Southern Crescent Technical College is now moving forward with the additional preparations and federal compliances to complete the merger.
The SACS/COC Substantive Change Committee visited the two college campuses from Sept. 14, 2009, to Sept. 16, 2009. The committee was comprised of representatives from various colleges throughout the Southeast. It spent two days interviewing administration, faculty and staff; evaluating academic programs of study, student support programs, services, and activities; perusing policies and procedures; touring the facility; and reviewing the planning and evaluation processes of the colleges.
Upon review, there were four recommendations for change from the team. The first three dealt with student learning outcomes, and the fourth recommendation dealt with one faculty credential issue. These issues have all been resolved, and the revised information and plans were sent to SACS/COC for review.
Effective July 1, 2009, the administration from Griffin Technical College and Flint River Technical College merged and began operating as one. In preparation, the two colleges have been busy combining programs, policies and procedures — laying the groundwork for Southern Crescent Technical College.
Robert Arnold, GTC president, said, “We were very pleased with the outcome of the accreditation visit for Southern Crescent Technical College. We know that this merger has been truly a collaborative effort from the faculty and staff of GTC and FRTC. The favorable outcome of the visit is simply a reminder of the hard work and dedication by the quality faculty and staff of these colleges.”
Arnold said, “We are enthused about the merger and the expanded opportunities it will afford current and future students, local business and industry, and the communities we serve. Above all, we are committed to making this unique educational opportunity a win-win for everyone.”
Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Ron Jackson said he’s confident that Arnold and his new administration will merge two great technical colleges into one college that will be a powerhouse in workforce development for the region and the state. “Dr. Arnold is an effective college leader with a strong track record of success including increased enrollment, improved student retention and graduation rates, and equally high job placement rates. Combine his long history of success as a president with a highly talented leadership team from both of the merged colleges, and there’s outstanding potential for the students and the communities that are served by the new Southern Crescent Technical College,” Jackson said.
Jackson said merging the two colleges during a time of unprecedented strain on the state budget was difficult, so input from the local legislative delegations, city and county leaders, and members of the colleges’ local boards was vital to the merger process.
Once the merger is complete, Southern Crescent Technical College will emerge as a flagship technical college in the state, with an expected combined student population of more than 6,000 credit students. As one of the largest technical colleges in Georgia, the two campus locations and three centers will serve the workforce and community needs of the more than 500,000 residents in the 10 counties of the South Atlanta region including Butts, Fayette, Henry, Jasper, Lamar, Pike, Spalding, Upson, Talbot and Taylor counties.
The college will also serve an additional 2,500 students per quarter in Adult Education and Continuing Education programs. Southern Crescent Technical College will offer more than 100 associate degree, diploma, and technical certificate programs to provide the trained workforce needed to help stimulate Georgia’s community and economic growth and development.