Schools expand articulation agreements

by W. Winston Skinner


Steve Daniel, left, new president of West Georgia Technical College, talks with Tony Sinclair, president of Coweta-Fayette EMC, after Friday’s Rotary meeting. 

The two-year associates degree in business from West Georgia Technical College will soon transfer directly to the University of West Georgia for students who want to earn a four-year degree.

Steve Daniel, the new WGTC president, announced plans for the articulation agreement at Friday’s meeting of the Newnan Rotary Club. Daniel said he and Dr. Kyle Marrero, UWG president, plan to sign an articulation agreement regarding the courses next week.

Cathy Wright, director of UWG’s Newnan campus, said the business agreement will bring to three the number of programs where a WGTC associates degree will automatically transfer toward a four-year degree at UWG. The other two programs are nursing and criminology.

Daniel, who has been president of the technical school for about two months, spoke to local Rotarians at their luncheon meeting at Newnan Country Club. He said the articulation agreement fits in with statewide goals to increase the number of college graduates.

He also said 27 core classes at WGTC will transfer directly to University System schools.

“We’ve got to have more graduates with something beyond high school when they go into the workplace. The jobs that are out there are more technical in nature, more complex,” Daniel said.

The type of job many entry level workers got years ago, requiring few skills, is now done by people in other countries or through technology. “They’re gone,” Daniel said.

During his first week at WGTC, Daniel was invited – along with the other technical college and University System presidents – by Gov. Nathan Deal to a meeting about Complete College Georgia. The governor’s initiative is “about expanding the number of graduates coming through our system,” Daniel said, and has a goal of having 250,000 more graduates by 2020.

“The only way we will achieve that is through these types of partnerships,” he said, referring to the UWG-WGTC connection. He said dual enrollment for high school students could also be a key – programs where students earn a credential that can “cascade them on into something in higher education.”

Daniel also talked about the Go Back Move Ahead statewide initiative. He said billboards for the program will soon be seen across the state. The goal is “to encourage those people who have partial credits to go back and earn that degree or that diploma,” Daniel said.

Daniel spoke about the importance of technical schools being responsive to changing needs of business and industry. “I definitely want to see us keep that at the forefront,” he said.

WGTC was created through a merger of two regional technical schools. The school is still dealing with “all the growing pains or effects that are left over from that merger,” he said.

Daniel pledged an increased emphasis on professional development. “The college had not been focused on that to any great degree,” he said. “We’ve worked hard with our staff to instill in them the fact that we value them and we’re going to invest in them.”

There were 800 students at WGTC’s Coweta campus during spring semester. Throughout all of WGTC’s sites there were 1,309 Coweta students. Cowetans make up the third largest contingent of students at the school – following Carroll and Douglas residents.

WGTC’s largest program is allied health care, followed by business. Daniel would like to see industrial technology, now fourth or fifth, enroll more students. Prepared industrial workers are “a big focus in every community” in terms of recruiting new industries, he noted.

Daniel also focused on the importance of local support for the school. Without it, “we’re never going to survive,” he said. “We’re never going to thrive. We’re never going to be where we need to be.”

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