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Cisco Academy Turns 15 at SWGTC

 Industry leader, Cisco Systems, Inc., is recognizing Southwest Georgia Technical College’s (SWGTC) Cisco Network Specialist program for fifteen years of certified instruction of Cisco Technology.  

The Cisco Network Specialist program at SWGTC offers high-tech training in computer network design, implementation, and support. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Information Technology (IT) industry is expected to increase by more than 36% by 2022, a promising statistic for students seeking a career in IT. SWGTC offers the Cisco Network Specialist technical certificate of credit, diploma, and degree.  The program permits a ratio of just fifteen students to one instructor; therefore students have the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience with one-on-one assistance from instructors.

“We are honored to be recognized for fifteen years of service by Cisco Systems. This shows our commitment to provide our students with the most state-of-the-art equipment and educational training environment. Our students experience hands-on, real-world simulations that prepare them not only to take their certification exam, but have the skills necessary to enter the industry,” said, Charles Everett, CIS Program Director.

The Cisco Network Specialist program goes well beyond certification exam preparation; it provides the strong foundations of theory and hands-on experience necessary for career success. The program offers students first-hand experience with the routers, switches, and software that form the foundation of the Internet. Students acquire a vital 21st-century learning experience that develops the foundational skills needed to design, build, and manage networks, along with career skills such as problem solving, collaboration, and critical thinking.   

Beginning Fall Semester 2014, students enrolled in the Computer Information Systems program will have an opportunity to receive additional financial aid assistance through the Strategic Industries Workforce Development Grant (SIWDG) expansion, which now includes more TCC and diploma programs. 

“Under the leadership of the computer information systems instructors, the Cisco Networking Academy program helps students acquire the knowledge, skills, and self-confidence needed to succeed in today’s competitive job market,” commented Abigail Carter, Dean for the Schools of Business, Professional Services, and Industrial Technology.

Charles Everett, an instructor of 15 years within the Technical College System of Georgia, is the program director of the Computer Information Systems program at SWGTC’s main campus. Everett holds multiple certifications within his field, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Thomas University and Masters of Education in Instructional Technology from Valdosta State University.

Chris Parrish, an instructor of 23 years within the Technical College System of Georgia, is now an instructor for the CISCO Network Specialist program at SWGTC’s main campus. Parrish holds multiple certifications within her field, as well as a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Management Science from the University of Georgia, and Masters of Education in Vocational Education from Valdosta State University.

For more information about the Cisco Network Specialist certificate, diploma, or degree track, please contact Mr. Charles Everett, Program Director, at 229-227-2582 or ceverett@southwestgatech.edu, or Ms. Chris Parrish, Program Faculty, at 229-227-2581 or cparrish@southwestgatech.edu.

SWGTC offers more than 80 certificate, diploma, and degree programs. Many of these programs provide training for some of the nation’s fastest-growing career fields including Nursing, Computer Information Technology, Clinical Laboratory Technology, and Emergency Medical Technology. More information may be obtained by calling 229-225-4096 or by logging onto www.southwestgatech.edu.

Southwest Georgia Technical College is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.

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SWGTC Names Athalena Benton New Practical Nursing Faculty

Southwest Georgia Technical College (SWGTC) recently named Athalena Benton, RNC, MSN, full-time faculty for its Practical Nursing (LPN) program.

“As an adjunct nursing faculty member of the college, Athalena has been working with our students for the past year in both medical surgical and maternity nursing. With her enthusiastic approach, years of nursing experience, and her proficiency with technology, she has established an excellent rapport with our students and our faculty. She has been instrumental in the implementation of a new barcode scanning system in our virtual hospital, enabling students to practice medication administration before they enter the clinical setting as well as to track inventory. I am very excited to have her join us full-time,” commented Carla Barrow, SWGTC Dean for the School of Health Sciences and the School of Arts and Sciences.

In her new role Benton is responsible for designing Practical Nursing curriculum, serving as an advisor to students in the program, instructing courses, and recruiting new students.

