The New Southern Regional Technical College Continues to Grow

Posted on

The completion of the July 1, 2015 merger of Moultrie Technical College (MTC) and Southwest Georgia Technical College (SWGTC) to form the new Southern Regional Technical College (SRTC) has brought with it many improvements for the college as a whole. From administration to instruction, faculty to staff to students, nearly every corner of SRTC has been enhanced, though the College’s mission remains: to be a top-tier college that will provide greater access to services and programs for the students and communities they serve.

Enrollment and Personnel

Throughout the Technical College System of Georgia’s (TCSG) series of mergers, most recently consolidated schools have experienced a slight decrease when comparing year-to-year enrollment data. Combined with the recent trend of decreased enrollment among both University System of Georgia (USG) and TCSG as a whole, the timing seemingly could not have been worse for SRTC. The new College, however, has been an anomaly. When comparing the total Spring Semester enrollment for fiscal year 2016 to the combined enrollment numbers of the former MTC and SWGTC from fiscal year 2015, the new college realized an increase of 26 students and currently boasts the 14th largest total enrollment within the entire system.

The new College now employs over 275 full-time personnel, 83 part-time staff members, and more than 190 adjunct instructors that will be tasked with providing the highest level of service and education possible to students in both credit and non-credit programs.

Benefits to our Students

SRTC serves a seven county area with locations in Ashburn, Cairo, Camilla, Moultrie, Sylvester, Thomasville, and Tifton.  Moreover, Florida residents of Gadsden, Jefferson, and Leon counties qualify for in-state tuition. The Moultrie - Veterans Parkway Campus, Thomasville Campus, and Tifton Campus are full-service locations, meaning students have access to student affairs and enrollment services, academic offerings, and adult education (GED). The Moultrie – Industrial Drive instructional site offers predominately Industrial Technology programs (e.g., Welding and Joining, HVAC, Automotive Technology, etc.) while the Grady County instructional site offers Practical Nursing and Early Childhood Care and Education credit programs, high school dual-enrollment, and adult education. Additionally, adult education services are offered in Camilla, Sylvester, and Ashburn.

The College offers over 155 programs in the classroom / labs and for online students. Within the classroom setting there has been a significant expansion of night classes at all full-service campus locations. If you are a recent high school graduate, SRTC offers you a personal college experience close to home. We also offer the guidance and assistance to help you make informed choices about your studies and future career decisions. Parents will appreciate the affordability of SRTC, with lower tuition and financial aid opportunities.

Individuals with changing career goals can also find exactly what they need at SRTC. Our programs and classes serve our students well as they make plans to further their career ambitions. Whether you are just starting the job path you've always dreamed of or furthering your education with enhanced skills for future advancement, we've got you covered.

Program Expansion at SRTC

Upon completion of the merger, SRTC has been able to expand the College’s credit program offerings to several sites. To address a critical need for healthcare workers, SRTC will expand its Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree program to the SRTC Moultrie and Tifton locations in a move that could eventually double the number of nursing graduates the school produces annually. The first cohorts will begin in 2017; pending approval from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the College is already receiving applications. SRTC-Tifton will begin to offer the ASN – Generic Option spring semester of 2017 and SRTC-Moultrie will offer the LPN to ASN Bridge option fall semester of 2017. Students can enroll in core classes for both programs at both locations at this time.

"The expansion of the ASN program will have a significant impact on the shortage of skilled registered nurses not only in south Georgia but throughout the state.  This expansion will immediately impact the healthcare quality and critical access in our communities," said Dr. Annie McElroy, Vice President for Academic Affairs at SRTC. 

Students who enter the ASN program in Moultrie and Tifton will benefit from the state-of-the-art virtual hospital that will provide a comprehensive nursing experience where students can practice in a variety of settings, to include: pediatrics, operating room, medical-surgical, labor and delivery, intensive care unit, primary care, and others.

The Spring 2016 Semester also saw the addition of evening Esthetics classes at Moultrie-Veterans Parkway site on Monday and Wednesday, Social Work Assistant at the Tifton site on Monday evenings, Cosmetology at the Moultrie-Veterans Parkway site Monday – Thursday evenings, and additional offerings for Early Childhood Care and Education at the Tifton site.

