Central Georgia Technical College
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In July 2013 Central Georgia Technical College and Middle Georgia Technical College consolidated operations to form a new institution called Central Georgia Technical College. The merger was one of several between 2009 and 2013 designed to reduce administrative costs and improve student access to programs within the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). The mergers integrated the colleges' administrations and their local boards of directors, with all campus locations remaining open. The main campus of one college within each merger was designated as the administrative campus, serving as the home of the president's office.
Ivan H. Allen, the former president of Middle Georgia Technical College, was named president of the new college. Jeff Scruggs, the former acting president of Middle Georgia Tech, was named executive vice president.
The administrative campus of Central Georgia Tech is located in Warner Robins, the home of Robins Air Force Base in Houston County. The college also operates the Macon campus in Macon, Crawford County Center in Roberts, Houston County Career and Technology Center in Warner Robins, Jones County Center in Gray, Milledgeville Campus in Milledgeville, Putnam County Center in Eatonton, Sam Way Sr. Learning Center in Hawkinsville, and Twiggs County Center in Jeffersonville. Central Georgia Tech's service delivery area includes Baldwin, Bibb, Crawford, Dooly, Houston, Jones, Monroe, Peach, Pulaski, Putnam, and Twiggs counties.
As with other technical colleges governed by the TCSG, admission to Central Georgia Tech relies on eligibility and academic criteria: candidates must be at least sixteen years old (older for some programs). A high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) diploma is required for entry into most programs, except designated diploma and certificate programs. Most diploma and certificate programs require a high school diploma or GED prior to graduation from Central Georgia Tech. Once all requirements are met, students can earn an associate degree, an expanded program of study that facilitates career mobility and continuing education at the baccalaureate level; a traditional diploma; or a technical certificate of credit, a short-term targeted program that prepares students for specific jobs.
Central Georgia Tech's origins date back to 1966, when the Macon Area Vocational-Technical School, operating under the leadership of Ben C. Brewton and under the governance of the Bibb County Board of Education, accepted its first students. The school relocated to its current, larger site in 1978, and its name was changed to Macon Technical Institute in 1987.
In 1989 Macon Tech became part of the newly formed Department of Technical and Adult Education (DTAE; later TCSG), and Melton Palmer became president. Palmer is credited with increasing the school's enrollment from less than 1,000 in 1989 to more than 6,000 in 2006 and with overseeing the school's overall expansion. During the 1990s the school expanded both its programs and its facilities: in 1990 it assumed governance of the Baldwin County Adult Center in Milledgeville; in 1991 the Aircraft Structural Technology program moved to the main campus; in 1993 the school offered its first associate degree program; in 1997 the Milledgeville satellite campus opened; and in 1998 it began the first Cisco Networking Academy program in the state of Georgia.
In 2000, due to legislation (Georgia House Bill 1187) that allowed technical institutes offering associate degrees to be called colleges, Macon Tech became Central Georgia Technical College to better reflect its seven-county service area. Expansion continued with the opening of the Putnam County Center in 2002 and the Crawford County Center in 2004. The main campus's College Center, home to the School of Arts and Science and the library, also opened in 2004. Palmer retired in August 2006, and Ronald D. Natale became the college's second president in February 2007. Natale was succeeded by Michael D. Moye in February 2010.
Central Georgia Tech's response to local and national industry needs was partly responsible for the popularity and success of its degree, diploma, and technical certificate programs. Based on the number of graduates, two of its most popular programs in 2005 were automobile/automotive mechanics technology and medical/clinical assistant. With support from the automotive industry, Central Georgia Tech was able to produce certified automotive technicians to fill the high demand for mechanics. In 2001 Bridgestone/Firestone donated money to fund scholarships for the program, and General Motors has donated numerous vehicles.
Medical Center of Central Georgia, one of the largest employers in Bibb County, provides financial support for Central Georgia Tech's orthopedic technology program, the Southeast's first nationally recognized orthopedic tech program and the first program of its kind in the state of Georgia. In response to a Georgia Heart Center expansion, Central Georgia Tech, with financial support from the heart center, implemented a cardiovascular technology program.
Additional partnerships forged with local industry include agreements through Quick Start, a nationally recognized program that develops training for new and existing industries in Georgia. In the late 1990s Quick Start's Certified Customer Service Specialist program helped provide a skilled workforce for insurance company GEICO's Macon location. The GEICO partnership with Central Georgia Tech developed into one of the longest running Quick Start training programs in the state. Bass Pro Shops, based in Springfield, Missouri, used Quick Start, with the help of Central Georgia Tech, to train about 400 employees for a new distribution center and retail store that opened in 2006 in north Bibb County. Also in 2006, the German textile company Freudenberg Texbond announced a $10 million expansion to its Macon-area plant. Quick Start and Central Georgia Tech partnered with the company to hire and train new workers.
In spring 2013 Central Georgia Tech's total enrollment was 4,028.
Middle Georgia Tech's origins date back to 1973, when the Houston Vocational Center was established in Warner Robins under the directorship of William Lambert. The first classes were held in the winter of 1974. Neal Rumble succeeded Lambert as director in 1984. In 1985, when the school's service delivery area was expanded to include Dooly, Peach, and Pulaski counties, it became known as Houston Area Vocational Center. In 1986 the school converted from local to state governance and in 1987 was renamed Middle Georgia Technical Institute. Billy G. Edenfield became president of the school in 1989.
In 1998 Middle Georgia Tech relocated to an eighty-three-acre campus in Warner Robins. In 2000 the school's name changed to Middle Georgia Technical College, and in 2005 Ivan H. Allen was appointed president. He was succeeded by acting president Jeff Scruggs.
Middle Georgia Tech offered programs of study in business and technology, health care and human services, and industrial technology. In 2006 Middle Georgia Tech's automotive program received certification from the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. In early 2007 Middle Georgia Tech partnered with Quick Start and Richmond Cold Storage, which operates the Perdue Farms poultry distribution center in Perry, to provide training for company employees. That same year Middle Georgia Tech received a $20,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation for the college's health literacy program, and the Sam Way Sr. Learning Center in Hawkinsville opened its doors.
In spring 2013 Middle Georgia Tech's total enrollment was 3,636.