CNHI News Service
The State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia has given their approval for TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson to initiate the process of merging Moultrie Technical College (MTC) in Moultrie and Southwest Georgia Technical College (SWGTC) in Thomasville.
The board voted to consolidate the administrations of the two colleges during their monthly meeting at the TCSG headquarters in Atlanta on June 5, 2014.
“Our goal is to make sure that the students at both colleges continue to receive the highest level of training possible so that they can succeed in their chosen careers. This merger will ensure that the consolidated college is financially stronger and provides its students with greater access to a wide array of the very best technical and adult education resources,” said Jackson.
The merger of MTC and SWGTC is expected to be accomplished by July 1, 2015.
SWGTC President Craig Wentworth and MTC Acting President Jim Glass will lead the merger, working with the faculty, staff and student leaders from both colleges to develop and implement a transition plan.
“This merger will provide greater access to services and programs for our students and the communities we serve. By combining the considerable strengths of both SWGTC and MTC, this merger will result in an even stronger and more efficient institution, “commented Dr. Craig Wentworth, SWGTC President.
Moultrie Technical College has two campuses in Moultrie and additional campuses in Tifton, Ashburn and Sylvester. Southwest Georgia Technical College has its main campus in Thomasville and others in Cairo and Camilla. Last year, the two colleges enrolled 5,121 students in credit classes.
The TCSG has used mergers as a way to reduce administrative costs while creating larger, more efficient colleges. In 2009, there were 33 colleges in the system. Since then, 17 have been merged into eight; the system is currently made up of 24 colleges.
On July 1, Altamaha Technical College in Jesup and Okefenokee Technical College in Waycross will join as Coastal Pines Technical College, becoming the eighteenth and nineteenth TCSG colleges to merge.
Once the MTC-SWGTC merger is completed next year, the TCSG will consist of 22 colleges.
As the previous mergers have shown, students at MTC and SWGTC should experience little change in the day-to-day operation of their campuses. They will, however, gain from the benefit of a larger, more regional college that is more efficient financially and makes better use of shared instructional and technical resources among its campuses.
No campuses will be closed, and the colleges’ other programs, including adult education, continuing education, and customized workforce training for business and industry, will continue as before. Duplication of administrative roles could lead to several executive jobs being eliminated through attrition, reassignment, or a reduction in force.
Jackson stated that the input and involvement of the colleges’ local and regional stakeholders, including their boards of directors and foundations, will be essential to steering the merger to a successful completion. “Moultrie Technical College and Southwest Georgia Technical College both have strong boards and foundations as well as great support from the community leaders in the areas that they serve. We value their guidance and support and I will be asking for their assistance at each step in the merger process,” said Jackson.
The boards of directors at MTC and SWGTC will be asked to recommend a new name for the college. They will also work together on a plan for an eventual combined board of directors.
Moultrie Technical College enrolled 2,783 students in credit courses in 2013. It serves Colquitt, Tift, Turner and Worth counties.
Southwest Georgia Technical College enrolled 2,338 students in credit courses in 2013. It serves Grady, Mitchell and Thomas counties.
History of the TCSG mergers to date: On July 1, 2009, Chattahoochee Technical College, North Metro Technical College and Appalachian Technical College merged and became the new Chattahoochee Technical College; West Central Technical College and West Georgia Technical College formed the new West Georgia Technical College; Coosa Valley Technical College and Northwestern Technical College became Georgia Northwestern Technical College; and Southeastern Technical College and Swainsboro Technical College merged into the new Southeastern Technical College.
On July 1, 2010, Griffin Technical College and Flint River Technical College joined as Southern Crescent Technical College; and Valdosta Technical College and East Central Technical College became Wiregrass Georgia Technical College.
On July 1, 2011, Sandersville Technical College and Heart of Georgia Technical College merged and became Oconee Fall Line Technical College.
On July 1, 2013, Central Georgia Technical College and Middle Georgia Technical College merged as the new Central Georgia Technical College.
On July 1, 2014, Altamaha Technical College in Jesup and Okefenokee Technical College in Waycross will join and become Coastal Pines Technical College.
About the TCSG: The 24 colleges of the Technical College System of Georgia offer affordable education and excellent training in more than 600 certificate, diploma and two-year associate degree programs. Students of all ages take advantage of low tuition, 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 85,000 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 72,000 adult learners in 2013, including GED preparation and testing services that enabled almost 16,000 men and women to earn their GED credential.
The TCSG Quick Start program provided customized workforce training to almost 58,000 employees of new and expanding companies in Georgia.
For more information about the TCSG and links to the 24 TCSG colleges, go to HYPERLINK "https://tcsg.edu/../../" www.tcsg.edu