“We are excited to announce the expansion of our School of Professional Services offerings for spring semester at both SRTC-Tifton and SRTC-Moultrie Veterans Parkway.  Responding to requests from Tifton area residents, two Social Work Assistant courses are being offered on Monday evenings.  The Moultrie-VPC is adding evening Cosmetology and Esthetician classes spring semester,” commented Justina (Tina) V. Strickland, SRTC Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs. 

Professional Services positions touch many career fields, including Criminal Justice, Crime Scene Technology, Fire Science Technology, Land, Forest, Wildlife Management Technology, Horticulture, Firefighter Training, Early Childhood Care and Education, Paralegal Studies, Social Work, Cosmetology and more.  The Certified Programs at SRTC give you the option of obtaining a technical certificate of credit, diploma, or degree in a wide array of high-demand career fields.

Business and Industry

Customized training, workforce development programs, and economic development are the core of our business. At SRTC, we believe that a highly trained workforce is vital to the success of any organization. SRTC’s economic development team is ready to serve your organization with a results-driven approach from start to finish.

As your training partner, we provide: assessments to define your training needs, development of customized training curricula and materials, highly qualified instructors, integration of management principles into instruction, access to state-of-the art facilities; instruction labs, and online access, coordination of training activities with flexible scheduling options, and program evaluation and follow-up. Classes are available on a very flexible schedule including days, evenings, and weekends. 

SRTC – Tifton is also home to the Surgical Technology Academy Training (STAT) Lab, designed for training surgeons, surgical support staff, and medical device corporate sales personnel in new product applications and surgical techniques, such as total joint replacements. The Lab contains eight fully-equipped surgical stations to accommodate up to three participants each, in addition to an instructor station with central audio and video to aid training throughout a live demonstration. The master station is equipped with a versatile camera that can be placed at any point on the operating table. LCD screens can then show multiple angles to give the participants complete visualizations of the surgical procedure. The lab also features integrated audio-visual media including three plasma screens, video cameras, audio reinforcement, and bi-directional teleconferencing for live demonstrations in the lab in connected conference rooms.

Through a new partnership with online healthcare education provider Heath Ed Today, SRTC now offers a Pharmacy Technician Program. The new program is a non-credit offering and is delivered through SRTC’s Economic Development Department.

These courses are highly interactive and provide students with an enriched learning experience. The Pharmacy Technology program will be taught by a Registered Pharmacist and will also have 24 hour a day instructor support and course mentors available through the e-learning portal. Additionally, there will be engaging labs, exercises, and course videos. The course fee includes all textbooks, workbooks, and relevant student materials.

This comprehensive 50 hour program will prepare students to work as a pharmacy technician in hospitals, retail, or other pharmacy settings and to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board’s PTCB exam.  There is also a required 80 hour clinical externship.

The Economic Development department maintains relationships with highly competent, specialized, and experienced instructors for almost any training need. We take pride in delivering high-quality training and customer service. Furthermore, SRTC’s Economic Development team has a full array of Personal Enrichment Courses, from knitting to private pilot ground school. SRTC can also host your next event with wide-ranging facility rental options.

Move On When Ready (Dual Enrollment)

High school students in Georgia now have even greater opportunities to get a jump start on their collegiate futures thanks to two bills passed during this year’s spring legislative session.  While dual enrollment has been possible in Georgia since 2009, major changes were made April of this year to expand and streamline these opportunities for our students.  Governor Nathan Deal, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, and the 2015 Georgia General Assembly partnered to pass SB 2 and SB 132, both of which remove barriers to dual enrollment participation and expand opportunities for students.

SB 132, the “Move On When Ready Act,” is one of Deal’s legislative priorities and is based off recommendations from the 2014 Dual Enrollment Task Force. SB 2 further aligns Georgia’s K-12 education system with the state’s post-secondary institutions, allowing high school students to simultaneously earn a high school diploma while working toward a technical certificate, diploma, or associate’s degree.  Georgia students can take advantage of these changes beginning with the 2015-2016 academic year. Administrators ascertain SRTC has one of the largest Move On When Ready programs in the entire system, topping 1,100 students.

