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Legislators Enjoy 3rd Annual ‘Taste of the Technical Colleges’


Atlanta - The 33 colleges of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), including Okefenokee Technical College, put technical education’s “wow” factor on center stage for more than 400 state legislators and other dignitaries during the third annual Taste of the Technical Colleges. Taste of Technical Colleges

The event was held on January 29 and filled the historic Atlanta Freight Depot across from the State Capitol.  TCSG officials, college presidents, faculty members, college staff and students were on hand to talk to their VIP guests about the new age of technical education in Georgia.

The lawmakers saw program demonstrations from each college, including courses in in-demand fields like heath care, electronics, logistics, digital technology, and more.  The best of technical education was on full display while the guests feasted on food prepared by the chefs and students from the 12 colleges with culinary arts programs.

Okefenokee Technical College featured its Environmental Horticulture program, a diploma program that allows students to specialize horticulture, plant production, or landscape management. The display at the “Taste” event featured landscape design technology.Taste of Technical Colleges

The horticulture field is one of Georgia’s strategic industries, meaning that it is one of the six sectors of Georgia’s economy the Governor is looking toward for economic development. Mark Deal is the Environmental Horticulture instructor for OTC, and graduates of his program have gone on to work as nursery managers, landscape designers, and landscape installers, among other related professions.

Hundreds of people and dozens of legislators stopped by the exhibit and learned more about Okefenokee Tech and its programs. “The event is a great way for us to thank our legislators for their support, promote the college, and request continued support for technical education,” stated OTC President Gail Thaxton.
TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson said the event showcases for legislators the kind of learning opportunities that are attracting more people to the state’s technical colleges.Taste of Technical Colleges

“Last year, our colleges educated more than 140,000 Georgia students and our enrollment is growing,” said Jackson.  “The technical colleges’ exceptional level of training, and the in-demand, high-paying jobs that result, is a big reason why more students than ever are making a state technical college their first choice for a college education.”

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Fast Facts about the Technical College System of Georgia:

  • The annual tuition for a full-time student in the TCSG is only $1,728.

  •  Georgia’s HOPE and the federal Pell grants will pay for most of a TCSG education.

  • 26,891 students graduated from TCSG colleges in 2007 with either technical certificates of credit, diplomas or associate degrees.
  • 41% of TCSG students attend full-time while 59% attend part-time.
  • Of the 27,000 students who graduated from TCSG colleges between July 2006 and July 2007, almost 99% are either employed or continuing their education.



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