Technical Colleges Try New Technique
1/25/2010 - “I wasn’t going to be able to teach at North Georgia Technical College this quarter because of the conflicts,” said Lee Arrendale State Prison Warden Tony Howerton. “Then we started looking at technology possibilities and we realized it could be done.”
Howerton is an adjunct instructor for NGTC teaching classes in the Criminal Justice program such as Juvenile Justice, Criminal Procedures, and Corrections. Completing his Masters in Public Administration from Columbus State University required him to be out of town for the first few weeks of January. Being diligent in his responsibilities to his students, the problem of maintaining a class schedule required some real out-of-the-box thinking.
“It was Tony’s idea,” said Dean of Academic Affairs Dan Pressley. “But once we got Alan Young involved, things fell into place very quickly.”
Young, who oversees the Distance Learning Lab (DLC) on NGTC’s Clarkesville Campus quickly got in touch with Chris Graves, Audio Visual Specialist at Columbus Technical College. “They were both the most cordial people I have ever dealt with – just outstanding,” said Howerton. “Once those two got connected, everything worked out smoothly.”
“A very successful connection was made with the North Georgia Tech campus using the Tandberg system with absolutely no changes and modification to our present system,” said a pleased Graves. “I was glad to support it.”
“Columbus Technical College deserves the credit,” said Pressley. “It was a wonderful collaboration experience, and now that we know it can work, we’ll be able to make use of this tool in the future.”
The DLC lab broadcasts audio and video from one campus to another, allowing students to cut down on commute times for niche classes that are offered only a few times a year. Across the miles, the instructor is able to communicate with students in real-time via high-speed fiberoptic connections. “All of the classes I’ve ever taught for NGTC have been in the DLC lab,” said Howerton. “But this is the first time I’ve done it without any students in the same room with me.”
Many of the Technical Colleges in Georgia have this venue for delivering education between their own campuses, but this may be the first time that it has been used between colleges for credit classes. “It is really exciting to see TCSG schools share teaching resources over a wide geographic area by means of technology,” asserted NGTC President Steve Dougherty.
For more information on programs of study at NGTC, please contact 706-754-7700 or visit the website at www.northgatech.edu.
Tasha Horne admires Nellaree Ellison's "dirt
ribbon" while Dinah Harrison is ready to shake the dust
off her fingers!
Students Test Soil for Rain Garden Project
With the help of the Soque River Watershed Association, the
North Georgia Technical College Rotaract Club is continuing the
process of creating a Rain Garden on the Clarkesville Campus.
turned out to be a perfect day for taking samples of the soil
where the rain garden will be planted.
There are two main factors for
determining the size of a rain garden – how much water is
collected and how fast it can infiltrate into the soil.
In December the students calculated
that the rainfall that will be collected from the rooftop will
accumulate at a rate of 800 gallons for every one inch of rain.
To determine how fast the water will
infiltrate through the garden, Soque Watershed Coordinator and
NGTC Instructor Duncan Hughes explained the process of hand
texturing the soil to determine sand, silt, and clay content. A
simple process reminiscent of the perk test for septic tanks,
this quick and easy analysis indicates water filtration and
treatment as it flows through the garden.
Pushing the hollow tube
to a depth of approximately 10 inches, the students felt
satisfied with their assessment that the soil falls into the
“clay-loam” textural class.
The more sand, the smaller the
garden as water will infiltrate more rapidly; the more clay, the
larger the garden.
The soil for this rain garden site
appears to be of medium texture, which provides a good balance
between infiltration and treatment.
With this information,
Duncan will begin working on the mechanical logistics of getting
the water from the downspouts into the garden area.
At the same time, the Rotaract Club
members will be working on the garden design.
A Rain Garden is simply
a garden designed to redirect rainwater to low depressions where
it can be filtered and absorbed back into the earth.
