmate said being able to tell potential employers that he spent his time in prison gaining a new skill would go a long way in selling himself to gain a position.

    Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board is funding the 150-hour program through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Several pieces of equipment, as well as the portable classroom in which inmates work, were donated by the Technical College System of Georgia.

    The first cohort of student inmates will complete the program in September.

    “It’s a proven fact that the more educated you are, the less likely you are to re-offend or commit a crime,” Carroll County Prison Warden Robert Jones said. “When you look at some of these guys’ backgrounds, you can see that they have never been given opportunities to really improve themselves. We know that if they do not come back, then we did something right.”

    Student inmates who complete the entire course will be certified in Gas Metal Arc/Flux Core Metal Arc Welding and Advanced Shielded Metal Arc Welding, Eidson said.

    The class size is maxed out at 10, due to the work space the prison has, and a wait list is being filled for the next available class. Carroll County is requiring that inmates have a high school diploma or GED to participate.

    Eidson starts the class with a basic welding program called flat stick welding.

    “We build a broad foundation, starting with the most basic welding, and make sure everything is established safety-wise before we build off of our pyramid,” Eidson said. “After 10 weeks of learning the basics, we move onto an advanced course.”

    West Georgia Tech Executive Vice President of Economic Development and Campus Relations Laura Gammage said the program aligns with Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal’s emphasis on inmate re-entry.

    “Gov. Deal has made criminal justice reform one of his priorities, and re-entry programs that prepare inmates for life after incarceration are an important part of that,” Gammage said. “We want to make sure West Georgia Tech’s resources are being used to their full potential in support of this initiative.”

    Gammage said WGTC modeled the Carroll County program after a successful pilot run in Troup County in which the entire class of six inmates successfully completed the program and became certified by the American Welding Society.

    “We knew this was a successful model based on our outcomes in Troup County,” she said. “We are certainly excited to see it working in Carroll County and we look forward to expanding the program here.”

    Eidson said the prison and WGTC are committed to continuing their efforts to offer education and training for prisoners and preparing them to productively settle back into society, and that a few companies have already expressed interest in hiring the trained inmates once they’re released.

    “That is what it is all about,” Eidson said. “We will not be successful with this program until these guys are employed, taxpaying citizens.”

    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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    Jordan Truck Sales Donates Tractor-Trailer To Carroll Campus
    Posted: July 19, 2017

    Jordan Truck Sales recently donated a 2007 Freightliner truck and 53-foot trailer to the West Georgia Technical College Foundation for instructional use in the Commercial Truck Driving program at the WGTC Carroll Campus in Carrollton.

    truckdonation

    Ronnie Jordan, owner of Jordan Truck Sales in Carrollton, right, hands West Georgia Tech Commercial Truck Driving instructor Judy Doggrell the keys to the 2007 Freightliner 18-wheeler donated to the college’s Foundation for instructional use. Julian Schmoke, Executive Director of Campus Operations at West Georgia Tech’s Carroll Campus, left, said the donation of the truck and trailer will have a significant effect on the program.

    The tractor-trailer will be used to instruct students in the high-demand career program on how to drive big rigs safely.

    Ronnie Jordan, owner of Carrollton-based Jordan Truck Sales, said he’s proud to donate to a program that gets students ready to hit the road safely in about two months.

    “I see the need of recruiting students to this program every day,” Jordan said. “There’s a very high demand in our nation for truck drivers, and I wanted to do my part in ensuring that students have some more modern equipment to train on. I obviously have a passion for truck-driving, and I see this as being a mutually beneficial partnership.”

    The truck is now the newest piece of equipment in the Commercial Truck Driving program at the Carroll Campus.

    Jordan also serves as the chair of the Commercial Truck Driving advisory board, a group of interested business leaders who gather twice yearly to discuss the needs of the college program and how they can address those needs.

    “I want to personally thank Jordan Truck Sales for this generous donation, which will serve as a valuable resource for our automotive technology program,” said Kim Learnard, WGTC Vice President of Institutional Advancement. “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.”

    West Georgia Tech Commercial Truck Driving instructor Judy Doggrell said that the donation would have a significant effect on the program.

    “The trucking industry is constantly introducing more and more innovative ways to insure the safety of the driver and the general public,” Doggrell said. “At WGTC, we strive to inform and prepare our students to enter the industry with as much knowledge as possible so they can be safe and effective employees from day one.”

    Doggrell said the new addition to the program’s fleet will enable students to become familiar with, and have hands-on experience with, some of those innovations.

    “The new equipment will also enable us to train more students, more effectively on newer technology involved in the trucking industry,” Doggrell said. “We are honored to have the ongoing support of the community and the industry leaders. Personally, I want to thank Jordan Truck Sales for all that they do for our community and for thinking of West Georgia Tech.”

    West Georgia Tech’s Commercial Truck Driving program offers a certificate in Commercial Truck Driving and offers classes during both day and night sessions at the Carroll, LaGrange and Coweta campuses.

    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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    Ingham Named ASCLS District Director
    Posted: July 18, 2017

    A West Georgia Technical College faculty member has been appointed district director by the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science’s Georgia Chapter, to serve as representation of nearly 20 counties.

    Ingham

    Dr. Phyllis Ingham, program director of West Georgia Technical College’s Clinical Laboratory Technology and Phlebotomy program, was recently appointed District Five Director of the Georgia Chapter of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science. Ingham will serve as liaison between the hospitals and education programs in Georgia’s district five, which includes Troup County.

    Dr. Phyllis Ingham’s responsibilities as District Five director will include being a close liaison and representation between the membership within the district and the ASCLS board of directors. Major cities in Ingham’s district include LaGrange, Columbus and Americus.

    Ingham serves as program director of West Georgia Tech’s Clinical Laboratory Technology and Phlebotomy program.

    Ingham said her duties in the position will be to facilitate communication between her district and the board.

    “I will be reaching out to hospital laboratories and clinical laboratory education programs within the district on behalf of ASCLS’ Georgia Chapter to encourage participation and membership in the society,” Ingham said.

    Ingham said she’s honored to be able to represent West Georgia Tech with the appointment.

    “I want to further the mission of ASCLS by making a positive effect in health care through the leadership that will assure excellence in the practice of laboratory medicine,” Ingham said.

    Ingham has been a member of ASCLS for 15 years and upholds the shared belief that quality laboratory services are essential to quality healthcare, everyone deserves access to safe, effective, efficient, equitable and patient-centered healthcare and advancing the laboratory profession advances health care in local communities.

    “Serving as District Five Director will enable me to promote clinical laboratory science, connect with area hospital and education colleagues, and contribute to the recruitment of dedicated individuals to serve as mentors for new laboratory professionals,” Ingham said. “I look forward to getting to work.”

    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 Librarian Authors Book Exploring Fantasy Heroine
    Posted: July 17, 2017

    Matthew Sunrich spends his entire working life surrounded by books. Now he’s written one.

    A librarian at West Georgia Technical College’s Thomas B. Murphy Campus in Waco, Sunrich has written a character study on a long-running Marvel Comics character, Red Sonja.

    Red Sonja

    Matthew Sunrich, a librarian at the West Georgia Technical College Thomas B. Murphy Campus in Waco, has written a book on a long-running Marvel Comics character, Red Sonja.

    Sunrich said he’s long been fascinated by the character of Red Sonja, a sword-and-sorcery heroine, having read and researched nearly 300 comic books for his newly published book, “Drawn Swords: An Unauthorized Exploration of Red Sonja and the Artists Who Brought Her to Life.”

    Sunrich has been a comic book, fantasy and horror fan for as long as he can remember. After years of attempting to become a fiction writer, he directed his writing toward pop-culture analysis.

    “It means the world to me to have my first book published,” Sunrich said. “I’ve written several articles on the character of Red Sonja in the past, but there’s so much material out there about her origin story and how her story has evolved over the past 40 years, I knew there would be plenty of compelling content to cover in an entire book.”

    Since her debut in Marvel's “Conan the Barbarian” in 1973, Red Sonja has become the “undisputed queen of sword and sorcery,” Sunrich said. She has hacked and slashed her way through more than 300 comic books to date – a number that continues to grow in the pages of Dynamite Entertainment's series.

    Savage and beautiful, altruistic and deadly, Sonja, the flame-haired "She-Devil with a Sword," is a war-goddess in the tradition of Athena or the Valkyries – but though divinely blessed with supreme battlefield prowess, she is a flesh-and-blood woman.

    “That makes her an extremely compelling woman to me,” Sunrich said. “She’s beautiful, but also has powers that make her nearly impossible to beat in battle. She fights for the weak and is an adventurer more than anything else. That keeps her story fresh and interesting, and it’s a story I’ve been following for several years.”

    The 322-page book is published by Hasslein Books, based in New York. The book explores the character’s adventures and how they relate to other comics, as well as novels, television programs and films.

    Sunrich’s book also details Red Sonja’s adventures from Marvel and Dynamite, examining the work of the myriad artists whose pens and pencils gave her the breath of life.

    For more information about “Drawn Swords,” visit www.HassleinBooks.com. To purchase Sunrich’s book, visit https://www.amazon.com/Drawn-Swords-Unauthorized-Exploration-Artists/dp/0692903283/.

    Sunrich lives in Tallapoosa, Georgia, with his wife, two children, five cats and 800 Dungeons & Dragons miniatures.

    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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    Todd Davis Hired As WGTC Athletic Director
    Posted: July 13, 2017

    West Georgia Technical College has hired Todd Davis to become the school’s new athletic director.

    Davis officially began his role on July 1, replacing Todd Pratt, who left last year to manage the Single A Greenboro Grasshoppers in the Florida Marlins organization.

    Athletic director

    West Georgia Technical College has hired Todd Davis to become the school’s new athletic director. Davis has served as athletic director at various colleges for the past two decades.

    “We are very excited to have someone of the caliber of Todd Davis to lead our athletic department,” said West Georgia Tech President Steve G. Daniel. “Athletics plays an integral role in the branding of our college. All four of our sports teams are strong and competitive, and all produce quality student-athletes across the board. I am confident that Davis’ leadership will help make us even stronger in the years to come.”

    Originally from Oklahoma, Davis has more than 25 years as an athletic administrator. He has been an athletic director for 20 of those 25 years and has a knack for building highly competitive sports programs.

    “I want to thank President Daniel and Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Tonya Whitlock for this opportunity,” Davis said. “I’m excited to be at West Georgia Tech and back in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association. I look forward to building a relationship with our student-athletes, coaches, faculty, staff and the community.”

    Davis will oversee an athletic department with four sports – men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball and softball.

    The Golden Knights compete in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), as a member of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA) conference.

    Baseball and softball are NJCAA Division-I programs, while men’s basketball and women’s basketball compete on the Division-III level.

    Davis is no stranger to the state of Georgia, as he has directed two different institutions in athletics.

    As athletic director at Gordon State College (2007-15), he oversaw six sports and led the Highlanders to their best year in school history in 2011-12. Three teams – men’s basketball, softball, baseball – all qualified for their respective national championship.

    His accomplishments at GSC alone include 17 Academic All-Americans, five NJCAA Academic Team of the Year qualifiers, 52 All-Region selections and two NJCAA All-Americans.