“It’s a new day and new opportunities abound for high school students and we at SRTC are prepared and committed to doing our part. We are excited to partner with our local high schools in our seven-county service delivery area to provide increased educational opportunities for high school students through the new Move on When Ready program. The new program streamlines the process for both students and parents, allows high school students to earn college credit while working on their high school diploma, and provides opportunities to explore high demand career options.  We value our partnerships with the local school systems and are committed to high school students and their parents to provide excellent programs and services to meet their needs.  We anticipate a record enrollment during fall semester,” commented Joyce Halstead, SRTC Vice President for High School Initiatives and Enrollment Management.

What exactly does this mean for students? The new MOWR Dual Enrollment Program enhances student engagement, improves graduation rates, and increases student learning. These students will be better prepared for the college curriculum of a two- or four-year college, and dual enrollment gives students extra opportunities to get a head start on a career path they desire.

The new MOWR Dual Enrollment Program streamlines the existing dual enrollment options (Accel, HOPE Grant, etc.) into one program with one funding source. By consolidating the existing programs into a single program, it will be easier for students and parents to navigate and take advantage of the available options to enroll in college courses while still in high school. MOWR also includes provisions to help remove some of the financial barriers that may prevent students from participating in dual enrollment.

Furthermore, the new bills have opened doors for more students than ever before. Any student approved and classified as a 9th-12th grader by the eligible high school and accepted as a MOWR student at the participating postsecondary institution is eligible to participate.  All students must meet the postsecondary admission requirements.  

It must also be noted that there is no tuition cost to participating students. In fact, textbooks are also provided by the college. The Georgia Student Finance Commission administers the program which is funded through state appropriations.

For more information about the Move On When Ready program please contact Mandy Ponder at mponder@southernregional.edu or Missy Stanaland at mstanaland@southernregional.edu

SRTC currently collaborates with Baconton Community Charter School, Bishop Hall Charter School, Cairo High School, Colquitt County High School, Mitchell County High School, Pelham High School, Thomas County Central High School, Thomasville High School, Tift County High School, Tiftarea Academy, Turner County High School, and Worth County High School on MOWR programs.

SRTC is committed to helping our graduates pursue their educational and career goals. To this end, SRTC has created partnerships with other colleges that allow students to articulate credit between the two institutions. The University System of Georgia, Albany State University, Thomas University, and Valdosta State University are all current partners of SRTC. Furthermore, the Technical College System of Georgia has standing agreements with Ashford University, DeVry University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Georgia Independent Colleges, Life University, Mercer University, Southern Polytechnic State University, Troy University, and the University of Phoenix, though SRTC does not have individual agreements with those institutions.

What’s in a Logo?

Probably more time, effort, and energy than most would realize. For the new College it is no different. When tasked with creating a new logo the graphic design team at SRTC was asked to incorporate quite a few elements: the new area to be served by the college, a sense of unity or consolidation, an energetic, yet professional feel, and a uniquely recognizable feature. The result is the SRTC logo that is now ubiquitous on every piece of advertisement and signage found in our region. The sphere, or ‘insignia,’ is comprised of seven individual slashes: three are green and represent the counties served by the former Southwest Georgia Technical College and four are blue to represent the counties served by the former Moultrie Technical College. The slashes appear to be inter-woven, a design feature that represents the consolidation of two prior entities. The insignia is spherical or circular in shape and signifies the notion of totality, inclusion, and wholeness. The predominate color scheme of blue and green was also carefully and strategically chosen. In traditional design, blue is representative of security, stability, trustworthiness, wisdom / education, and confidence while green indicates generosity, ambition, prosperity, and completion.

 SRTC offers over 155 degree, diploma, and certificate programs that are designed to get you quickly into your desired career, and 27 general education courses that transfer to the University System of Georgia institutions and 19 private colleges and universities in Georgia. SRTC has instructional sites located in Ashburn, Cairo, Camilla, Moultrie, Thomasville, Tifton, and Sylvester for the convenience of our students. The College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. For the most up-to-date information on registration, class dates, and program offerings, log on to www.southernregional.edu or call (888) 205 – 3449. 

Summer Semester 2016 Begins May 17th. Don’t wait, enroll today!