South Georgia Tech student earns criminal justice degree while still in high school

MarKayla Henderson of Cordele recently graduated with honors from both Crisp County High School and South Georgia Technical College. Through the Dual Enrollment Program, Henderson was able to complete the requirements for an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from SGTC while still attending high school.

Though she initially intended to become a teacher, Henderson’s experience with Dual Enrollment led to a new career choice. “My college professors made it so exciting and interesting that I changed my future plans of becoming a teacher to wanting to be involved in criminal justice,” Henderson said. “From the moment I took my first class, I was determined to see it to the end.”

Now, Henderson plans to continue her criminal justice education at the University of West Georgia. “After college, I plan to become a crime scene investigator with the GBI,” she said. “My ultimate goal is to become a crime scene investigator with the FBI.”

Georgia’s 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.

Georgia PBL holds virtual conference amidst COVID-19 pandemic

More than 70 students participated in the first-ever Georgia Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) Virtual State Leadership Conference this spring. Throughout the week, the conference had an amazing keynote speaker, engaging leadership workshops, written test events, and live role-play competitive events. Students also elected the 2020-21 Georgia PBL State Officers. The conference concluded with a virtual awards ceremony presented by the Executive Committee. Despite the virtual nature, the conference provided all of the key components offered in the traditional in-person conference. Read more here.

DOAS and GEMA donate PPE and other supplies to TCSG

Georgia Department of Administrative Services (DOAS), in partnership with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA), recently surveyed state agencies for their needs of personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies for reopening state offices. GEMA filled orders for all 22 TCSG colleges, the TCSG System Office, and Quick Start.

TCSG Emergency Manager Lisa Beck worked hard to ensure that all of the colleges were able to submit orders through GEMA. The supplies included nearly 25,000 boxes of masks, 166 five-gallon buckets of hand sanitizer, 590 boxes of gloves, and over 37,000 boxes of sanitizing wipes.

TCSG colleges donated PPE to healthcare facilities at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This new stock of supplies will help replenish stockpiles and provide colleges with the necessary items required to hold limited labs while reopening the campuses to employees.

