MILLEDGEVILLE — Two local schools solidified a partnership Tuesday geared at creating new opportunities and flexibility for area students to reap post-secondary rewards.
Officials from Central Georgia Technical College and Georgia College signed off on a formal agreement to explore new avenues for students to transition from one school to the other more seamlessly as they pursue their education.
CGTC President Dr. Ivan Allen and GC President Dr. Steve Dorman were joined on the local CGTC campus by Ron Jackson, Technical College System of Georgia commissioner, in making the announcement.
Jackson said the local agreement and similar plans across the state are offshoots of Gov. Nathan Deal’s ambitious directive to add 250,000 additional college graduates over current levels to Georgia’s population by 2020. To see the governor’s goal come to fruition, Georgia schools must streamline the process and move students through higher education systems more quickly, he said.
Without decreasing the educational value, simply put, students must have increased opportunities to get more bang for their buck.
Said Jackson: “We have to make sure that students get out of college quicker. It doesn’t matter where [students] start or where they go … it’s the right thing to do for students.”
And as the students benefit, so too does the state’s economic development outlook.
“We are such a critical player in economic development,” he said of the technical college system, adding that in order to lure business and industry local communities must demonstrate they have the workforce chops to retain employees that are the right fit.
He said of Deal’s plan to bolster college graduate numbers: “It’s a heavy lift and everybody’s got to pull the boat in the same direction.”
Hank Griffith, CGTC vice president of satellite operations, said the three local colleges present unique opportunities for such development.