Ogeechee Technical College is located in Statesboro, the seat of Bulloch County. Learning centers are located in the college’s two additional service delivery counties, Evans and Screven. During the last decade of the twentieth century, several national industries located facilities in Bulloch County, and manufacturing continues to play a vital role in the area’s economy. The most popular program at Ogeechee Tech in 2005, based on the number of graduates, was nursing. The college is a member of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG).
Groundbreaking for Ogeechee Technical Institute took place in 1988. Under the governance of the newly formed Department of Technical and Adult Education (DTAE), Ogeechee Tech offered its first credit program, practical nursing, in 1989. In the spring of that year, the school began offering adult literacy programs, which continue to be offered in all three of Ogeechee Tech’s service delivery counties. Additional program offerings began in the spring of 1991 with the completion of a 75,000-square-foot facility.
Expansion continued in 1999 with the addition of a health sciences building, a child enrichment center, and a horticulture building. The Screven County Learning Center opened that same year in Sylvania. In 2000, due to legislation (Georgia House Bill 1187) that allowed technical institutes offering associate degrees to become colleges, the school acquired its current name, Ogeechee Technical College. Two years later the college opened the Evans County Learning Center in Claxton.
According to the DTAE’s 2005 annual report, 3,500 students were enrolled in certificate, diploma, or degree programs at Ogeechee Tech. An additional 1,981 students were enrolled in noncredit courses, and 792 students were enrolled in adult literacy programs. Dawn Cartee, the college’s current president, was appointed in 2006.
In 2007 the DTAE created the Technical College System of Georgia, an entity comprising the thirty-four colleges under its administration, and in 2008 the DTAE’s name officially changed to TCSG.
Technical Education and Economic Development Programs
The TCSG, in overseeing the state’s system of thirty-four technical colleges, its economic and workforce development programs, and its adult literacy program, has as its primary objective to create a well-educated, technically trained, and highly competitive workforce to ensure the economic success of the state and its citizens.
As with other technical colleges governed by the TCSG, admission to Ogeechee Tech relies on eligibility and academic criteria: candidates must be at least sixteen years old (older for some programs). Many degree and diploma programs require a high school or General Education Development (GED) diploma prior to admission. Other programs require a high school diploma or GED prior to graduation from Ogeechee Tech. If standards for a certain credit program 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.
In addition to nursing, popular programs at Ogeechee Tech include accounting technology, commercial vehicle operation, early childhood education, and medical/health management. In 2001 the college began a funeral-service education program, the first such program to be offered in a state school in Georgia. Ogeechee Tech exhibited its culinary arts and wildlife and plantation management programs in Atlanta at the 2007 “Taste of the Technical Colleges,” an event that showcases valued programs in technical education.
Ogeechee Tech’s economic development programs include continuing education classes and customized employee training. The college has also partnered with Quick Start, a nationally recognized program that develops training for new and existing industries in Georgia, to provide training for such area businesses as Briggs and Stratton and Global Aluminum Finishing.
Ogeechee Tech also participates in dual enrollment programs with local high schools. High school students eager to get a head start on their careers can attend courses at the college and receive both high school and college credit. Participants can earn a technical certificate of credit and choose to move directly into the job market, to continue their technical education at Ogeechee Tech or another technical college, or to attend a four-year university.