    Davis also spent three years as athletic director at Darton State College in Albany. In his second year, the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association named the school the top two-year athletic program in the state for 2005-06.

    Overall, Davis has seen three national championships, one NJCAA runner-up title, three national top-five finishes, six College World Series baseball appearances, seven NJCAA All-Americans and 15 region titles.

    “My goal for any athletic program I direct is to make it competitive on the national level and make sure all student-athletes understand the importance of obtaining an education,” Davis said. “I’m proud to have witnessed 64 Academic All-Americans during my career, and I look forward to seeing that number continue to rise.”

    Davis is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in health and sports science.

    Davis comes from a very athletic family, as his older brother, Steve, was the starting quarterback at the University of Oklahoma from 1973-75. The Sooners won two national championships with Steve Davis at the helm.

    Davis is married to his wife, Susie, of 27 years and has three children, Drew (21), Brooks (19) and Macy (16).

    For more information about West Georgia Tech athletics, visitt www.wgtcathletics.com.

    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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    Seven WGTC Students Place In Top 10 In National Competition
    Posted: July 10, 2017

    West Georgia Technical College Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) students excelled at the 2017 National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, Calif., last month, with seven students placing in the top 10 of their respective categories.

    PBL

    West Georgia Tech’s Phi Beta Lambda organization received numerous awards at the 2017 National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, Calif., with nearly two dozen students traveling to California to compete. In total, seven students placed in the top 10 in the nation in various business-related competitions.

    Out of the organization’s 45 members, 22 students qualified for national competition and made the trip to California in late June. The 22 West Georgia Tech students competed in 33 different categories over the course of five days.

    Students participated in competitive events focused on several business-related topics, including forensic accounting, hospitality management and business decision-making.

    Beyond individual competitions, students participated in chapter and team events, with the organization’s Douglas Chapter receiving second place in annual business reporting.

    More than 1,800 of America’s best and brightest college students traveled to Southern California to establish their own Legacy of Leadership as they competed for the opportunity to win more than $95,000 in cash awards, according to a release from the National Leadership Conference.

    The competition was part of a comprehensive national competitive events program sponsored by FBLA-PBL that recognizes and rewards excellence in a broad range of business and career-related areas. For many students, the competitive events are the capstone activity of their academic careers. In addition to competitions, students immersed themselves in interactive workshops, visited an information-packed exhibit hall, and heard from motivational keynotes on a broad range of business topics.

    PBL 2017 National Competition winners from West Georgia Tech and their respective competitive events are as follows:

    • 2nd place – Douglas Chapter – Local Chapter Annual Business Reporting
    • 3rd place – Daniel Williams – Accounting Principles
    • 4th place – Sherry Gomez and McAllister Wheeless – Mobile Applications
    • 5th place – David Herrington – Accounting for Professionals
    • 5th place – Sherry Gomez and McAllister Wheeless – Computer Animation
    • 6th place – Cody Ziegler – Forensic Accounting
    • 8th place – Boyd Stancombe – Cybersecurity
    • 10th place – Maddie White – Hospitality Management
    • Top 15 – David Herrington and Jodi Hubbard – Business Decision-Making
    • Top 15 – Amanda Ashley, Valencia Harper, Cindy Wilson – Community Service Project
    • Top 15 – Dorothy Ngalame – Global Analysis and Decision-Making

    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 Program One Of Five In Nation To Receive $2,500 Grant
    Posted: July 6, 2017

    The Clinical Laboratory Technology and Phlebotomy program at West Georgia Technical College is one of only five in the nation to receive a $2,500 grant from the American Society of Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS), and program director Dr. Phyllis Ingham hopes to use the grant to recruit more students to the program.

    Clinical Grant

    A Clinical Laboratory Technology student observes a sample substance in a Petri dish. The CLT program at West Georgia Technical College is one of five in the nation to receive a $2,500 grant from the American Society of Clinical Laboratory Science. Dr. Phyllis Ingham, chair of the West Georgia Tech program, said the grant funds will be used in recruitment efforts for the program.

    “The Georgia Department of Labor statistics indicate that we have a faster-than-average growth in demand for clinical lab techs, with a growth rate of about 33 percent per year,” Ingham said. “That’s the gap we’re working to close, so we won’t continue to have the shortage we’re experiencing now. We’re hoping to use these funds in our recruiting, so we can involve our current students in those efforts in a ‘students recruiting students’ initiative.”

    According to information from the ASCLS, the Laboratory Program Development Grants were created to help programs “educate and empower future medical laboratory professionals.” Ingham said approximately 80 percent of all decisions made by physicians are based on lab results, which come from clinical lab technicians and technologists.

    “We already have a severe shortage of techs across the country, and it’s only going to get more in-demand as our population continues to age,” Ingham said. “When our students graduate, they have a job waiting on them. So we’re hoping to use this grant to get that message out there, so prospective students can see what a worthwhile career this can be.”

    Ingham said she focused on students – the program’s “best resource” – in writing the grant.

    “Our new Students Recruiting Students program will promote the profession and increase clinical laboratory enrollment through advertising, outreach and recruiting,” Ingham said. “The program will provide opportunities for our students (past and present) to share their story, recruiting clinical
    laboratory students for our program in the future, meeting the growing healthcare needs of the residents of the west Georgia area.”

    Ingham said she and the Clinical Laboratory Technology faculty are “honored and excited” the program was selected to receive the grant.

    “We are excited to promote our profession through students sharing their stories of hard work, determination and success,” Ingham said. “Our students are our most valuable resource, and enabling them to share their stories to others will have a positive effect on increasing enrollment, as well as bringing attention to what we do in the clinical laboratory profession.”

    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 Cuts Ribbon On Coweta Campus Academic Resource Center
    Posted: July 5, 2017

    West Georgia Technical College has opened its second Academic Resource Center (ARC) in as many years, cutting the ribbon on the Coweta Campus ARC last week.

    ARC

    West Georgia Technical College President Steve G. Daniel cuts the ribbon on the Coweta Campus Academic Resource Center (ARC) last Thursday. The ARC, located within the campus’ library, offers study space, tutoring and other resources for students.

    The center provides new meeting, lab and supplemental instructional areas with up-to-date technology for individual and group student usage on the Coweta Campus. West Georgia Tech opened its first ARC on the Murphy Campus in Waco in March 2016.

    “This center will help our students succeed, and it’s always exciting when we can provide resources to help them along,” said West Georgia Technical College President Steve G. Daniel at the ribbon-cutting ceremony last Thursday. “Each time we make changes, we try to gather as much data as possible from our students so we can serve their needs better, and I think we’ve achieved that here.”

    Through focus groups, West Georgia Tech students indicated a need for information on programs and services provided by the college. Students also voiced their concern over having to visit multiple offices, sometimes on multiple campuses, to receive help or accomplish tasks and expressed a preference for more personalized advisement and financial aid counseling.

    ARC

    Daniel encouraged students to utilize the ARC, saying the space is a “great resource that will only achieve greatness if it’s used to its full potential.”

    To meet these needs, West Georgia Tech implemented the ARC, a consolidated hub of support services for students, facilitating student engagement and networking, as well as providing individualized support according to each student’s program requirements and needs.

    The ARC provides meeting rooms for student organizations, study rooms equipped with SmartBoards for individuals or groups, and offices for a rotation of representatives from financial aid, admissions, disabilities services, veterans’ services, and student life.

    The Advising Center is also located inside the ARC, allowing students to meet with advisers and plan their progressions through courses.

    Implementation began on the Murphy Campus last year, with representatives from different college divisions planning to equip the remainder of the campuses over the next three years.

    The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place outside the Coweta Campus library last week, with a reception open for students, faculty and staff and other community stakeholders. Attendees were treated to a tour of the new center, as well.

    “This is a resource that will only achieve greatness if it’s used to its full potential,” Daniel said. “We challenge students to find new and unique ways to use this center to further improve their performance.”

    Dr. Kristen Douglas, Vice President of Academic Affairs at West Georgia Tech, said the idea for the initial ARC came from a desire to enhance the library experience on the college’s five campuses.

    “The purpose of these centers is to better engage with students and to provide a place where students can go to find the answers they need,” Douglas said. “We’ve found success with the Murphy Campus ARC, and we’re excited to open this on the Coweta Campus to provide a greater opportunity for our students to succeed.”

    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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    State Announces New Name For Grant Offering Free College Tuition
    Posted: July 3, 2017

    A grant that enables certain technical education students in Georgia to receive free tuition now has a name that better reflects the grant’s goals.

    The HOPE Career Grant, formerly known as the Strategic Industries Workforce Development Grant, is available to HOPE Grant-qualified students who enroll in select majors specifically aligned with one of 12 industries in which there are more jobs available in Georgia than there are skilled workers to fill them.

    These industries were identified by Gov. Nathan Deal’s High-Demand Career Initiative and the General Assembly as strategically important to the state’s economic growth. They are among the many forms of financial assistance available through the Georgia Student Finance Commission.

    Dr. Tonya Whitlock, Vice President of Student Affairs at West Georgia Technical College, said she’s excited about the new name and hopes it will help in promotional and recruiting efforts to attract prospective students to the 12 high-demand career programs.

    “West Georgia Tech is always elated to provide students another source of funding and to make attending college more affordable,” Whitlock said. “This grant is an important piece, as it helps students prepare to enter industries in the state that have the greatest workforce needs. Having a new name that better reflects the grant’s goals will hopefully make it easier to understand and grasp for students who can benefit from it.” 

    Gretchen Corbin, Commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia, said a Georgia student who qualifies for one of the HOPE Career Grants pays “absolutely no tuition,” and in some cases the grants cover fees and equipment, as well.

    “This is a great opportunity for students in our 22 colleges and the Georgia companies who seek them,” Corbin said. “We believe the new name will help students understand that a rewarding career is the end goal of the grant.”

    The grant, which was implemented in 2013 for three key industries, now benefits qualified students who enroll in the following 12 program areas: certified engineer assistant, commercial truck driving, computer programming, computer technology, diesel equipment technology, early childhood care and education, health science, industrial maintenance, movie production/set design, practical nursing, precision manufacturing, and welding and joining technology.

    All of those 12 programs are offered at West Georgia Technical College campuses except for certified engineer assistant and movie production and set design.

    To receive the HOPE Career Grant, students must first qualify for the HOPE Grant, which applies to diplomas and certificates only rather than the HOPE Scholarship, which applies to associate and bachelor’s degrees. The HOPE Grant is available for students of any age. A student can attend college part-time and does not have to have a specific high school GPA, but must maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA after enrolling in college.

    The HOPE Career Grant is also available to recipients of the Zell Miller Grant, which, in addition to HOPE Grant requirements, stipulates that students must maintain at least a cumulative 3.5 GPA at the end of each college term.

    While the HOPE Career Grant opportunities are open for any qualified student pursuing a certificate or diploma at a public college in Georgia, students within the Technical College System of Georgia have been the main beneficiaries. The number of certificates or diplomas in these 12 areas awarded to technical college students in the 2016 academic year was 16,514, up from 11,289 in 2013.