Redirecting stormwater runoff into
these wet gardens protects streams from scouring flows and
pollutants while accentuating the beauty and cleansing power of
For more information on
creating rain gardens or a list of locally available resources,
contact the Soque River Watershed Association at 706-754-9382 or
Skills USA Region Championship
On January 28, North Georgia Technical College will
play host to nearly 200 SkillsUSA contestants from High Schools
across the Northeast Georgia area.
SkillsUSA Region 2
includes counties from Union to Greene and from Forsyth to Hart.
In all, 23 counties will send their
students to NGTC for a day of competition in 33 technical fields
such as Architecture, Cosmetology, Industrial Trades, and
Esthetics which is new this year.
SkillsUSA is a national
career and technical student organization and each year a series
of over 100 competitions allow students to test their skills.
This region event in January is for
High School students only; college level competitions follow
later in the Spring.
The theme for this year
is “Champions at Work:
Connecting the Opportunities.”
The idea relates to the national
program of work and how SkillsUSA fosters personal and
professional development, to prepare students for the next phase
of their lives.
In support of this
extraordinary opportunity for students to excel, many local
businesses have contributed contest supplies and awards.
“The kids are always so thrilled
with these awards,” says David Stover, NGTC Heating and Air
Instructor, “It means so much to them to be recognized by local
Stover is the NGTC team leader for
the Region 2 SkillsUSA contest.
The January 28 event will begin at 9:00 AM and will end with an
awards ceremony at 2:00 PM in the NGTC Clegg Auditorium.
The public is welcome to attend;
however, interactions with contestants during judging is
Participation Jumps at NGTC’s Adult
1/19/2010 - “Every day we get new students
walking through the door,” exclaimed Carolyn Simons.
Simons, who recently joined the faculty of North Georgia
Technical College, is the instructor for the Rabun County
Learning Center. She
joins parapro Retia Holcomb and Legacy Link volunteer Lucille
Hopkins in welcoming all who are interested in pursuing their
Individuals who have not received a high school diploma or its
equivalent have a low-cost opportunity to earn one.
When you earn a diploma
credential, you have also earned the opportunity to find a
stable job with a good
income. According to the
U.S. Department of Labor, a person with a high school diploma or
credential will earn $7,658 more annually than a non-high school
Last fall, the college rolled out the MySkills program, a
platform for online self-study tutoring.
“Students are really taking advantage of the flexibility
of self-paced studying,” notes Dr. Barbara Melichar, NGTC’s
“They have literally logged in thousands of hours.”
Students participating in
the online program are required to log into the program for a
minimum of ten (10) hours a week to remain eligible for online
study. After each 60 hours of online time, students return to
the classroom to be assessed so the teacher can determine when
they are ready to take the GED® Exam.
“The online program has been a great help to the
community,” Melichar asserts.
For those considering going back to school to work towards a GED®
are encouraged to make the first step and stop in to their local
center. “We’re very
gentle,” smiled Simons.
“We would love to meet you and spend one-on-one time with
you to help you achieve your goals.
training is available to all Georgia residents free of charge.
While earning a
credential cannot solve ALL of life's problems, it can be a step
in the right direction. Many adult education students testify
that obtaining a GED®
has helped them qualify for advanced training, obtain a better
job, and provide better support for their children's educational
development. The GED®
credential can be an open door to a
Carolyn Simons lives in
Toccoa with her husband Nick.
Nick’s father, David, is also an
instructor at NGTC in the Drafting Technology program on the
For more information on
Adult Education programs of study at NGTC, please contact
706-754-7717 or visit the website at
Accommodated by Flexible Scheduling
The trending rise in student population at North Georgia
Technical College continues with another record enrollment for
Once again the growth rate is in the double
digits with early results showing a 23% increase over 2009
Winter Quarter numbers.
“This exceeded our expectations and our admissions and
financial aid staff are to be commended for the extra effort
they put in during December,” said Vice President of Student
Affairs Dr. Mike King.
A new policy for the application timeline required new
students to complete their initial paperwork by the first of
“Classroom space is at a premium here on
campus,” noted Vice President of Academic Affairs Vicki Nichols.
