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Enrollment Jumps at Tech Colleges
Monday, 02 November 2009

November 2--  More people are going back to school in Georgia because of job losses.

Officials at Southeastern Technical College in Vidalia say enrollment is up 17 percent to 1,947 students this semester.

Across the state, the increase in technical college enromment is up 24 percent, according to the below news release from state education officials.

"Enrollment in the current fall quarter at the 28 colleges of the Technical College System of Georgia has surged to a new record high with 110,254 students filling the classrooms and labs on the college campuses.

Southeastern Tech has experienced one of its largest enrollment increases in its history.


 “Just like other technical colleges around the state, during tough economic times, the specific training we provide combined with our extremely low cost, causes more people to realize the importance of the education programs offered at STC,” .said Dr. Barry Dotson, Vice President for Student Affairs.  “Also, since we have achieved regional accreditation, we have more students taking core classes with us to transfer to other colleges and universities.  These factors combined continue to make STC one of the fastest growing technical colleges in the state of Georgia.”  

The thousands of new students are a 24% increase over the same time last year when 88,725 students attended classes.  The total also shatters the system’s all-time record enrollment for one quarter, 91,838, which was set in 2003.  

TCSG students will take more than 1.2 million credit hours of instruction in the fall quarter, which is another system record and the first time that the colleges have surpassed a million credit hours.

The huge enrollment increase was fueled in large part by the downturn in the economy as thousands of displaced and under-employed Georgians turned to the technical colleges for training in career fields that are still in demand, like healthcare, computer information systems, and business and office technologies. 

The TCSG colleges are also seeing an increase in the number of students under the age of 21. In fact, a recent report from the Georgia Governor’s Office of Student Achievement found that TCSG colleges ranked among the top 10 most popular post-secondary choices for high school graduates in 165 state school systems, and a technical college education was the top choice in 62 of those school systems.


“These are both important and exciting times for the TCSG. Our enrollment is growing at a record pace because the word is out that a Georgia technical college education is the most direct route to a great job and a long-term career,” said TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson. “If there’s an upside in this down economy, it’s that the state’s technical colleges are helping tens of thousands of Georgians learn highly marketable skills and find their new place in today’s changing workforce.”

TCSG students enjoy the wide availability of more than 600 certificate, diploma and degree programs that, depending on the program, can be completed in between six months and two years. The low annual tuition and fees for the hands-on training and individualized instruction averages just under $2100 for a full year, although more than 80% of TCSG students reduce their costs substantially by using the Georgia HOPE and federal Pell grants."


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