    The following is a complete list of certificates and diplomas offered at West Georgia Tech in which students can receive the HOPE Career Grant:

    Certificates

    • Commercial Truck Driving
    • Game Development Specialist
    • Heavy Diesel Service Technology
    • Child Development Specialist
    • Early Childhood Care and Education Basics
    • Infant & Toddler Child Care Specialist
    • Nurse Aide
    • Medical Coding
    • Computed Tomography Specialist
    • PC Repair and Network Technician
    • Mammography
    • Pharmacy Assistant
    • Phlebotomy Technician
    • Industrial Technician
    • Industrial Maintenance Technician
    • Industrial Machining Technician
    • Manufacturing Systems Technician
    • Mechanical Maintenance Specialist
    • Manufacturing Maintenance Technician
    • Manufacturing Production Assistant
    • Manufacturing Technician
    • Basic Electronics Assembler
    • Basic Machine Operator
    • Basic Machinist
    • CNC Specialist
    • Lathe Operator
    • Mill Operator
    • Basic Shielded Metal Arc Welder
    • Gas Metal Arc Welder
    • Gas Tungsten Arc Welder
    • Advanced Shielded Metal Arc Welder
    • Pipe Welder

    Diplomas

    • CIS – Networking Specialist
    • Diesel Equipment Technology
    • Early Childhood Care and Education
    • Surgical Technology
    • Electrical Control Systems
    • Electronics Technology
    • Industrial Mechanical Systems
    • Industrial Systems Technology
    • Practical Nursing
    • Machine Tool Technology – CNC Technology
    • Machine Tool Technology
    • Precision Manufacturing and Maintenance
    • Welding & Joining Technology

    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 Summer Stem Camps
    Posted: June 26, 2017

    Mistakes are cool, and they are an important way kids learn, according to Cathy Fontenot, regional coordinator for West Georgia Youth Science & Technology Center (West GYSTC), who tells her students not to regret an experiment or project that failed as it helps them learn the concepts being taught in science, technology, engineering and math.

    robot

    Two students at last week’s Robotics Camp, held at West Georgia Tech’s Murphy Campus in Waco, work together to build a metallic robot. The students went on to program the robot to complete a series of tasks.

    Those four subjects combine to form the acronym of STEM, and West Georgia Technical College has hosted numerous camps this month for elementary- and middle-schoolers who are interested in those topics.

    From working with LEGOs to building robots, from launching catapults to flying drones, the camps offered at both the Carroll Campus and Murphy Campus in Waco have given students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade the opportunity to learn more and have fun.

    “The ultimate, big-picture purpose of these camps is for students to enjoy learning and to inspire them to pursue careers in the STEM field,” Fontenot said. “We offer a much more relaxed environment than they might be used to at school, and that decreased pressure lets them be more creative in their thinking, which is very important for their development.”

    lego module

    Cathy Fontenot, right, serves as the regional coordinator at West Georgia Youth Science & Technology Center. Fontenot, pictured supervising a group of three campers constructing a LEGO robotic module, has overseen multiple STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) camps this summer.

    Fontenot has been supported by several local educators who offered their time to facilitate the camps. Debbie Huckeba, a teacher from Haralson County Middle School, brought her expertise in STEM-related fields to the Murphy Campus during last week’s Robotics Camp, and Moses Mitchell, a teacher at Evans Middle School in Coweta County, facilitated the STEM Camp at Carroll Campus this week.

    The partnership between West Georgia Tech and West GYSTC has been nurtured in part through the work of the Carroll County Workforce Education task force, and Fontenot said she’s looking forward to partnering with West Georgia Tech more in the future.

    Founded in 1993, West GYSTC is one of eight non-profit, STEM-focused centers throughout the state affiliated with GYSTC. Based on the campus of the University of West Georgia, West GYSTC serves children in Carroll, Haralson and Paulding counties.

    For more information about West GYSTC, visit www.westgystc.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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    Voith Donates To WGTC Scholarships
    Posted: June 12, 2017

    Voith, a global technology company, recently presented a check for $1,000 to the West Georgia Technical College Foundation to support WGTC student scholarships.

    Psychology

    Pictured left to right are Paul Chiusano, engineering manager at Voith Paper Fabrics and Rolls; Kim Learnard, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at West Georgia Technical College; Ronnie Hines, operations manager at Voith Paper; and Joey Jackson, production manager at Voith Paper.

    The Germany-based company – which has a paper fabrics and rolls plant in Austell – is celebrating its 150th year in business by giving back to several community stakeholders.

    “Our theme for this 150th year is putting a program in place so that we can have 150 more successful years,” said Ronnie Hines, operations manager of Voith Paper Fabric & Roll. “Qualified employees are essential to making that happen, and we’ve seen a real deficit in the workforce over the past few years when it comes to the availability of machinists and mechanics. Anything we can do to support schools like West Georgia Tech is a win-win for everyone because we can ensure that we will have more qualified employees who can carry us into the next 150 years.”

    Kim Learnard, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at West Georgia Tech, was on hand for the check presentation at the Austell plant, also enjoying a tour of the facility.

    “We are very pleased to have Voith as new partners as we work to train a qualified workforce,” Learnard said. “The average unmet financial need for our students each semester is about $471, so a donation like this will go a long way toward making sure at least two of our students can graduate with the training they need. We appreciate Voith for celebrating its 150th year by giving back to the community, and we look forward to partnering with this amazing company 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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    WGTC, UWG Sign Transfer Agreement For Psychology Degree
    Posted: June 5, 2017

    West Georgia Technical College and the University of West Georgia have signed a new articulation agreement that will allow students to transfer credits from one institution to the other in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UWG.

    Psychology

    Pictured left to right are University of West Georgia Provost Dr. Micheal Crafton; UWG President Dr. Kyle Marrero; West Georgia Technical College President Steve G. Daniel; and WGTC Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Kristen Douglas. The two institutions recently signed an articulation agreement that will allow students studying psychology to transfer credits from WGTC to UWG in a state-first transfer pathway between a technical college and a four-year university.

    The articulation agreement was signed by WGTC President Steve G. Daniel; UWG President Dr. Kyle Marrero; WGTC Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Kristen Douglas; and UWG Provost Dr. Micheal Crafton earlier this month.

    This is the fourth transfer program established by the two institutions, with programs in general business, criminal justice and nursing also offered. Students will be able to take advantage of the psychology agreement beginning this fall.

    “This is our fourth articulation agreement with the University of West Georgia, and as a transfer pathway that leads our students straight from our classrooms to those at UWG, we are proud to offer this valuable and important opportunity to our students,” Daniel said. “This particular type of articulation agreement is the first of its kind in the state of Georgia between a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and a school in the University System of Georgia. We’re proud to be breaking new ground with UWG.”

    Marrero said the agreement will go a long way in ensuring student success, by making a college education more accessible and more affordable.

    "Our two institutions have a special and unique partnership built on a strong, mutual desire to see students succeed,” Marrero said. “We look forward to building more bridges with West Georgia Technical College by which we can share the transformative power of a college education."

    According to the agreement, any WGTC student who completes the Associate of Science in Psychology will be able to transfer to UWG. Eligible students must be in good standing at WGTC and meet the appropriate admissions requirements to attend UWG.

    Once admitted, up to 60 hours of pre-determined courses earned at WGTC with a grade of C or above will automatically transfer toward UWG’s bachelor’s degree in psychology.

    The transfer articulation agreement aligns with the Complete College Georgia Initiative’s goal of improving retention, progression and graduation among Georgia college students.

    “We feel strongly that this new effort will further our efforts toward the goal of Complete College Georgia to increase significantly the number of Georgians with a post-secondary degree,” said Crafton. “We are very proud to work with our partner institution West Georgia Technical College in order to help the students in our area gain greater access to a higher education in general and a bachelor's degree in psychology in particular.”

    For more information about WGTC’s four transfer pathways with UWG, visit www.westgatech.edu/Academics/UWGtransfer.htm.

    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 Foundation Awards Scholarships
    Posted: June 1, 2017

    The West Georgia Technical College Foundation awarded 60 current and future students with nearly $30,000 in scholarships last month.

    The Board of Directors’ scholarships, given to high-school students planning to attend West Georgia Tech, are funded by the West Georgia Technical College Board of Directors. They are awarded every year to a graduating senior from each high school in the seven-county service area. The guidance counselors at each high school select the recipient of the scholarship.

    Additionally, the West Georgia Technical College Foundation awards scholarships to current students three times per year, having awarded nearly $87,000 in funds in Fiscal Year 2017.

    That’s up more than 3 percent over last year, when $84,000 in funds were awarded, and up by nearly 187 percent over FY15, when $30,000 funds were awarded.

    “We are proud to be able to invest in the education of so many students,” said Kim Learnard, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at West Georgia Tech. “These students have bright futures ahead of them, and I highly commend the Board of Directors and our Foundation Trustees for investing in our students. We are fortunate to have a very engaged set of stakeholders, both internal and external.”

    Clarence Hewitt, who’s studying Diesel Technology and enjoys working with diesel engines, received a WGTC Foundation scholarship.

    “This scholarship helps empower and encourage me to continue my pursuit in this field,” Hewitt said. “By awarding me with this scholarship, I will be able to focus more on my learning, and that will make a huge difference in my life.”

    Another current student and scholarship recipient, Kim Mele, is enrolled in the Radiologic Technology program, hoping to one day to continue her education and study mammography.

    “Both my maternal and paternal grandmothers were diagnosed with breast cancer, so I am very passionate about this cause and the availability of early detection in my community,” Mele said. “Thanks to scholarships like this, I am one step closer to achieving my goal.”

    The following 21 high-school students received the 2017 WGTC Board of Directors Scholarship: Savannah Taylor, Bowdon High; Jacqueline Miles, Carrollton High; Heather Herring, Holy Ground Baptist Academy; Makayla D. Tittle, Mt. Zion High; Michaela Hines, Villa Rica High; Elona Musliu, East Coweta High; Caitlin Nixon, Newnan High; Shayla Townes, Northgate High; Matthew Rhodes, Alexander High; Caitlin Dale, Chapel Hill High; Deshaun Davis, Douglas County High; Adrianna McArthur, Lithia Springs High; Brittany Davidson, New Manchester High; Ashton Roberts, Bremen High; Kasey Cook, Haralson County High; Kristen Eastridge, Troup County High; Aleea Barreras, LaGrange High; Preston Brown, Callaway High; Alec Gooch, Manchester High; Triston Marchman, Greenville High; and Christopher Knight, Heard County High.

    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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    John Michael Montgomery To Headline Black Tie & Boots
    Posted: May 31, 2017

    The West Georgia Technical College Foundation has announced that John Michael Montgomery will headline its 16th anniversary Black Tie & Boots concert at the WGTC Murphy Campus in Waco on Saturday, July 29.

    btb

    John Michael Montgomery will headline the West Georgia Technical College Foundation’s 16th annual Black Tie & Boots event on Saturday, July 29. Montgomery has sold 16 million albums and notched 15 No. 1 singles on the country charts over his 25-year career.

    Montgomery joins the long and star-studded list of country music performers who have graced the Murphy Campus stage, including Blake Shelton, Little Big Town, Wynonna & the Big Noise and last year’s performer Kellie Pickler.