Georgia Piedmont Technical College President Dr. Tavarez Holston provided storage space at the GPTC Starnes Center. Lisa Beck, along with GPTC Police Chief Chris Hughes and members of the GPTC Police Department, helped unload and sort the supplies. Colleges began picking up their orders on Wednesday. 
Albany Technical College cautiously started to come back to campus on June 1 with mandatory thermal temperature screening for faculty, staff, students, and visitors. A measured return to work plan and a gradual resumption of business operations started, incorporating telework schedules for all employees. A protective face covering is required, and social distancing is strongly encouraged. Signage is posted in highly-visible areas across the campus to encourage the college community to help stop the spread, and observe appropriate preventative measures, including respiratory etiquette (cover your coughs and sneezes), frequent handwashing, and maintaining at least six feet of space between you and others. The “new normal” is quite different, but Albany Tech is happy to be back on campus planning the fall semester.
Athens Technical College opened a new Welcome & Visitor's Center on its Athens campus. The new Center was designed with students in mind. As you enter, you are greeted by a new receptionist desk with a view of each department (Admissions, Advisement, Cashier’s window, Financial Aid, and Registration and Records). The open-concept design includes additional plug-in furniture, where students can charge their digital devices as they wait to be seen. Computers are also available for students who may need to register for class or complete other required documents for enrollment.
Horizons Atlanta at Atlanta Technical College continues to serve the community and rising first through eighth-grade scholars despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The Horizons Atlanta Tech Summer Program is in its eighth year and is currently the only Horizons Program site at any technical college across the nation. On June 3, Horizons Atlanta partnered with Atlanta Tech to host a curbside open house at the College to distribute home learning kits, Chromebooks, instructional resources, and beverages donated by The Coca-Cola Company. On June 8, Horizons Atlanta Tech families were also provided meals curbside at the College.
Computer Programming students at Augusta Technical College made virtual presentations to Georgia Iron Works, Rural Sourcing, Grunt Games, Columbia County, Kimberly Clark, Parsons, National Wild Turkey Federation, and Kaichi, under the direction of Augusta Tech instructor Prescott Lerch (pictured). Before each semester, Mr. Lerch solicits local business and industry partners to submit a database-centric application that the business needs. A team from the class is then assigned to each business client. This semester, the program had 11 students split into four teams. Read more here.
Central Georgia Technical College’s Adult Education Division recently hosted a pop-up lunch for members of the Macon-Bibb County Fire Department. One hundred boxed lunches were prepared for the firefighters in appreciation for their efforts and hard work in the communities they serve.
Eight Chattahoochee Technical College students who are starting their careers in the automotive and diesel repair industries each recently received a Snap-on professional tool set, valued at $5,500, from Alan and Claire Peterson of Cobb County. For the past 16 years, the Petersons have awarded these tool sets to dozens of Chattahoochee Tech students in honor of their son, Mike Peterson. In order to be considered for this award, Chattahoochee Tech students had to be enrolled in the Automotive Technology, Diesel Equipment Technology, or Automotive Collision Repair program, and submit an award application that was reviewed by the Petersons. They also had to meet award GPA requirements, write an essay, and provide a letter of recommendation from a Chattahoochee Tech faculty member. Read more here.
Coastal Pines Technical College has been named the North American winner, as well as the Global Winner of Blackboard’s inaugural “Fix Your Content Day Challenge,” a day of action and impact that brought together institutions from across the globe to dedicate 24 hours to improving the accessibility of as many digital course files as possible through Blackboard Ally. The “Fix Your Content Day Challenge” was held on Global Accessibility Awareness Day, celebrated each year on the third Thursday of May, to help make an immediate and tangible impact on the accessibility of students’ online learning experience. Pictured is CPTC Coordinator of Distance Education Heather Harrison, who was instrumental in the success of the competition for Coastal Pines, as well as efforts to move all of the College’s courses online. Read more here.
Columbus Technical College is proud to announce it has been awarded a $9,000 grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Monies from the grant will be used for testing vouchers and bus passes to help students seeking a high school equivalency or GED in Columbus Tech's six-county college service area. “To say this grant is a game-changer would be an understatement,” said Vice President of Adult Education April Hopson. “Our students face countless financial obstacles on a daily basis. During these trying times, those challenges can be even harder to overcome. With this grant, it means that anyone who comes through our door can take their GED exams. The timing couldn’t be better.” Read more here.
Volunteers from Georgia Northwestern Technical College joined volunteers from the Chattanooga Area Food Bank, the Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia, and Dalton Heritage Head Start to serve approximately 140 households during a mobile food pantry on May 27 at Northwest Georgia College & Career Academy. GNTC students enrolled at the Whitfield Murray Campus, as well as families with children enrolled in Dalton Heritage Head Start, received emails about the mobile food pantry. Volunteers loaded milk, meat, vegetables, diapers, and wipes into the cars that circled the parking lot. Read more here.
Georgia Piedmont Technical College has transitioned from a normally busy season of in-person events welcoming students back to campus for summer semester, to one of online engagement aimed at enhancing the college experience and supporting students while they are at home. Organized by GPTC’s Office of Student Activities and sponsored by the GPTC Student Government Association, the new virtual activities keep students plugged in and focused with mental health and job search webinars, online fitness classes, and social media challenges, such as “GPTC’s Got Talent Competition” and the “No Quarantine-15 Fitness Challenge.” Offered free of charge, the virtual activities are available to students through the EventBrite online registration app. Read more here.
Knowing the importance of staying connected, Gwinnett Technical College Student Life quickly switched gears to offer a plethora of virtual opportunities for students to engage and learn. For their newly launched Professional Development series, they offered a session on “Qualities of a Good Leader.” It was facilitated by Adam P. Forrand, Vice President of Education & Talent Development for the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and Partnership Gwinnett. He shared his perspective on leading oneself and making the connection to leading others. As questions rolled in from students, he shared how everyone can intentionally become a better leader of themselves and others, regardless of title. 
