Georgia Technical Colleges Contribute To Effort to Defeat COVID-19

All of the colleges in the Technical College System of Georgia took decisive action recently to help Georgia healthcare providers and first responders who are on the front lines fighting COVID-19. By March 25, 21 of Georgia’s Technical Colleges donated 840,470 Nitrile Gloves and 5,434 N 95 Masks, which are being put to immediate use in the fight against COVID-19. Albany Technical College, which serves a community facing an outbreak of COVID-19, donated their medical supplies directly to Phoebe Putney Hospital to help healthcare workers with the most immediate need. 

“Our technical colleges have a history of being great community partners," Commissioner Greg Dozier said. "This unprecedented healthcare crisis is bringing out the best in Georgians and the contribution of medical supplies made by our colleges is one more example of that spirit that will ultimately lead us to defeating this dreaded virus.”

Georgia Technical Colleges Continue Essential Mission During COVID-19 Outbreak

As with so many business and institutions around the country, the colleges of the Technical College System of Georgia were faced with a difficult decision as the COVID-19 outbreak continued to spread in Georgia last month. Ultimately, the decision was made to move all 22 of Georgia’s technical colleges to online instruction. After using a week to transition after dismissing students from campus, colleges were able to offer approximately 90 percent of course offerings through online delivery. Colleges are determining how to address in-person lab instruction required for some courses on a case-by-case basis.  

“This crisis began with many of our colleges in the middle of their spring semesters," Commissioner Greg Dozier said. "We owe a duty to our students to do all we can to help them complete their studies. This interruption is through no fault of their own and our essential mission must continue. Many of these students are studying to become truck drivers who will deliver essential supplies or healthcare workers who will take care of the critically ill in their communities. I am proud of the teams at our colleges that worked around the clock to make so many of the courses available to students online so they can finish on time.”

TCSG is working collaboratively across the system to provide academic continuity for our students. Visitors to our academic continuity website can find online resources for remote teaching and learning, changes to admissions criteria, technical support and resources, and other updates to Adult Education and Economic Development.

Technical College System of Georgia Suspending Entrance Exam Requirement for Admission during Coronavirus Outbreak

The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) announced that it is suspending the placement exam requirement for admission to any of its 22 technical colleges across the state. In addition, TCSG is suspending the requirement that applicants provide an official high school or high school equivalency transcript for admission to TCSG colleges.

“As we navigate these uncertain and unprecedented times, we want to do everything we can to help our fellow Georgians pursue higher education without barriers,” said TCSG Commissioner Greg Dozier. “By suspending the placement exam and official high school or high school equivalency transcript requirements, we are removing obstacles for people who otherwise would enroll at one of our colleges.” 

The suspension of the placement exam, ACCUPLACER, still provides TCSG colleges the ability to use other placement methods already in place to allow an applicant to continue the enrollment process. The colleges will evaluate program readiness in a number of different ways to ensure student success.

The suspension of the requirements for official high school or high school equivalency transcripts for admission to TCSG colleges allows applicants who wish to begin this summer or fall semester, the ability to continue their admission process. In the interim, students may submit unofficial transcripts until the colleges resume normal business operations. The students will then have the ability to submit official documents to the college without affecting their current enrollment.

“The Coronavirus has certainly disrupted everyone’s lives in one way or another, but our commitment to providing an excellent education to students does not waver,” said Dozier. “These temporary changes to the admissions process are one way where we can help those interested in pursuing a postsecondary credential do so without delay.”

Quick Start Projects Targeting Critical Industries

Quick Start has already accelerated its process for approving projects with the Georgia Department of Economic Development that are focused directly on responding to the current public health crisis. Currently, two companies are on the fast track: one would produce modular structures for use by FEMA and GEMA as mobile medical facilities. Another would produce materials such as gowns and masks that are in desperate demand nationwide.

Bloomberg reports that Takeda Pharmaceutical, the primary client for Quick Start’s Georgia BioScience Training Center in Social Circle, is poised as one of the first biopharma companies to develop a treatment for COVID-19, due to the company’s earlier work with blood plasma-derived therapies for immune system related-conditions.