“I am very pleased with the way our faculty and staff
have met this challenge head-on with a variety of scheduling
changes that allow more flexibility for all students.”
Block scheduling has been implemented for
many courses, allowing students to streamline their campus
presence to two days a week.
In addition, several more afternoon and evening offerings
have been added, especially for those “core” courses often
considered for transferring to other institutions.
NGTC’s courses are offered in a wide variety
of venues ranging from traditional classroom to those that make
use of advancing technology.
With nine distance learning class arrangements, up to 60
classes a week can be broadcast to multiple campuses.
Many instructors also make use of internet technology for
web-assisted, online, and hybrid classes.
For web assisted and hybrid classes, a combination of
classroom time and online resources provide expanded
opportunities for learning.
“We’re staying ahead of the curve on
facilities requirements,” said President Steve Dougherty.
“Projects are already underway for creating more
classrooms and augmenting our information technology to support
future growth. I
continue to remain adamant that our residents here in Northeast
Georgia will have every opportunity to engage in higher
For more information on programs of study at
NGTC, please contact 706-754-7700 or visit the website at
Governor visits NGTC’s Blairsville Campus
1/7/2010 - It was a busy day
at the Blairsville Campus of North Georgia Technical College on
Tuesday, January 5, 2010.
With another record enrollment taking shape, new students
filled the halls during the final day for registration while the
college also played host to Governor Sonny Perdue who stopped in
for a tour.
“North Georgia Technical College
and our other technical colleges play an integral role in
created a prosperous and educated state,” said Governor Perdue.
“I was happy to see so many students enrolling in classes to
improve themselves and prepare for a recovering economy.”
Governor Perdue enjoyed a warm welcome from
faculty and staff as well as a cadre of local dignitaries
including Blairsville Mayor Jim Conley, Union County Sherriff
Scott Stevens, Blairsville-Union Chamber President Cindy
Williams, and Parks and Rec Director Larry Garrett.
NGTC Alumni officers Gail Brehm, Lesa Byrd, Diana
Arrowood, and Bradley Thomas joined the gathering along with
Emily Dunn of the NGTC Board of Directors.
Representative Stephen Allison, who had invited the
Governor to visit the college while he was in the area for
another meeting, was also present.
“We were proud to have the
governor visit our beautiful campus,” said Dougherty.
“He sees the importance of job training and has been a
big supporter of Georgia’s technical colleges. He’s helped us
through a very difficult year facing the state budget crisis.”
Culpepper introduced the range of programs of
study available including Allied Health, Cosmetology, Computer
Information Services, Emergency Medical Training and many more.
Guided by NGTC President Steve Dougherty and
Branch Campus Director Larry Culpepper, Governor Perdue admired
the facilities and took time to chat with students in line to
get books. Classrooms,
labs, and resource areas such as the up-to-date Distance
Learning Center and the campus library were highlights of the
afternoon. Delighted with
the variety of the equipment on hand, Perdue was quick to feign
CPR on a lab dummy and to tease Cosmetology Instructor JoJo
Grant about his coiffure.
For more information on programs
of study at NGTC, please contact 706-754-7700 or visit the
1/7/2010 - Several faculty
and staff at North Georgia Technical College recently received
awards for years of service.
The Faithful Service Award symbolizes the dedication and
hard work these employees have performed for the institution.
In all, 16 awards for five years of service
were given while 20 awards for ten years of service were given.
Three employees were recognized for twenty
years of service:
Michael Strader, Daniel Gregg, and Joel Gragg.
Darline Church, herself a graduate of NGTC,
received an award for 25 years of service.
Darline is the Procurement Officer for the college.
Fred Stewart, Food Services Manager, also
received an award for 25 years of service.
Mr. Stewart manages the Ramsey-Hunter Dining Hall on the
“We commend these dedicated employees for
their faithfulness and it is our hope that they will continue to
work toward meeting the challenges of our organization,” said
president Steve Dougherty.