Published Sunday, November 04, 2012

New WGTC Coweta Campus designed to encourage 'vibrant student life'


Coweta County's new West Georgia Technical College campus is not only designed to provide students with stateof- the-art classrooms and labs, but also to facilitate student interaction.

A pedestrian walkway – not open to vehicles – will join the two buildings currently under construction at the Coweta Campus, set to open next fall. The common area created between the state building and the Newnan Hospital Allied Healthcare Building will provide students a place to mingle and share their ideas and experiences.

Athletics, honor societies and school leadership opportunities give WGTC students several ways to get involved on each of the college's campuses. Coweta students attending WGTC classes at the Central Educational Center campus in Newnan already hold prestigious positions and have won national awards in Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Beta Lambda, and the Student Leadership Council gives students the opportunity to determine how to utilize funds set aside specifically for student activities.

With that in place, it made sense to design a campus that encourages students to become part of a true college experience, according to WGTC Vice President Dawn Cook.

'We have a very vibrant student community,' Cook said. 'The new campus is designed specifically to meet student needs.'

A $6.5 million state building will house 36,000 square feet of classroom space and the Newnan Hospital Allied Healthcare Building will be home not only to physical therapy and nursing labs but also to a student center and bookstore. WGTC operations at CEC will remain in place with the new Coweta Campus giving Coweta – and surrounding area – students the opportunity and space for more interaction and activities.

In addition, the Allied Healthcare building will contain classroom and office space for Coweta's adult education program, providing a permanent home for GED classes and incorporating those students into college life as well.

'GED students more often than not are viewed as not part of the college culture,' Cook said. 'That's not the case at WGTC. Students are students on our campuses, whether they are in continuing education, GED or credit classes.'

Another unique aspect of the Coweta Campus design is the provision for classroom and office space for economic development.

'This allows business and industry immediate access to skill sets we have available,' Cook said.

In addition, coursework can be customized to fit a specific need.

'One of the responsibilities we have as a technical college is to educate the workforce when an industry wants to expand or make its home in Coweta,' Cook said.

WGTC has seen a rise in enrollment of students who already a possess four or sixyear degrees but who are unor under-employed, according to Cook.

'Things change, people change, so they're coming back to school to get a new skill set and put themselves in much better position to be looked at when they do apply for a job,' she said, adding that the new campus also will have some dual-enrollment students.

That mix sets the tone for a rich college environment.

'I'm really excited about it,' Cook said. 'There will be a little something for everybody. It's a project we've wanted to bring to Coweta County for a long time, and next fall it will become reality.'

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