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Saturday August 1st, 2015 7:51AM

NGTC changes show progress for student success

By Staff
CLARKESVILLE - For the last two semesters, enrollment has been on the rise at North Georgia Technical College as residents in the area are taking advantage of changes which are bringing additional programs and more diverse options for taking required classes at the college.<br /> <br /> "We have been working hard on a number of initiatives, and it is really paying off for what we can offer our students," said NGTC President Dr. Gail Thaxton. "As the enrollment numbers came in, I reviewed my files looking for contributing factors. We know there is no one "silver bullet," to improved performance, but my jaw dropped at the number and variety of things we put into place to make a difference. We are approaching student success from many directions, and collectively the strategies pushed us in the right direction."<br /> <br /> Since the beginning of the Fall 2013 semester, the NGTC team has provided additional support to students, reviewed internal procedures, provided students with a variety of means to demonstrate knowledge and skills, offered more flexible schedules and additional course offerings, significantly increased the integration of adjunct faculty into daily operations, developed and executed a retention plan to keep students enrolled and on plan to graduate, added dual enrolled programs at area high schools, and initiated a student mentor program with resident students.<br /> <br /> "For the most part, our changes were internal to the college," Thaxton explained. "But many of the initiatives and ideas implemented reach out into the community as well."<br /> <br /> The college has continued to work with business and industry by organizing an Economic Development Council and in October, the first Economic Development Summit was held. The college achieved recognition as first in the state for performance goals in Adult Education, even as it transitioned to computer-based testing for the GED®. <br /> <br /> "Everything we do is focused on providing our students with the resources they want and need to attain their goals," she said. "We are looking forward to the future and improving our facilities on all three campuses to ensure we are ready for the changes in technology and workforce demand that are on the horizon. The faculty and staff are to be commended for their enthusiasm and diligence. It is a pleasure to work with such an outstanding team."<br /> <br /> Although the numbers as reported by the Technical College System of Georgia have not been finalized, current data reveals North Georgia Tech is second in all Georgia technical colleges for increased enrollment.<br /> <br /> "Our enrollment for spring semester is 2,413 across all three campuses," reports Dr. Mike King, Vice President for Student Affairs. "This is an increase of 159 students, or a 7.1% increase over Spring 2013. Additionally, the difference in comparative FTE totals represents an increase of 6.4% percent over last year."<br /> <br /> FTE (Full Time Equivalent) funding is a method for measuring student enrollment. It is the primary basis for allocating state funds to local technical colleges.<br /> <br /> "Our faculty and staff have worked hard to stay in touch with all of our students, ensuring that the focus is on their ultimate success," said NGTC President Dr. Gail Thaxton. "We have a momentum gaining to push all of our students to persist in their graduation goals. At the same time, we are continuing the focus on progressive academics and new partnerships and together we are building a stronger and more vibrant North Georgia Tech."<br /> <br /> <br />
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