DIRTT, a Quick Start client company located in Savannah, is putting in place best practices for preventing the spread of COVID-19 for their on-site employees, and is applying its innovative design strategies to accelerate production of materials and spaces that maximize infection control and prevention. DIRTT, (which stands for “Doing It Right The First Time”), is a pioneer in design and construction that maximizes energy efficiency and sustainable materials.

TCSG featured in Georgia Trend

The 22 colleges that make up the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) provide state-of-the-art training in 600 associate degree, diploma, and certificate programs along with English language skills and high school equivalency diplomas. These offerings make TCSG institutions a top resource for businesses seeking skilled workers locally. The system also excels at giving students pathways to careers in which they can earn good wages and become successful.

Within the past year, TCSG has had an influx of new leaders at the college and top levels. Greg Dozier, formerly Gov. Brian Kemp’s chief financial officer, took over as TCSG commissioner on Jan. 1.

“I’ve found in my first days on the job that TCSG is one of those touchpoints in the community that’s changing lives, especially in workforce development and touching families and giving them opportunities,” Dozier says. “But also, [TCSG is] playing that part in [bringing] businesses to the state.”
Augusta Technical College’s Chief  of Police, Mike Anchor and Facilities Director, Garry Stephens loaded up ventilators and boxes of sanitary gloves to send to the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency. These crucial items will be distributed to frontline healthcare workers. Demetrius Pinkett from Georgia Piedmont Technical College traveled all the way to Augusta to pick up the supplies.
Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC) and South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) Health Sciences programs worked together to donate personal protective equipment to the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency. These supplies will assist medical facilities and healthcare employees working the front lines to combat COVID-19. The programs donated 40,500 nitrile gloves and 347 N95 masks. CGTC Facilities Team, Commercial Truck Driving program, and both the CGTC and SGTC Campus Police & Security Teams collaborated to ensure delivery of these items. 
Chattahoochee Technical College graduates from the college’s Clinical Laboratory Technology program are factoring into the fight against the Coronavirus. “We currently have graduates working in Cobb and Cherokee County hospital clinical laboratories as part of the teams testing for the COVID-19 virus,” said Robin Aiken, who has served for the past eight years as program director for the Chattahoochee Tech Clinical Laboratory Technology program. Students in this program gain the skills necessary to become clinical laboratory technicians, and then function as a vital part of community healthcare teams.
Coastal Pines Technical College Respiratory Therapy instructors Misty Reese, Pamela Monroe, and Allied Health Dean, Faye Mathis, donated supplies to local hospitals and health agencies to assist in the fight against COVID-19. These supplies are in high demand and will be distributed where needed most.
Georgia Northwestern Technical College is doing its part by donating ventilators and other medical supplies to the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency. Thank you GNTC for sending supplies to our frontline healthcare workers.
In the midst of the Coronavirus crisis, Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) Campus Police delivered 8,600 medical-grade gloves and 140 N95 masks from GPTC’s healthcare programs to the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency. 
North Georgia Technical College donated more than 80,000 medical-grade gloves and 100 N95 masks from its healthcare programs to the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency to use in the fight against COVID-19. Thank you NGTC and all of Georgia's technical colleges for working together during this time!
Southern Crescent Technical College is assisting the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency by donating eight ventilators from its labs. TCSG colleges are working together to assist the state of Georgia in this time of need. Thank you SCTC for doing your part!
West Georgia Technical College (WGTC) donated three pallets of personal protective equipment to the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency. These supplies will assist healthcare workers and medical facilities on the front lines battling COVID-19. Supplies given by WGTC include nine boxes of N95 masks, 42 boxes of other medical masks, five boxes of gowns, and tens of thousands of nitrile gloves. 
Savannah Tech published a cool social distancing video on Facebook. 
South Georgia Tech published an inspiring "We're in this Together" video, led off by SGCT President Dr. John Watford.


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