(Northwest Georgia) – Gretchen Corbin, Commissioner for the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), visited and toured the Floyd County Campus of Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) on Monday, Aug. 24, to get a first-hand look at how the college conducts its day-to-day academic routine, dual enrollment offerings, and business and industry partnerships.
Dr. Josephine Reed-Taylor, Chief Academic Officer for the TCSG, and Travis Johnson the newly appointed Assistant Commissioner of Facilities and External Affairs at the TCSG, accompanied Commissioner Corbin on the tour of the Rome campus.
Pete McDonald, President of GNTC, greeted Commissioner Corbin and began the day’s activities by introducing members of his executive leadership team, providing an overview of GNTC, and sharing some statistics and program videos.
After the presentation, McDonald led Commissioner Corbin and her colleagues on a campus tour which included the facilities for Welding and Joining Technology, Machine Tool Technology, Instrumentation and Controls, and Industrial Systems Technology. During the tour, Commissioner Corbin was able to interact with students and instructors to solicit feedback about their college experiences and classroom instructional needs.
Following the tour, the group reconvened to the president’s boardroom for a discussion with business executives which included an overview of the Biz Builders program; an economic development initiative between GNTC and the City of Cedartown. This program prepares small business owners and local entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills to open and operate a business in Cedartown.
McDonald then led Commissioner Corbin and her colleagues across the street to the Floyd County College and Career Academy to show the robotics lab that is part of the dual enrollment program in Robotics and Engineering. Dual enrollment provides high school students with the opportunity to gain college credit while still in high school. For the past two years, GNTC has had the largest number of dual enrollment students out of all of the technical colleges in the state of Georgia according to the 2013 and 2014 End of Year Enrollment Report issued by the TCSG.
The group then proceeded to GNTC’s Woodlee Building, an early 20th century dwelling that was renovated and updated to include a teaching kitchen and refined serving area for the Culinary Arts program. Chef Greg Paulson and his students prepared lunch for the TGSG guests, President McDonald and his executive team, and various members of GNTC’s Board of Directors and Foundation Trustees.
After Lunch, President McDonald and the TCSG group traveled to Ringgold to preview GNTC’s Catoosa County Campus currently under construction. The campus is anticipated to be ready for occupancy by mid-year 2016 and will be GNTC’s sixth campus in the northwest Georgia region.
Commissioner Corbin began her term as the new Commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia in January. She was previously the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. Prior to that she served as the Deputy Commissioner for Global Commerce at the Georgia Department of Economic Development, where she worked in a variety of roles.
Since 1962, Georgia Northwestern Technical College has been instrumental in providing quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. The mission of Georgia Northwestern Technical College is to provide accessible, high quality technical education and workforce development opportunities. Serving the nine counties of Catoosa; Chattooga; Dade; Floyd; Gordon; Murray; Polk; Walker; and Whitfield, GNTC has five convenient campus locations in Floyd, Gordon, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties. With programs of study in business, health, industrial, and public service available, students have the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree, diploma, or a certificate from GNTC. This past year, 14,562 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 8,249 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia and the fifth largest technical college in the state of Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 6,313 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.