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Technical Colleges Faculty Swap

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

November 18, 2008

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - A new partnership between two South Georgia technical colleges will give students another option when choosing a field of study.

Albany Technical College and Southwest Georgia Technical College in Thomasville are swapping professors.

The program will allow the colleges to offer health care related degrees that would otherwise be unavailable to students.

Sylvester Patterson teaches Bio-Medical Electronics Technology at Albany Technical College...But beginning next quarter ... he'll begin an hour-long commute to Thomasville.

"We want to go down there and recruit hard, and hopefully we can start out with 10-15 students," he says.

The Bio-Medical Technology Program in Albany teaches students about the insulation and maintenance of equipment in hospitals and clinics.

Patterson and Professor Alfred Gillis will travel to Southwest Georgia Technical College three days a week for classes, giving students in Thomasville a new career path in the medical field.

"It's a really good field if you want to be involved in a hospital but don't want to work directly with patients," says Patterson.

In return for these professors and their program Southwest Georgia Technical College is sending one of its own, Tammy Miller, to bring a Respiratory Care Technology Program to Albany.

"It prepares students to work with patients who have cardio pulmonary disorders, chronic lung disease...children with asthma...we work in a lot of areas in the hospital and the home care setting," she says.

And Miller says the need for respiratory care techs is growing.

"The population is aging ... there are more cardiovascular diseases ... more lung diseases," says Miller.

Phoebe Putney in Albany and Archbold Memorial Hospital in Thomasville are both the largest employers for their respective areas. So the new "exchange" will give local students more options in expanding fields.

"I think it's a wonderful opportunity for us to branch out into the community in Southwest Georgia," says Miller.

Entry level salaries for graduates in both fields begin at $30,000 a year.

Albany Tech instructors will hold an informational drop-in meeting about the new program at Southwest Georgia Technical College on December 4th.

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