Less money for technical schools in Georgia - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Less money for technical schools in Georgia

February 19, 2007

Albany - Technical colleges in Georgia will get $7 Million less his year for personnel. At some schools that will mean teachers will have to be fired, but at Albany Tech the plan is to refocus on programs that will attract more students and utilize current staff and help the community.

When Elizabeth Deming first came to Albany Tech, she taught a very important class. Typing 80 words a minute herself, she knew the class was important for secretarial and administrative jobs, but then things changed. She says, "Eventually online programs became very important to the college and they gradually pulled me out of the classroom and put me into the distance learning program to build that for the college."

With fewer people enrolled in typing, less money was budgeted for the program. But Deming wasn't in fear of losing her job, it also evolved. She says, "Really the enrollment with that program changed to reflect the changes in the workplace, the kinds of jobs that we're demanded." Now, there are 347 students enrolled online full time. "We expect change," says Deming, "so when things don't happen quite as we think they should, it's not a crisis for us. We're able to bend and move in a different direction quickly."

That's what Albany Tech President Dr. Anthony Parker says the school will do now that Georgia Technical Colleges aren't getting the money they hoped for.  He says, "There is nothing we won't be able to adjust to and put ourselves back into a growth mode."

Actually, Albany Tech was almost there this year, the school had record registration and next quarter they hope for record enrollment. Dr. Parker hopes that when they get there, the state will recognize their hard work. "I'd like to see that when our system is growing again, that there be additional monies to serve additional students."

Students and schools learning to adjust to serve each other and the community. Dr. Parker says Albany Tech grew nine out of the past 11 years and 38 of the last 45. He says the decline in enrollment is only temporary and expects to see bigger numbers next year.

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