    Singer of popular love songs like “I Swear,” “I Love the Way You Love Me” and “I Can Love You Like That,” Montgomery was born in Danville, Ky., to parents who imparted a lifelong love of music.

    “Where most people have chairs and sofas in their living rooms, we had amplifiers and drum kits,” Montgomery said. “The family band played on weekends throughout the area, and my brother Eddie and I eagerly soaked up everything about it.”

    The event includes a buffet dinner starting at 6 p.m. with the concert beginning at 8 p.m. Guests are treated to valet parking, a professional photographer and a walk on the red carpet. This year’s attire is the event’s traditional “black-tie optional.” And, of course, boots.

    Sponsorships, which include concert tickets and admission to a “meet-and-greet” reception with Montgomery, are now available for purchase. A limited number of individual and group tickets will be made available on July 1 pending availability.

    Visit www.westgatech.edu/foundation for sponsorship details.

    “We are humbled and honored by the tremendous support from our business partners and from the community every year,” said Kim Learnard, Executive Director of the WGTC Foundation. “Corporate sponsorships mean direct support to WGTC students in the form of scholarships.”

    WGTC President Steve G. Daniel said he’s thankful for the continued support that has made Black Tie & Boots a “staple event” over the past 16 years.

    btb

    “We are extremely excited to have John Michael Montgomery as this year’s performer,” said West Georgia Technical College President Steve G. Daniel. “This concert is not just a fun event, but also a chance to focus on the success of our students with the support of the community and our business and industry partners. It’s a great time for everyone.”

    Though Black Tie & Boots has become one of the most highly anticipated events in West Georgia, its purpose has remained the same. All of the proceeds raised from the event support student scholarships.

    For more information about becoming a corporate partner, contact Jada Marcum at Jada.Marcum@westgatech.edu or 678-664-0516.

    Montgomery took over lead singing chores after his parents divorced, and he performed for a while in a band called Early Tymz with Eddie and their friend Troy Gentry. Nashville talent scouts began hearing about and then seeing Montgomery perform, and by the early ‘90s he had a record deal.

    The hits followed steadily, with songs like “Rope The Moon,” “If You’ve Got Love,” “No Man’s Land,” “Cowboy Love,” “As Long As I Live,” “Friends” and “How Was I To Know” establishing him as one of the elite acts of the era.

    He received the CMA Horizon award and was named the ACM’s Top New Vocalist, setting off a long series of awards that included the CMA’s Single and Song of the Year, Billboard’s Top Country Artist, and a Grammy nomination.

    For more information on Montgomery, visit www.johnmichael.com.

    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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    Kia Donates Optima To WGTC
    Posted: May 25, 2017

    West Georgia Technical College was presented with a 2014 Kia Optima by Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia earlier this week.

    powertech employees

    Pictured left to right are Jada Marcum, WGTC Director of Institutional Advancement; Gary Welborn, Associate Dean of Trade and Technology, WGTC; Stuart Countess, Chief Administrative Officer, KMMG; WGTC President Steve G. Daniel; Steve Cromer, Senior Director of Advanced Manufacturing, WGTC; and Corinne Hodges, Senior Manager of Public Relations, KMMG.

    The Optima will join a fleet of seven Kia vehicles used by West Georgia Tech Automotive Technology students for training purposes only as they learn the necessary skills to prepare for an automotive service and repair career. Each WGTC campus offering Automotive Technology courses now uses a Kia vehicle in its Automotive Lab.

    The 2014 Optima SXL will be used at the Carroll Campus specifically.

    “We are deeply appreciative of Kia’s continued support of technical education,” said West Georgia Technical College President Steve G. Daniel. “This Optima will allow more students the opportunity to get experience on the latest automotive technology as they prepare for their future careers.”

    In recent years, KMMG has presented WGTC with four Kia Optima midsize sedans, two Sorento crossover SUVs and a Global Diagnostic System for use in Automotive Technology labs.

    “West Georgia Technical College is a great partner that provides a top notch technical education right here in our region,” said Stuart Countess, KMMG’s Chief Administrative Officer. “We are very pleased to be able to make this donation to the Automotive Technology program and look forward to continuing our support of this region’s future workforce.”

    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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    Jackson Family Establishes WGTC Scholarship
    Posted: May 24, 2017

    Jackson

    Pictured left to right are Leigh Newman, Executive Director of Campus Operations at West Georgia Tech’s LaGrange Campus; WGTC President Steve G. Daniel; Jamey Jackson; and Debbie Jackson.

    A scholarship that will further connect West Georgia Technical College and the THINC College and Career Academy was made official in a signing ceremony earlier this week.

    A memorandum of understanding establishing the J. Randy Jackson Legacy Scholarship was signed by West Georgia Technical College President Steve G. Daniel and Jamey Jackson, the surviving son of J. Randy Jackson, the former chief administrative officer at Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia.

    Jackson, who died in May 2016, helped find the funding needed to get the THINC Academy – which is housed on West Georgia Tech’s LaGrange Campus – up and running.

    The scholarship – begun with a $50,000 endowment by the Jackson family – will be offered to incoming freshmen to West Georgia Tech, with preference given to students graduating from THINC.

    “The one year mark (of his death) has come and passed this weekend, but his name, contribution and legacy lives on through our community and beyond,” Jamey Jackson said of his father. “His focus on workforce development contributed benchmark labs at West Georgia Technical College here in LaGrange as well as THINC College and Career Academy, but the list by no means ends there.”

    Jackson challenged both individuals and companies to contribute toward the J. Randy Jackson Legacy Scholarship, which will allow students to continue their education locally while learning the highly marketable skills required for certain manufacturing jobs.

    Jackson

    Pictured left to right are Debbie Jackson; Jamey Jackson; West Georgia Tech President Steve G. Daniel; and Dr. Kathy Carlisle, CEO of THINC College and Career Academy.

    The scholarship will continue in perpetuity thanks to the $50,000 endowment, and while the scholarship focuses on THINC students, it does not show a preference toward a specific discipline because that was what his family felt would best honor Jackson’s memory.

    During the ceremony, several individuals spoke in Jackson’s memory on his contribution to education in west Georgia.

    “He had a very deep passion for kids,” Kia Chief Administrative Officer Stuart Countess said of Jackson. “He was very much involved with these students, and he heard what they had to say when it came to change and lives and their future. That’s where his eyes were, always about what was going to happen in future generations.”

    The signing event took place in a hallway at the literal intersection of West Georgia Tech and the THINC Academy.

    President Daniel said Jackson “would have been proud” of the partnership between West Georgia Tech and THINC.

    “I count on all of us to help build this scholarship so that it can change even more lives,” Daniel said. “This is just the start. Let’s build this and help more students.”

    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 GED Graduation Ceremony
    Posted: May 23, 2017

    graduation

    Students who've earned their GEDs "turn the tassel" at the close of Thursday night's ceremony.

    It was the middle of summer, and he had to ride his bike to his GED classes.

    “It was a struggle to say the least,” said Cody Hill, a student speaker at last week’s West Georgia Technical College GED graduation ceremony. “Not only did I have my mind on my academics and getting ready to take these tests, but I was also trying to learn how to live my life sober.”

    Hill, who dropped out of high school as a ninth-grader, lived what he called a “drug-filled lifestyle” from the ages of 13 through 19 years old. At age 19, he entered Recovery and Restoration Ministries, a transitional living home in Carrollton and started taking GED preparation classes at West Georgia Tech.

    “There came a day when the directors of the house told me they couldn’t drive me to school anymore, so I would have to ride my bicycle to the classes,” Hill said. “It was the heat of the summer, so that wasn’t fun, but I persevered and did it anyway because I knew it would be worth it in the end. And it has been.”

    Hill was one of more than 70 students from West Georgia Tech’s Adult Education Division who gathered at the college’s Thomas B. Murphy Campus in Waco to receive their GED diploma during a graduation ceremony last Thursday night.

    President Daniel

    WGTC President Steve G. Daniel presents a certificate to a student who earned her GED after taking free classes at West Georgia Tech.

     

    Crystal Johnson was another one.

    A high-school dropout at 16 years old and expecting her first child at age 17, Johnson tried several times to earn her GED.

    “It was the same pattern over and over again for the next several years,” Johnson said. “I would start taking classes to get ready for the test, but then life got in the way.”

    This time, though, something clicked.

    “This was the perfect opportunity to try one more time, and there was no reason in the world why I shouldn’t be able to get it this time,” Johnson said during her address to the collected students. “The teachers I had gave me such incredible encouragement and pushed me to finish. I worked hard in class, and then I came home and worked even more. It took 12 weeks to obtain my GED, and it felt so great to finally say, ‘I passed.’ ”

    Johnson said she’s learned through her experience that everyone can have a second chance at life – or a third chance, or a fourth chance.

    Vicki Kaiser

    Vicki Kaiser, Executive Director of Oncology and Community Affairs at Piedmont Hospital, was the keynote speaker for the ceremony.

     

    “I always felt like I didn’t deserve a career because of the wrong choices I made when I was young, but I’ve learned this year that that isn’t true at all,” Johnson said.

    The ceremony’s keynote speaker was Vicki Kaiser, who serves as the Executive Director of Oncology and Community Affairs at Piedmont Hospital in Newnan. Kaiser, a GED graduate as well, shared her story.

    “I’m so honored to be a part of this group tonight,” Kaiser said. “I can relate to what these graduates have accomplished because I’ve been there before too. When I was growing up, my parents had rules and I hated them. I wanted to do what I wanted to do, and I followed my path right out of my parent’s house at the age of 17 and dropped out of school.”

    Kaiser shared how she went from working at Popeye’s fast food restaurant to Piedmont, encouraging students to persevere and to not end their education with their GED.

    “Your journey does not end tonight,” Kaiser said. “I think you’ll find that this is only the beginning.”

    To find out more about how you could earn your GED after taking free GED prep courses at West Georgia Tech, 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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    WGTC Training Powertech Employees During Retool
    Posted: May 18, 2017

    West Georgia Technical College is working with an automotive parts manufacturer in Troup County to train the manufacturer’s employees while the West Point plant undergoes a 10-week “retool.”

    powertech employees

    Powertech employees apply what they’ve learned in a class taught by West Georgia Tech instructors to construct a vehicle out of cardboard, drinking straws and rubber bands. More than 250 Hyundai Powertech America employees are training with West Georgia Tech this month while the West Point plant undergoes a major retool.

    Hyundai Powertech America (PTA), which provides transmissions for KIA Motors Manufacturing Georgia and Hyundai Motor Manufacturing of Alabama in Montgomery, is completing a retooling project in which approximately 80 percent of the equipment in the plant will be replaced, with the remaining 20 percent being rebuilt.

    Rather than laying employees off during this period, PTA decided to utilize this opportunity to train its employees in a multitude of business skills.

    “Our employees are what make us successful, so instead of choosing the easier or more traditional path of laying employees off, we really wanted to take this opportunity to invest in our employees and in our business,” said Jason Ransbottom, Senior Manager of Human Resources and Administration at PTA.

    Ransbottom said PTA has a unique opportunity now to make a “substantial and positive” effect on the lives of its employees.