"Nursing and nursing education has always held a special place in my heart.  Imparting knowledge to those who will be the future of nursing is a special task that I feel called to perform.  I am excited about my position as an instructor in the Practical Nursing program here at SWGTC.  As an instructor, I look forward to implementing innovative teaching strategies in the classroom in an effort to cultivate capable, compassionate, and knowledgeable nurses for employment in Southwest Georgia and beyond," commented Benton.

Benton received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Georgia Southern University prior to obtaining her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Georgia Regents University (formerly the Medical College of Georgia). While working as a Charge Nurse and student preceptor at John D. Archbold Memorial Hospital in Thomasville she obtained her Master of Science Degree in Nursing Education. In addition to her education and 15 years of clinical experience, Benton is a certified Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) instructor, Basic Life Support (BLS) instructor, and has other certifications in Neonatal Stabilization and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS).

The Practical Nursing program is a 5 semester diploma program designed to prepare students to write the NCLEX-PN for licensure as practical nurses. The program prepares graduates to give competent nursing care. This is done through a selected number of academic and occupational courses providing a variety of techniques and materials necessary to assist the student in acquiring the needed knowledge and skills to give competent care. A variety of clinical experiences is planned so that theory and practice are integrated under the guidance of the clinical instructor.

For more information on SWGTC’s Practical Nursing Program, please contact Athalena Benton at (229)225-5090 or abenton@southwestgatech.edu or Catina Jones at (229)227-3119 or cjones@southwestgatech.edu.

SWGTC offers more than 80 certificate, diploma, and degree programs. Many of these programs provide training for some of the nation’s fastest-growing career fields including Nursing, Automotive Technology, Clinical Laboratory Technology, and Emergency Medical Technology. More information may be obtained by calling 229-225-4096 or by logging onto www.southwestgatech.edu.

Fall Semester 2014 begins August 19th. Don’t wait, enroll today!

Southwest Georgia Technical College is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.

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SWGTC Executive Director Graduates from TCSG’s Executive Leadership Academy

Southwest Georgia Technical College (SWGTC) Executive Director of Institutional Advancement, Marketing and Public Relations, Amy Maison recently graduated from the Technical College System of Georgia’s (TCSG) Executive Leadership Academy (ELA).  Maison was one of 34 participants including one representative from each TCSG institution and eight system office employees.

This intensive ten-month academy is held on technical college campuses across Georgia. It is designed to provide participants with practices of leading and managing within TCSG so that they are capable of leading workgroups to face opportunities and challenges and achieve desired results. While the program is specifically geared to the policies and procedures of TCSG, the curriculum is sufficiently broad in scope to include basic practices that support developing a work climate that encourages staff motivation and effective, high-performing teams with topics ranging from ethics and board operations to institutional effectiveness, accreditation issues, strategic planning, and more.

“It was an honor to be selected to participate in the ELA. This experience gave me the opportunity to expand my connections within our system and provided exposure to all divisions of TCSG. The monthly workshops were relevant, informative, and the relationships developed by our group have already proven to be invaluable,” SWGTC Executive Director of Institutional Advancement, Marketing and Public Relations, Amy Maison.

Maison has been employed at SWGTC since March of 2011. She has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing Management and earned a Masters of Business Administration in 2009 from Thomas University. Maison resides in Thomasville with her husband, ten-year-old son, five-year-old daughter, and two beloved basset hounds.

Participation in the Academy is selective and by invitation only. Maison was nominated to attend the academy by SWGTC President Dr. Craig Wentworth and then approved by the ELA’s Board of Directors.

“Our TCSG Executive Leadership Academy was invaluable to Amy and the other participants in helping them to learn about the different facets and operations of our state technical colleges. The networking with other technical college colleagues and visiting other colleges have been a significant benefit to Amy in her higher education professional growth and knowledge acquisition.  These leadership academy experiences will serve Amy well as she continues her growth and advancement in college leadership situations,” commented Dr. Craig Wentworth, SWGTC President.