With an outstanding enrollment growth of nine percent for Summer Semester 2020 compared to last summer, Lanier Technical College continues to deliver on its motto of "Great Careers Begin Here." Almost 2,300 students enrolled in the College's summer classes. Lanier Tech saw 772 new students and 1,504 returning students enroll for a total of 2,276. Lanier Tech students registered for a total of 15,142 credits in their courses. Students chose a wide range of courses, with high enrollment numbers in general education and healthcare programs. The semester started on June 1 with all lecture courses delivered online.  Read more here.
North Georgia Technical College recently announced the winners of “The Future, Now” – a photography contest organized by the College for high school students and participants up to 20 years of age. More than 80 entries from across the region were received. Anna Brown of Danielsville won first place with a waterfall image (left photo); Savannah Harris of Baxley earned second place; and Nikolas Thomason of Alto received third place. There were also 20 honorable mentions awarded in the contest. Read more here
Oconee Fall Line Technical College recently garnered second place for the North America region in the Blackboard Ally Global Accessibility Awareness Day’s first-ever “Fix Your Content Day.” Blackboard is an application for online teaching, learning, community building, and knowledge sharing used by OFTC and many other colleges. Blackboard Ally is an application that focuses on making digital course content more accessible. OFTC competed amongst 59 other colleges and universities around the world, including other TCSG colleges. “I continue to be amazed at the dedication that our academic affairs division puts into each endeavor,” shared Michele Strickland, OFTC’s Vice President of Academic Affairs. Read more here.
Beckie Snyder, Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Student Affairs, collaborated with other Ogeechee Technical College staff to launch the Outreach Assisting Students in Shortage (OASIS) Food Pantry earlier this month. OASIS was opened in January to serve OTC students in need. Snyder said that her idea for OASIS developed while working in Student Affairs at OTC with Emergency Assistance funds. “I’ve seen the need for food assistance in our community while working with a local soup kitchen, and I began to recognize that same need here on our campus,” Snyder said. The food pantry has already received 25 requests for assistance. While the name OASIS lends itself to specifically helping OTC students, the pantry is also available to any OTC faculty or staff who may have needs. Read more here.
Officer Ben Johnson (pictured), a former truck driver, recently completed Basic Law Enforcement training with Savannah Technical College’s Peace Officer Academy. He is now a member of the Guyton Police Department. Johnson said STC's training emphasized interpersonal skills and cultural sensitivity. “It’s about learning how to de-escalate (situations),” Johnson said. “Basically, it’s using your mouth instead of your taser and other stuff.” Read more here.
Wally Summers and the term “Economic Development” have been synonymous or almost interchangeable to business and industry leaders in the South Georgia Technical College service area for the past 50 years. Today, Wallace M. Summers is announcing his retirement as Vice President of Economic Development at South Georgia Technical College, effective June 30. “On behalf of everyone at South Georgia Technical College, I would like to thank Wally for his service to the College for the past 18 years and to the community for nearly 50 years. He has been a key member of the South Georgia Technical College Leadership team and has had a positive impact on thousands of students and business and industry leaders throughout this area. He will be missed,” said SGTC President Dr. John Watford. Read more here. 
Southeastern Technical College received a shipment of supplies from GEMA on June 10, to replenish a portion of what STC donated during the COVID-19 crisis. Included in this shipment are 42,000 disinfectant wipes and 20 gallons of hand sanitizer. Having access to these supplies will help keep facilities clean and individuals safe during campus reopening efforts.
Not even a rain delay or a global pandemic could keep Southern Crescent Technical College faculty and staff from celebrating SCTC graduates. As a sign of the times, approximately 75 cars filled with graduates and their families participated in a socially distant “Graduate Parade” on June 5. Graduates were greeted with cheers and praise from SCTC faculty, staff, and administrators, as well as a number of dignitaries including TCSG Commissioner Greg Dozier, State Representatives Karen Mathiak and Sandra Scott, several local community leaders, and local school superintendents. Some graduates suited up in their official regalia and some decorated their cars, but all were excited to publicly acknowledge their accomplishments. Read more here.
On the morning of June 9, Southern Regional Technical College and Thomas University finalized an articulation agreement that will allow SRTC’s Land, Forest & Wildlife Management graduates to seamlessly transition to the Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource and Conservation Management Program at Thomas University in Thomasville. The partnership between the two institutions will provide students with a smooth curriculum transition that minimizes loss of credit and duplication of coursework. With this goal in mind, the two colleges drafted the articulation agreement to allow any student who successfully completes the LFW Associate of Applied Science at SRTC the opportunity to earn a higher degree efficiently as they seek to advance in their academic and career pursuits. Read more here.
West Georgia Technical College Phi Beta Lambda students excelled at the 2020 Virtual Georgia Phi Beta Lambda State Leadership Conference recently, demonstrating their knowledge, professionalism, and leadership potential. Twelve of the 16 WGTC students who competed have qualified to advance to the national competition, which will be held virtually in June. In total, students earned 22 awards and one individual recognition. West Georgia Tech’s chapter was recognized as the largest PBL chapter in the state with 32 paid members, received the first-place award for Georgia PBL Foundation Fundraising, and third-place overall for March of Dimes donations. Read more here.
Technical and industrial program instructors at Wiregrass Technical College are using their program expertise and skills to answer a current need of the college. On June 1, Wiregrass announced a soft reopening by appointment only for specific departments to be able to meet with students. For the safety of students and Wiregrass staff, the College attempted to purchase office shield guards prior to this date and learned the protective shields were backordered due to such high demand. Wiregrass Tech’s slogan for Fall Semester enrollment is, “Be part of the solution,” and that is exactly what Wiregrass instructors are doing. Read more here.
Georgia Piedmont Technical College produced a “Salute to Graduates” video from GPTC faculty and staff.
Savannah Technical College’s Economic Development Division teamed up with the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Savannah to produce a virtual workshop on first-time home ownership.