    “This training will, by its very nature, have a strong effect on our business,” Ransbottom said. “I am very excited about how willing and motivated West Georgia Tech is to help us out with this project, and it was a perfect fit for both of us.”

    Laura Boalch Gammage, Vice President of Economic Development at West Georgia Tech, said the college was honored to fill PTA’s need.

    “We are excited to help Powertech ‘skill up’ their workforce,” Gammage said. “This is an example of what our Economic Development division can do to fill needs that aren’t being met by anyone else. We can design classes based on an individual or company’s needs that can be customized to time or location.”

    The company’s 272 employees are being trained from now until mid-June at West Georgia Tech’s Callaway Conference Center in LaGrange for 40 hours each week. Employees are being trained in communication, workplace safety and manufacturing operations.

    When the two-month training program ends, employees will return to Hyundai Powertech in West Point, as the manufacturer moves into the future with enhanced production capabilities to meet the needs of an increasingly demanding industry, Ransbottom said.

    “We’re proud to be able to offer these types of services to any Georgia company that is in need,” Gammage said. “It’s a great way for a company to give its employees more skills and resources that another company’s employees may not have, which keeps them competitive to meet their own needs as well.”

    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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    Southwire Makes $200,000 Donation To WGTC Foundation
    Posted: May 17, 2017

    Representatives from Southwire presented a check for $200,000 to the West Georgia Technical College Foundation last Friday to support student scholarships in Carroll County and the college’s Adult Education division.

    southwire

    Pictured left to right are WGTC Foundation board members Linda McWhorter and Daniel Jackson; WGTC Foundation President Delores Goldin; Southwire Senior Vice President of Power Systems and Solutions Manufacturing Tom Heberling; Southwire CEO Rich Stinson; WGTC President Steve G. Daniel; Southwire Executive Vice President of Human Resources Kathleen Edge; and WGTC Vice President of Institutional Advancement Kim Learnard.

    "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. “Southwire has been one of our most dedicated and consistent partners for a long part of our history as a college.”

    Southwire CEO Rich Stinson presented the check – which represents a three-year commitment to the college’s foundation – to Daniel in the Southwire Center for Manufacturing Excellence at West Georgia Tech’s Carroll Campus following a breakfast reception.

    Stinson said he’s excited to continue Southwire’s partnership with West Georgia Tech.

    “As we look at the reality of the skilled trade shortage and the effect it has on the future of our business and our community, it is extremely important that we continue to invest in education, both monetarily and through specialized programs, like our maintenance apprenticeship,” Stinson said. “President Steve Daniel and his team are taking positive steps to help bridge the skilled trade gap, and we are proud to support these efforts.”

    Also present from the Carrollton-based company were Kathleen Edge, Executive Vice President of Human Resources, and Tom Heberling, Senior Vice President of Power Systems and Solutions Manufacturing.

    Daniel said the college’s partnership with Southwire 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.

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

    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 Adult Education Expanding GED-To-College Program
    Posted: May 8, 2017

    Students who don’t have a high school diploma right now could be college students by August, thanks to a newly expanded program from West Georgia Technical College.

    West Georgia Tech has expanded its GED-to-college program – which allows students enrolled in Adult Education classes to apply to certificate and diploma classes at the college – from only four eligible programs to approximately 100 programs, now including almost all of the college’s certificate and diploma classes.

    The only exceptions are West Georgia Tech’s competitive selection programs, Vice President of Adult Education Karen Kirchler said.

    “We are so excited to be able to offer another opportunity for our students who are working to change their lives,” Kirchler said. “If they get started right away, they can embark on the next step of their lives much sooner than they probably anticipated.”

    To be eligible to apply, students must be enrolled in one of West Georgia Tech’s Adult Education classes, have passed two of the four GED subtests and have met the entrance (Accuplacer) requirements of the program to which they’re applying.

    “This is all about having complete and total faith in our students being college material and college-ready once they complete our program,” Kirchler said. “Not only can they enroll in college, they will also be eligible for financial aid through the HOPE grant and many of them may be eligible for other aid through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).”

    Once they’ve been accepted to West Georgia Tech, students can work on completing their final two GED subtests simultaneous to attending college.

    “They’ll have two semesters to complete their GED from that point, and we’ve found that’s actually plenty of time for most students,” Kirchler said. “Our classes are designed to get them through to the next part of their education or career as quickly as possible.”

    Kirchler said the program was expanded to reflect the college’s continued investment in students.

    “This means that students can begin Adult Education classes with us this month and conceivably start college in August,” Kirchler said.

    Final May registrations are coming up at all locations over the next two weeks. For more information about the location closest to you, 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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    German Technical College President Visits WGTC
    Posted: May 4, 2017

    Representatives from a technical school more than 4,700 miles away visited West Georgia Technical College last week to share ideas and tour industrial and educational resources in Georgia.

    German President

    Pictured left to right are Christoph Michels, English instructor of the Donauwörth technical school; West Georgia Technical College President Steve G. Daniel; Winfried Schiffelholz, head of the technical school in Donauwörth; Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Gretchen Corbin; TCSG International Center Executive Director Dr. Ian Bond; and Neil Bitting, assistant commissioner of external affairs and facilities with TCSG.

    Winfried Schiffelholz – head of the technical school in Donauwörth, Germany – and other representatives from the school visited numerous West Georgia Tech campuses during their weeklong visit, also touring KIA Motors Manufacturing Georgia in West Point and Grenzebach Corporation in Newnan.

    West Georgia Technical College President Steve G. Daniel visited the Ludwig-Boelkow Vocational School/Technical College in Donauwörth last fall, inking a cooperation agreement.

    Georgia is the first U.S. state to introduce a German-style apprenticeship program, in which high-school students take college coursework while also working in an industrial facility. With its U.S. location in Newnan, Grenzebach played a major role in the introduction of the program and is using it to train apprentices in industrial maintenance there.

    “We were so excited to have Mr. Schiffelholz and his team here with us in Georgia this week,” Daniel said. “We consider them a highly qualified partner in the German-style apprenticeship program we have at West Georgia Tech, and their expertise and insight into how a successful apprenticeship operates in Germany has been invaluable to us.”

    Schiffelholz said he and Daniel were able to set up a practical “road map” for the mutual educational exchange for years to come.

    German President

    Visitors from the technical school in Donauwörth, Germany, learn more about West Georgia Tech’s Precision Manufacturing and Maintenance program in the lab at the LaGrange Campus. The group spent Wednesday in Troup County, touring the LaGrange Campus and KIA Motors Manufacturing Georgia in West Point.

     

    “Our trip to West Georgia Tech can be called a success all along the line,” Schiffelholz said. “We would like to thank President Daniel and all his wonderful members of staff for their exceptional hospitality, generosity and kindness. Together we were able to lay the foundation of a fruitful partnership for a prosperous future of our schools and colleges in Georgia and Germany.”

    On Tuesday, the group toured the Coweta Campus and the Central Educational Center, with lunch prepared by West Georgia Tech Culinary Arts students. Following lunch, the group toured German-based Grenzebach Corporation’s facility in Newnan.

    On Wednesday, the German group toured KIA Motors Manufacturing Georgia in West Point before touring the LaGrange Campus, with specific interest in the Precision Manufacturing Lab.

    The group also attended the Georgia Governor’s Manufacturing Appreciation Week luncheon and toured other various locations in Georgia.

    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 Partner Named Manufacturer of The Year
    Posted: May 2, 2017

    Gov. Nathan Deal named Grenzebach Corporation, located in Newnan, the winner of the 2017 Manufacturer of the Year award in the category of Small Manufacturer (fewer than 150 employees) last week.

    Grenzebach

    Martin Pleyer, Chief Operating Officer for Grenzebach Corporation, accepts the Manufacturer of the Year award from Gov. Nathan Deal during last week’s Manufacturing Appreciation Week awards luncheon. Grenzebach, of Newnan, was awarded in the category of Small Manufacturer (fewer than 150 employees) because of its dedication to fostering education in the community as a major partner in West Georgia Tech’s Central Educational Center in Newnan.

    “We are here to acknowledge and honor those manufacturers who have won this award,” Deal said during the awards luncheon last Thursday. “I want to thank our manufacturers for being part of what has made Georgia the best state in the nation in which to do business for the fourth consecutive year.”

    German Apprentices

    Samson Khokhar, an eighth-grader at Evans Middle School in Newnan, won third place in the 2017 Manufacturing Appreciation Week student design contest in the sixth- through eighth-grade category. Khokhar was presented with a $100 scholarship check by Gov. Nathan Deal and had lunch with the governor last week.

    Grenzebach is a longstanding partner of West Georgia Technical College, with West Georgia Tech nominating the corporation for the award.

    “It's a great honor to accept this prestigious award today,” said Martin Pleyer, Chief Operating Officer at Grenzebach. “We at Grenzebach are humbled to be recognized today.” 

    Grenzebach earned the title of Manufacturer of the Year because of its continued excellence in manufacturing and its commitment to educational partnerships with the community.

    The three winning companies were nominated by business and civic leaders and chosen for their excellence and contributions to the state’s economy and their respective local communities.

    On top of a 30-year history of manufacturing high-tech equipment that its customers use to make a wide range of products, Grenzebach has also maintained a dedication to fostering education in the community by implementing the nation’s first German-style apprenticeship program at West Georgia Technical College’s Central Educational Center in Newnan.

    Also during Manufacturing Appreciation Week, a Newnan eighth-grader won third place in the 2017 MAW student design contest in the sixth- through eighth-grade category.

    Samson Khokhar, of Newnan’s Evans Middle School, received a $100 scholarship check presented by Gov. Deal and had lunch with the governor.

    Students from around the state submitted design entries featuring Georgia manufacturers and their products.

    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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    Gov. Deal Signs Budget On WGTC Campus
    Posted: May 1, 2017

    Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed the Fiscal Year 2018 budget at West Georgia Technical College Monday, highlighting the more than $11 million in funding allocated for world-class lab equipment for the Technical College System of Georgia.

    Governor

    Gov. Nathan Deal signed the Fiscal Year 2018 state budget at West Georgia Technical College Monday. The budget includes more than $11 million in funding for world-class laboratory equipment at colleges in the Technical College System of Georgia.

    Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed the Fiscal Year 2018 budget at West Georgia Technical College Monday, highlighting the more than $11 million in funding allocated for world-class lab equipment for the Technical College System of Georgia.

    “This budget will improve the lives and futures of Georgians across our great state, and thus the lives of their children and grandchildren,” Deal said in his remarks Monday, held in the Precision Manufacturing Lab on West Georgia Tech’s LaGrange Campus. “We are so proud of all these students who are getting the skills they need to attract more and more businesses and industries to our state. These students are reasons why Georgia is the best state in the nation to do business.”

    Deal signed House Bill 44, the FY18 state budget totaling more than $25 billion, surrounded by members of the Georgia General Assembly Monday. Deal said he wanted to sign the budget at West Georgia Tech because of the millions of dollars allocated in the budget for TCSG for enhanced labs and instructional equipment.

    “The FY 2018 budget maintains Georgia’s position as a national leader in conservative fiscal management and further strengthens our top priorities: quality education for all children, public safety in our communities, an economy that continues to generate jobs and an infrastructure system that supports a growing population,” Deal said.