SWGTC offers more than 80 certificate, diploma, and degree programs. Many of these programs provide training for some of the nation’s fastest-growing career fields including Nursing, Automotive Technology, Clinical Laboratory Technology, and Emergency Medical Technology. More information may be obtained by calling 229-225-4096 or by logging onto www.southwestgatech.edu.

Southwest Georgia Technical College is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.

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TCSG STATE BOARD APPROVES TUITION INCREASE STARTING IN FALL 2014

Atlanta - The state board that oversees the Technical College System of Georgia has approved the system’s request for a tuition increase of $4 per credit hour starting with the upcoming fall semester. 

The board voted unanimously to accept the increase during their monthly meeting at the TCSG’s Atlanta office on May 1.

When the increase goes into effect, students at the 24 TCSG colleges will pay $89 per credit hour in a standard program. The average tuition for a full, 15-hour course load in the fall will cost $1,335, plus books and fees.

TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson told the board members that the system has done all that it can to hold down enrollment costs but that operational expenses, including those for cutting-edge technology programs, keep rising.  “Georgia’s technical colleges still offer great value for the students that we serve, and our programs result in high job placement rates for our graduates.  TCSG tuition, even with the increase, remains relatively low compared to other states.  Still, we understand the concerns of that our students and their families may have regarding any additional cost. Our college presidents and their staff are committed to continuing to help their students obtain the financial help that they deserve, including some valuable new assistance from the state,” said Jackson. 

Last year, almost 82,000 of the 151,000 students who enrolled in the TCSG colleges were HOPE recipients, with the vast majority using the HOPE Grant. Even with the latest increase, students who qualify for the HOPE Grant will have about 73% of their tuition funded, leaving them responsible for paying only the smaller portion.  And thousands of TCSG students will benefit from three new types of tuition assistance that Georgia will add this year.

Starting in the fall, the new Zell Miller HOPE Grant will pay 100 percent of tuition for students who enroll in certificate and diploma programs and maintain a 3.5 grade point average or better. It is estimated that the Zell Miller Grant will benefit at least 16,000 TCSG students.

In addition, the state’s FY2015 budget will fund the expansion of Georgia’s Strategic Industries Workforce Development Grant (SIWDG), meaning that TCSG students who enroll in any one of seven high-demand program areas – practical nursing, early childhood care and education, commercial truck driving, welding, healthcare technologies, diesel mechanic and information technology – can use the SIWDG as a supplement to their HOPE Grant.  Combined, the two grants will cover all of the cost of their tuition as well as some of their books and fees.  Over the next year, an estimated 12,000 TCSG students are expected to make good use of the SIWDG. 

Also new this year, TCSG students who need additional financial assistance will be eligible to apply for a one percent loan through the Georgia Student Finance Commission.  Students who graduate with a 3.5 GPA or better will have their loan forgiven.

Many students can also reduce the cost of their TCSG education if they qualify for the federal Pell Grant, which is awarded based on their financial need. Last year, more than 91,000 TCSG students utilized the Pell Grant to help pay for their tuition, books and fees.

About the TCSG: The 24 colleges of the Technical College System of Georgia offer excellent training in more than 600 certificate, diploma and two-year associate degree programs. Students of all ages take advantage of outstanding instructors, hands-on learning and state-of-the-art equipment to gain the skills needed for today’s in-demand jobs. 

In 2013, the TCSG colleges delivered 2.4 million credit hours of instruction to more than 151,000 students. The TCSG is online, too, serving 72,000 students through the system’s Georgia Virtual Technical Connection. 

TCSG students enjoy the benefits of Georgia’s HOPE Grant and Scholarship and the federal Pell Grant, which will pay for a significant portion of a TCSG education. 

The TCSG Office of Adult Education delivered programs to 71,000 adult learners in 2013, including GED preparation and testing services that enabled almost 16,000 men and women to earn their GED credential. 

Last year, the TCSG Quick Start program provided customized workforce training to just over 60,000 employees of new and expanding companies in Georgia.

For more information about the TCSG and links to the 24 TCSG colleges, go towww.tcsg.edu 

 

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