    The budget also includes $20.5 million for the Move On When Ready program, which allows high-school students to attend higher education institutions while enrolled in high school to earn credit for both high school and their post-secondary education for free.

    For more information about the FY18 budget, visit www.gov.georgia.gov.

    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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    Robinson Named Finalist For State Goal Award
    Posted: April 20, 2017

    Terrance Robinson, the 2017 Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) winner for West Georgia Technical College, was selected as one of nine finalists for the state award at a ceremony last week.

    Terrance Robinson

    West Georgia Tech student Terrance Robinson, left, was recently named a finalist for the 2017 GOAL Award winner for the state. TCSG Commissioner Gretchen Corbin, right, announced the nine statewide finalists at an awards ceremony last week.

    Robinson, a Radiologic Technology student from Newnan, competed against winners from other Georgia technical colleges in a regional competition in February before participating in the state competition last week.

    “I am so honored to be named a finalist for the statewide award,” Robinson said. “I felt like I’d won an Oscar when I was named the GOAL Winner for West Georgia Tech, but to be named a finalist for the state award is an even greater honor.”

    GOAL is a statewide program of the Technical College System of Georgia, which honors excellence in academics and leadership among the state’s technical college students.

    “I am so proud of Terrance Robinson for being named a finalist for the 2017 state GOAL winner,” West Georgia Technical College President Steve G. Daniel said. “He embodies our core values as a College, and on behalf of our students, internal staff and stakeholders, I offer best wishes for his success in the rest of his endeavors.”

    Robinson was nominated by Radiologic Technology Clinical Coordinator Jonneen Miller. He was one of 22 initial nominees before being selected as one of four finalists at West Georgia Tech.

    Robinson plans to graduate with an associate degree in Radiologic Technology in 2018. A married father of three children, he hopes to achieve a career in medical imaging and nuclear medicine after graduation.

    First launched in 1971, GOAL focuses on student excellence in technical education by focusing on academic excellence and personal achievement. A panel of judges selects one student as the state GOAL winner, which is announced at the state competition in April. The state’s GOAL winner will serve as an ambassador of technical education in Georgia.

    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 Qualifies 24 For National Business Competition
    Posted: April 19, 2017

    West Georgia Technical College Phi Beta Lambda students excelled at the 2017 State Leadership Conference in Atlanta recently, demonstrating their knowledge, professionalism and leadership potential.

    Phi Beta Lambda

    West Georgia Tech’s Phi Beta Lambda organization received numerous awards at the 2017 State Competition recently, with two dozen students qualifying to attend the national competition in Anaheim, Calif., later this year. In total students brought home 40 awards in 28 different events.

    Out of the organization’s 45 members, 35 students competed, and out of those 35 competitors, 24 students qualified to attend the national competition in Anaheim, Calif., later this year. In total, students brought home 40 awards in 28 different events.

    Students participated in competitive events focused on several business-related topics, including forensic accounting, project management and business communication.

    Beyond individual competitions, students participated in chapter and team events, with the organization’s Douglas Chapter being named Chapter of the Year.

    The Douglas group also reached the Platinum level in Georgia’s Awards of Merit program and placed first in Local Chapter Annual Business Report and second in Community Service Project. The chapter also received first place for Foundation Sponsorship, second place for March of Dimes donations and third place for Interaction with FBLA.

    Carroll Chapter placed first place for March of Dimes donations and second place for Foundation Sponsorship.

    Further, individual students received special recognition. David Herrington and Cindy Wilson received the “Who’s Who in PBL” award. McAllister Wheeless received the Mel Evans Scholarship. Sherry Gomez, Valencia Harper and McAllister Wheeless received the Outstanding Chapter Member Award.

    Douglas adviser, Mona Williams, was appointed Georgia Phi Beta Lambda Executive Director for this year’s conference, organizing the 35 performance events and recruiting more than 40 judges.

    Carroll Chapter adviser Carol Pearson, GA PBL Foundation President, spearheaded a silent auction that raised more than $1,300 for the Foundation. Carroll Chapter adviser, Joey Sanders, presented a workshop and helped with performance events.

    2017 State Competition winners and their respective competitive events are as follows:

    First Place Winners
    • Debbie Snider and Carrie Tarpley—Accounting Analysis and Decision Making
    • Temi Lumpkin—Accounting for Professionals
    • Daniel Williams—Accounting Principles
    • Sheemika Kendrick—Administrative Technology
    • Jodi Hubbard and David Herrington—Business Decision Making
    • Sherry Gomez and McAllister Wheeless—Computer Animation
    • Carrie Tarpley—Cost Accounting
    • Daniel Williams—Financial Concepts
    • Cody Ziegler—Forensic Accounting
    • Cody Ziegler—Future Business Executive
    • Alex Parker—Microeconomics
    • Sherry Gomez and McAllister Wheeless—Mobile Application Development
    • Luke Folds—Project Management

    Second Place Winners
    • Temi Lumpkin—Accounting Analysis and Decision Making
    • Josh Lyons—Accounting Principles
    • Susan Kerce—Business Communication
    • Amanda Ashley, Valencia Harper, and Cindy Wilson—Community Service Project
    • Wendell Sewell—Contemporary Sports Issues
    • Boyd Stancombe—Cyber Security
    • Amanda Ashley—Future Business Executive
    • Dorothy Ngalame—Global Analysis and Decision Making
    • Johnny Kitchens—Help Desk
    • Maddie White—Hospitality Management
    • Valencia Harper—Management Concepts
    • Robyn Freeman—Project Management

    Third Place Winners
    • David Herrington—Accounting for Professionals
    • Alex Parker—Accounting Principles
    • Tonya Pickett—Client Service
    • Sheemika Kendrick—Contemporary Sports Issues
    • Luke Folds—Entrepreneurship Concepts
    • Eric Scarantino—Management Analysis and Decision Making
    • Meagan Caldwell—Management Concepts
    • Susan Kerce—Personal Finance
    • Maddie White—Project Management
    • Wendell Sewell—Sports Management and Marketing

    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 Students Fare Well At SkillsUSA Events
    Posted: April 13, 2017

    Three West Georgia Technical College students represented the college well at the recent regional and statewide SkillsUSA competitions. Terrance Robinson, Joseph Potts and Cade Clark each proved to be successful in their chosen fields.

    Potts, who just started taking Air Conditioning Technology classes in January, was ranked the No. 2 HVAC student in the state. He received more than $500 in tools and accessories to assist him in his craft, along with his silver medal.
    Joseph Potts

    Joseph Potts

    Robinson, the 2017 GOAL winner for West Georgia Tech and a state finalist in that competition, received a bronze medal in extemporaneous speaking. This was Robinson’s first SkillsUSA event.

    Terrance Robinson

    Terrance Robinson

    Clark, a high school student enrolled in the Move On When Ready program at the Central Educational Center in Newnan, placed second in district competition. Clark is hoping to graduate high school with a diploma from West Georgia Tech in Welding and Joining Technology.

    Cade Clark

    Cade Clark

    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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    German Students Visit German Style Apprenticeship Program
    Posted: March 30, 2017

    Coweta County students in West Georgia Technical College’s German-style apprenticeship program got some pointers this week from an obvious source: actual German apprentices.

    German Apprentices

    The three German exchange students visiting West Georgia Tech meet with high-school students at the Central Education Center who are taking part in the German apprenticeship program.

    Three German exchange students who are attending classes at West Georgia Tech’s Carroll Campus this month visited the Central Education Center (CEC) in Newnan earlier this week, speaking with the students enrolled in the program, known officially as the Georgia Consortium of Advanced Technical Training, or GA CATT.

    “We were very excited to have some actual German apprentices visit our program and speak with some of our students,” CEC CEO Mark Whitlock said. “We received some great feedback on their program in Germany and how it’s influenced their lives and careers, and it’s re-energized our students and instructors on what we’re doing here.”

    GA CATT allows students to begin their apprenticeship in 10th grade with a combination of traditional high school classes, technical college manufacturing courses and apprenticeship modules that will pay $8 per hour. By the 12th grade, students will spend 80 percent of their day learning at the manufacturing site, earning $12 per hour.

    The corporations taking part in the program are Grenzebach; E.G.O. North America; Yamaha; Kason; Yokogawa; Winpak; KCMA (Kawasaki); and Groov-Pin. The companies work in conjunction with the Coweta County School System and WGTC to ensure the curriculum is relevant to the employment needs facing each company.

    The Coweta County Development Authority, along with Georgia Institute of Technology’s Georgia Manufacturing Extension Project and Center for Young Worker Safety and Health, serve GA CATT in an oversight and advisement role. Those entities also played key roles in bringing the various stakeholders together to make the program a reality.

    German Apprentices

    The three German students speak with Michael Steverson, a Precision Manufacturing instructor, about their experience with apprenticeship in their home country.

    Whitlock said students who are selected for the program will leave high school with a high school diploma, an associate degree and a German apprenticeship certification. While in high school, they will be “earning a salary but also learning skills” that will lead to a job immediately after graduation.

    “Students who complete GA CATT are expected to enter the workforce after high school with an average yearly salary of $40,000,” Whitlock said. “And that’s with no debt whatsoever.”

    The unemployment rate in German for people aged 15-24 is 7.1 percent, compared to the United States’ youth unemployment rate for the same age range of 13.4 percent.

    “We’ve found, and we’ve been told, that Georgia manufacturing lacks a robust source of skilled workers like industrial mechanics, electricians and machinists,” Whitlock said. “We hope that we’ve created a model that can be scaled to more communities in Georgia where school systems, technical colleges and local industry can work together to fill that need.”

    Right now, the program is offered in only one area – industrial mechanics – but partnership members want to see development in additional fields, with an automotive mechatronics program most likely to come next.

    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 Celebrates 7th Annual Art Exhibit
    Posted: March 29, 2017

    West Georgia Technical College opened its seventh annual traveling Art Exhibit recently, highlighting creative West Georgia Tech students, faculty, and staff members.

    “The talent and creativity shown by our students, faculty and staff here at the College is exceptional,” said West Georgia Technical College President Steve G. Daniel. “This exhibit is a testament to the versatility of both our students and staff.”

    Out of the more than 100 submissions received, there were 20 Showcase Winners and six Merit Award winners. Submissions – coming from all five of the college’s campuses – were accepted from current students, recent graduates, current and retired faculty and staff and members of West Georgia Tech’s many boards and advisory committees.

    Student winners received cash awards, as well as recognition at a reception held at Douglas Campus earlier this month.

    The exhibit’s first place winner overall was Yusi Li, from the Carroll Campus, who entered an oil painting titled “An Art of an Artist.” Second place went to Denise Nelson, from the Coweta Campus, who entered a piece titled “Eric.” Third place winner overall was Camillia Beckett, from the Douglas Campus, who entered a watercolor painting titled “Serenity.”

    WGTC Advisers

    Yusi Li, a student at West Georgia Tech’s Carroll Campus, won first place overall in the college’s seventh annual Art Exhibit with his oil painting, titled “An Art of an Artist.”

    “The students’ creativity is always amazing,” said English Instructor, Dr. Judy Jackson. “Our college family looks forward to seeing the art work each spring as we display the Showcase and Merit Award pieces on each of our campuses for one week. This is another way in which our College recognizes student talent.”

    WGTC Advisers

    Second place in the art exhibit went to Denise Nelson, from the Coweta Campus, with a piece titled “Eric.”

    The art exhibit can be seen at the Carroll Campus until April 10 before going to the Murphy Campus April 10-17. The exhibit will then travel to the LaGrange Campus April 17-24.

    WGTC Advisers

    Third-place prize went to student Camillia Beckett, who attends the Douglas Campus and entered a watercolor painting titled “Serenity.”

    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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    German Apprentices Training At WGTC
    Posted: March 28, 2017

    Three apprentices from Germany are attending classes at West Georgia Technical College this month and will be training at some of the state’s international companies next month as part of an apprenticeship exchange program with the Technical College System of Georgia and a German foundation.

    German exchange students

    Three apprentices from Germany are enrolled in classes at West Georgia Tech this month, as part of an apprenticeship program with the Technical College System of Georgia. Julia Daxberger, Leonard Gopp and Sascha Melinz enjoyed an afternoon bike ride on the Carrollton GreenBelt last week after classes ended.

    Julia Daxberger, Leonard Gopp and Sascha Melinz have been taking various classes at the Carroll Campus since last Monday and have so far enjoyed the first leg of their American journey. The students range in age between 18 and 21 years old.

    Daxberger is taking Business Management classes, while Gopp and Melinz take Machine Tool Technology and Welding and Joining Technology classes, respectively. All three students are also enrolled in various core classes at the Carroll Campus.

    After March 31, the three apprentices (known as “azubis” in German) will become interns for up to 10 weeks at different companies, with two students staying in Georgia and the third traveling to Detroit, Mich.

    The program – funded by and administered through the Herz Foundation based in Hamburg – was founded in 2015, when TCSG colleges hosted 12 apprentices.

    “Student apprenticeships are an increasingly popular and effective way to fill jobs for which there is a high demand in Georgia,” said Gretchen Corbin, Commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia. “As Georgia becomes home to more and more companies that operate internationally, it’s important that our present and future workforce have every opportunity to get a hands-on education.”

    In addition to taking classes at West Georgia Tech, the three students have enjoyed seeing the sights of Atlanta and west Georgia. They’ve taken an afternoon bicycle ride on the Carrollton GreenBelt and will visit Historic Banning Mills Adventure Park later this week to ride the zip-lining course.

    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 Adding Cybersecurity Program
    Posted: March 23, 2017

    In response to the growing need for data security worldwide, West Georgia Technical College is stepping up its cybersecurity education.

    cybersecurity

    West Georgia Tech will add a Cybersecurity specialization to its Computer Information Systems degree program this summer. Dr. Gary Perry, who wrote his dissertation on cybersecurity, will serve as instructor.

    “I’m looking forward to taking my Ph.D. out for a drive,” Perry said. “If you’ve had a television on in the past year or two, you can tell that cybersecurity is a big topic in today’s society. Job prospects are incredible, and it’s an interesting field that we’ve had a lot of students ask for in the past, so we’re looking forward to offering it at West Georgia Tech this year.”

    The cybersecurity program is a series of courses oriented around protecting a user’s information, including personal data and communications such as messages and emails. Perry said classes will include courses on ethical hacking, computer forensics and network security.

    Job prospects are promising. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the number of cybersecurity jobs in 2014 was 82,900, with a projected growth of 18 percent per year, which is much faster than average. The median pay for an information security analyst with less than five years’ experience is $90,120.

    Babs Russell, dean of the School of Business & Public Services, said West Georgia Tech pursued the program a few years ago, finding there weren’t many employment opportunities in the local area to support it.

    “That changed quickly,” Russell said. “Now, from the largest corporation to the smallest company, businesses are taking extra effort to make sure their information is secure. We’ve designed the program to instruct students on how to be proactive and defensive about cybersecurity, to ensure breaches don’t even occur, rather than focusing solely on what to do after a breach has happened.”

    Russell said the Cybersecurity program – which will join Networking and Computer Programming in a trio of specializations offered within the Computer Information Systems degree – will offer its foundational courses on all West Georgia Tech campuses, with the higher-level courses being offered at the LaGrange Campus and online.

    Perry plans to leverage his more than 30 years of experience as an information technology professional to teach the courses with a hands-on approach.

    “Up until about five years ago, security was basically just a part of an IT professional’s job,” Perry said. “There weren’t any specific job titles, except at maybe the very largest corporations. That’s all changed in the past few years, with all of the talk of hacking and leaks that have been in the news. More and more people are realizing that cybersecurity isn’t just an option anymore, and we want to help fill the need that’s out there.”

    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 Hosts Professional Makeup Conference
    Posted: March 22, 2017

    Some of the biggest names in the celebrity makeup industry were at West Georgia Technical College Monday to speak to cosmetology and esthetics students and see a fashion show WGTC students produced.

    The event, held at the Thomas B. Murphy Campus in Waco, was headlined by Joe Blasco, a 50-year veteran of the industry who has worked with A-list celebrities and has founded his own cosmetics company, the Joe Blasco School.

    makeup conference

    Joe Blasco, a longtime veteran of the Hollywood makeup industry and makeup artist to celebrities like Carol Burnett, Olivia Newton-John and Bette Midler, spoke to students and other visitors at West Georgia Technical College during Monday’s conference at the Murphy Campus in Waco.

    Also in attendance was Gwynnis Mosby, another longtime makeup industry veteran and the owner of the Gwynnis Mosby Makeup Academy in Atlanta. Mosby is the visionary and founder of the Professional Makeup Artist Conference and Expo (PMAC), an industry trade show for those who specialize in the makeup profession, which will be held in Atlanta in April.

    Mosby spoke to students about the upcoming PMAC Expo, to be held April 2-3 in Atlanta, and about how the film industry is becoming such a major part of Georgia’s workforce.

    According to Mosby, the film industry has made plans to make movies in the state for the next 20 years, which means there is a need for skilled cosmetologists and makeup artists. The film industry and Georgia state leaders want those jobs to be filled by local workers.

    Many of the West Georgia Technical College students in the audience could potentially fill some of those jobs.

    makeup conference

    Three West Georgia Tech Cosmetology students pose for a picture during the conference. Dozens of students dressed up for the fashion show, which featured an “Into the Woods” theme and several fairy-tale characters.

    A state education task force recently asked producers and others associated with the film industry about the supply of Georgia’s film and television workers, and found that half of those surveyed were unable to hire all of the workers they needed locally. Makeup artists are among the highest in demand, according to the report.

    In FY 2016 alone, the industry made a $6 billion impact to the state’s economy, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

    “It’s a great day when industry pioneers and leaders such as Gwynnis Mosby and her team visit West Georgia Tech to meet with our students,” West Georgia Technical College President Steve G. Daniel said. “The film industry’s expansion in our state will produce thousands of jobs over the next decade. Many of those jobs are related to cosmetology, makeup and esthetics. I encourage anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in cosmetology or esthetics to visit us at West Georgia Tech and meet our talented and well-connected instructors."

    The appearance by Mosby and her team, as well as the fashion show, was the brainchild of WGTC Esthetics Instructor Melody Lowery, who was able to bring the group to WGTC through her connections in the industry.

    “While attending an event in Atlanta for celebrity makeup artist Toby Sells, I had the pleasure of meeting Cedric Pendleton, who at the time was promoting the first PMAC Expo,” Lowery said. “We invited him to visit our esthetics program at West Georgia Tech and great things have happened since that initial visit. Cedric has helped us build more relationships. The visit from Joe Blasco, Gwynnis Mosby and her team and our upcoming participation in the PMAC conference is just the beginning of a fabulous partnership that will help connect our students with leaders of this industry.”

    West Georgia Tech cosmetology and esthetics students produced their own runway show for Mosby and her team. The show featured models dressed up as fairy-tale characters, with an “Into the Woods” theme.

    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 Greenville Site Offers Classes To High-Schoolers And Beyond
    Posted: March 13, 2017

    Every morning, Taylor Stephens pulls her long, blond hair into a tight ponytail, puts on her comic-book-inspired welding helmet and gets to work.

    Greenville Sign

    West Georgia Technical College's Greenville Instructional Site sits on Highway 41 in Meriwether County. The site offers classes in Welding and Joining Technology, Nursing and core offerings like English and mathematics.

    “I love everything about it,” the high school senior says of the welding class she takes at West Georgia Technical College as part of the state’s Move On When Ready program. “When I’m at home or in another class and I’m not welding, I want to be welding.”

    Stephens is in her second year of the welding program at WGTC’s Greenville Instructional Site, which sits right across Highway 41 from her home high school, Greenville High. When she entered the MOWR program at the beginning of her junior year, she initially wanted to take nursing classes, but found out she wouldn’t meet an age requirement by the end of her first year.

    “One of my friends wanted to try welding, so I said I would try it with her,” Stephens said. “She found out she didn’t really like so she dropped the class, but I stayed with it, and I’m glad I did. It makes the whole high school experience more fun.”

    Stephens is one of 76 students in Meriwether County who take MOWR classes with West Georgia Tech this year. That number has more than doubled since 2014, when 35 Meriwether County students were enrolled in the program.

    High school students from Greenville High and Manchester High take classes either at Greenville Instructional Site if they’re interested in welding or healthcare, or at WGTC’s LaGrange Campus for a wider variety of courses, including cosmetology, automotive, criminal justice and early childhood education.

    In addition to serving MOWR students, the Greenville Site also serves other residents of Meriwether County, with programs in welding and healthcare, as well as offering some core classes for WGTC students. GED preparation classes are also offered there.

    Taylor Stephens

    Taylor Stephens, a Greenville High School student, works in the Greenville Site Welding Lab. Stephens, a Move On When Ready student, says she “loves everything about welding” and sees it as a skill she’ll have for life.

    Leigh Newman, who serves as the Executive Director of Campus Operations at WGTC’s LaGrange Campus and oversees the Greenville Site, said she’s been reaching out to local industries in Meriwether and surrounding counties to see what kind of skillsets are needed to work there.

    “We’re working with local industries in an effort to keep our students and graduates in Meriwether County,” Newman said. “These industries need people to work for them right now, so they’re doing whatever it takes to get some of our graduates.”

    That’s how Dr. Tim Dixon, Meriwether County Schools Superintendent, sees workforce development, too.

    “Meriwether County is different from anywhere I’ve been,” Dixon said. “I’ve worked in larger school systems where there were a lot more opportunities for students. We wanted to find something that would bring some of those opportunities to this county, and Move On When Ready and our partnership with West Georgia Tech has been a huge part of that.”

    Dixon said he believes high-school students should enjoy their time as adolescents and “not grow up too fast,” but MOWR still allows them to enjoy being high-schoolers.

    “It’s not for everybody, but for those students who enjoy it and get a lot out of it, it can mean the world to them,” Dixon said. “I think it’s really opened the eyes for a lot of our students to see that industry isn’t what it used to be. When I was in school, you were either college-bound or you took shop class every year for four years. I’m glad to say it’s a different world now, and the students who want to go the technical route have as many opportunities as the one who want to go to a major university.”

    The connection between Meriwether County Schools and West Georgia Tech came from a Meriwether County Chamber of Commerce program called Partners in Education, created by Carolyn McKinley, executive director of the chamber.

    Jane Fryer, president of the Meriwether County Industrial Development Authority, was there at the inception of Partners of Education and said the program came about when the chamber saw there was no link between the public school system and West Georgia Tech.

    “There wasn’t participation either way because no one had worked on it at the time,” Fryer said. “But we started inviting the schools together, and we were told by the school system that they couldn’t afford to bus students to and from the LaGrange Campus every day for Move On When Ready classes that they wanted to take.”

    If money was the hurdle, Fryer said she’d go out and raise the money, coming up with $20,000 in the first half of this decade to help fund the program.

    “After that, the school system started to pay attention, and because of the Parters in Education committee and our willingness to do what we can, it’s grown over the years, and we’re very pleased with that,” Fryer said. “All it took was realizing there was a need for our students to get all the information they could and educate themselves to go on and do better things.”

    Fryer said one of the best aspects of the MOWR program is that it allows students to decide early on if a certain career choice will be right for them. That ability to try something new was huge for Victoria Marlow, another Greenville High senior, who’s found her calling in healthcare.

    “I took care of my grandmother a couple of years ago when she was sick, and I realized I was kind of good at it,” Marlow said. “I’d never really considered nursing, but this gave me the opportunity to try a class for free. I ended up really liking the class and wanted to continue, so now I’m just knocking out the prerequisites for classes I’ll end up taking after I graduate high school.”

    Marlow said being able to find out what she wants to do for a living at a young age was huge for her.

    “You always think you have a plan for something, and then something changes or you don’t like it as much as you thought you would,” Marlow said. “I never thought about being a nurse, but when I actually experienced it, it was something I enjoyed, and I have this Move On When Ready program and West Georgia Tech to thank for that.”

    Georgia’s Move On When Ready Dual Enrollment Program allows qualified high school students to maximize their education and career training by taking courses that earn college and high school credit at the same time.

    Under MOWR, students may take academic core courses that can transfer to Technical College System of Georgia colleges or University System of Georgia colleges and universities. Students may also take occupational and career courses that can help jump start a career.

    Tuition for the courses is paid by the state, meaning the program is free for students.

    For more information about MOWR, visit www.westgatech.edu/MOWR or 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 more than 120 associate degree, diploma and technical certificate programs of study. A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, West Georgia Tech is the third-largest of the state’s 22 technical colleges. For more information, please visit westgatech.edu.



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    WGTC Seeking Alumni Stories
    Posted: March 7, 2017

    Celebrating 50 Years of Changing Lives, West Georgia Technical College is gathering stories and memories from a half-century’s worth of graduates.

    Maria Hernandez

    In anticipation of West Georgia Tech’s 50th annual graduation, to be held at the Thomas B. Murphy Campus June 1, the college is collecting stories from alumni who found success in their field after attending WGTC. The stories will be shared on the college’s website, as well as through social media and other outlets, in addition to being archived at WGTC offices.

    Any alumni – from the first graduating class in 1967 to those who’ve just graduated – are welcome to share where their WGTC education has taken them.

    “We are excited to share these personal experiences through our ‘50 Years of Changing Lives’ campaign, leading up to our anniversary graduation in June,” said Kim Learnard, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at WGTC. “We know our alumni from the past 50 years have some great stories to tell, and we want to help share them.”

    Troup County Area Vocational Technical School – based in LaGrange, eventually becoming West Georgia Technical College and merging with West Central Technical College in 2009 – held its first graduation in 1967.

    Since then, tens of thousands of students have enrolled in classes at WGTC, and the college continues to flourish, growing to serve more than 9,000 credit students annually with campuses in Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Troup counties.

    To submit your story, send an email with your name and phone number, as well as a brief synopsis of how West Georgia Technical College changed your life, to wgtcinfo@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 www.westgatech.edu.

     


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    WGTC's Dr. Angela Brown Visits Capitol
    Posted: March 7, 2017
    Angela Brown

    Dr. Angela Brown, the top teacher of 2016 in the Technical College System of Georgia, visited Gov. Nathan Deal and spoke on the floor of the Georgia Senate Chamber last week

    Brown is an Early Childhood Education instructor at WGTC and was named the 2016 Statewide Rick Perkins Teacher of the Year Award winner. WGTC President Steve G. Daniel was also present, along with TCSG Commissioner Gretchen Corbin, for the meeting.

    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 Adult Ed Recruiting Volunteers
    Posted: February 27, 2017

    Mike Mihalek, eager to enjoy his retirement, golfed as much as he could. To his surprise, that got old fast.

    Now, Mihalek serves as a volunteer in West Georgia Technical College’s Adult Education Division, leveraging his decades of experience as a manager at Proctor & Gamble to help students with job-hunting skills.

    “I wanted to do something that would really help people,” Mihalek said. “Helping these students has been very rewarding. I may not be getting paid financially, but I still see it as a huge reward to see these students – who are very downtrodden at the beginning of this experience – find out they can achieve something great and land the job they’re looking for.”

    WGTC Adult Education is recruiting more volunteers like Mihalek to work with students in GED and ESL classes at all of WGTC’s campuses and sites. Current volunteers come from all backgrounds, program assistant Dianne McConnell said.

    “Volunteers have always been a key element to supporting adults in the classroom,” McConnell said. “It can be a difficult thing for an adult who hasn’t been in a classroom for a decade or more to come back to that environment. Having somebody else in the classroom who isn’t the instructor but can give them a little extra attention when they need it is invaluable.”

    McConnell said volunteers provide important support to instructors, since different students in the same class are typically studying different subjects at the same time, given the nature of the four-subject GED test.

    “You’ll have one student in the classroom studying math, while another one is working on language arts,” McConnell said. “Having an extra person in the room who can help students aside from the instructor is great to narrow that wide range of subjects that are being learned.”

    McConnell said program coordinators try to be flexible with volunteers’ schedules, allowing them to choose morning, afternoon or night classes, and training is provided for anyone who’d like to volunteer.

    “Each volunteer completes an application process and goes through a background check before working with students,” McConnell said. “Volunteers receive training and resources on working with adult learners, as well as useful strategies and resources to use during tutoring.”

    For his part, Mihalek meets one-on-one with students who are nearly finished with their GED testing, teaching them how to land a job once they earn their GED. Having interviewed more than 500 applicants and trained 100 employees on how to present themselves to clients over his career at Proctor & Gamble, Mihalek said advising these students is what he’s comfortable doing.

    “I teach them the three main factors required to get a good job: having a good résumé, networking to find good jobs and how to be prepared and confident for an interview,” Mihalek said. “I’ve been doing this for about two years, and it never gets old seeing these people leave our sessions excited and ready to find a good job to help themselves and their families.”

    One former volunteer parlayed her experience into a paid position.

    Nancy Gunter spent her whole career in education, mostly in elementary schools. She started as an Adult Education volunteer a couple of years ago, working with the GED program in the mornings and ESL students at night. Now, she’s a teacher’s assistant with the two programs in Newnan.

    “When I was a teacher, one of my most favorite times was to help struggling students break through that wall and find out they can learn something new,” Gunter said. “It’s the same with these students, only it’s more inspiring because these are adults who have real-world issues and are still willing to give their time to better themselves. That’s what got me to volunteer. If these adults are willing to give their time when they’ve still got work and children to take care of, I should be more than willing to give my time to them.”

    Gunter said that although being a former educator has helped her, volunteers “absolutely do not” have to be retired teachers.

    “Whatever potential volunteers did in their life or their career can absolutely help someone in this program, maybe even more so than a teacher’s experience could,” Gunter said. “The staff supports you all along the way, and the benefits far outweigh any paycheck you could receive. I still think about the students I’ve worked with over the past couple of years, and what they’ve given me has been way more than what I gave them.”

    For more information on how to become a volunteer with the WGTC Adult Education Department, email McConnell at dianne.mcconnell@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 Advisers Honored At State Conference
    Posted: February 23, 2017

    West Georgia Technical College swept the Advisor of the Year awards at the Georgia Student Government Association and National Technical Honor Society Winter Conference February 10-12 at Callaway Gardens. Two WGTC students and the WGTC NTHS chapter also were awarded.

    WGTC Advisers

    WGTC Student Life Manager Melinda Hofius won GSGA Advisor of the Year and WGTC Program Assistant Annie Pool won NTHS Advisor of the Year in state ceremonies February 10-12.

    WGTC Student Life Manager Melinda Hofius won the inaugural Georgia Student Government Association Advisor of the Year award, and Health Services Program Assistant Annie Pool won the inaugural National Technical Honor Society Advisor of the year award. Both awards were given for the first time this year to recognize advisers who have made significant contributions to their local chapters.

    “This year, we wanted to expand our awards competition to fully recognize all that our Georgia Student Government Association and National Technical Honor Society local chapters contribute,” TCSG Student Life Coordinator Tjazha Mazhani said. “It was important that in addition to student and chapter awards, we introduced the Advisor of the Year award to recognize the tremendous invaluable work of our local advisers. Advisers are often the unsung heroes of student organizations who give of themselves tirelessly to help develop our students, and this award is a small thank-you for their hard work.”

    NTHS members can choose to compete in a number of areas at the conference, and Business student Abby McClary from Douglasville won first place in the Prepared Speech Contest.

    Student JoAnne Garza, a Criminal Justice and Business student from Newnan, was selected to serve on the NTHS State Action Team for 2017-2018, and the WGTC Chapter of NTHS won the Georgia NTHS Silver Star Award for its event “Books for Brighter Beginnings.”

    “We are extremely proud of Melinda and Annie for sweeping the Advisor of the Year awards,” President Steve G. Daniel said. “This is another example of talented staff members who are dedicated to serving students, and it shows our overall commitment to excellence at WGTC. I am so proud of them both for receiving this statewide recognition!”

    Hofius has been Student Life Manager for two years. In her written letter of support, WGTC Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Tonya F. Whitlock said, “[Melinda’s] a mighty collaborator and she’s a true champion for technical education and our students. I cannot think of a better person for such a prestigious award.”

    Hofius said she was surprised, especially since she’s only been on the job two years.

    “I was so surprised and honored to be nominated for this prestigious award. I was even more humbled when they called my name,” Hofius said. “I truly love working with West Georgia Technical College students, and I am so proud to be able to challenge and support them in their growth.”

    Pool has worked at WGTC for more than 10 years, serving the last six as NTHS adviser and as State Executive Director of NTHS since 2012. In her written letter of support, Business Technology Instructor Shirlee Ausman said, “Anyone who has worked with Annie knows that no detail is too small or responsibility too large for her to master. She will jump in wherever and whenever needed and seems especially drawn to the tasks and details that others are unwilling or unable to tackle.”

    Pool credited the NTHS students with making the award possible.

    “I want to give all my thanks to the students that I work with on a daily basis for believing in me enough to let me guide them in all of the opportunities a student organization can offer,” Pool said. “I wasn’t born to follow – and I’m not even sure I was born to lead – but one thing is certain: I was born to give. I teach my students every day the importance of giving back.”

    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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    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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