In July 2015 Moultrie Technical College and Southwest Georgia Technical College consolidated operations to form a new institution called Southern Regional Technical College (SRTC). The merger was one of several 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 former Southwest Georgia Tech’s main campus in Thomasville operates as the administrative campus for SRTC.
Craig Wentworth, former president of Southwest Georgia Tech, was named president of the new college. Jim Glass, the former acting president of Moultrie Tech, was named provost.
In addition to SRTC’s administrative campus in Thomasville, the college continues to operate the seven other campuses that existed before the merger. Two of the campuses are in Moultrie, and the remaining five are in Ashburn, Cairo, Camilla, Sylvester, and Tifton.
As with other technical colleges governed by the TCSG, admission to SRTC relies on eligibility and academic criteria: candidates must be at least sixteen years old (unless enrolling in a duel enrollment program). A high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) diploma is required for entry into most other programs. Among the available programs at SRTC, students can earn a traditional diploma; an associate degree, an expanded program of study that facilitates career mobility and continuing education at the baccalaureate level; or a technical certificate of credit, a short-term targeted program that prepares students for specific jobs.
History of Moultrie Technical College
The school began as Moultrie Area Technical-Vocational School, which opened in Moultrie in 1964 under the directorship of W. W. Hobbs. The school offered five programs of study to forty students. By the late 1960s program offerings had increased, and full-time enrollment was 280 students. In the late 1970s the school offered its first adult education classes and completed a $210 million expansion. Under the directorship of Jack Gay, Moultrie Tech converted from local to state governance and became part of the newly formed Department of Technical and Adult Education (DTAE; later TCSG) in 1988. Mike Moye succeeded Gay as president of the school in 1994.
In 2000, due to legislation (Georgia House Bill 1187) that allowed technical institutes offering associate degrees to become colleges, the school changed its name to Moultrie Technical College. That same year the college began the $14 million construction of a second campus. The original campus facility received a major renovation in 2005. In 2001 Turner County was added to the school’s service area, and in 2004 a 60,000-square-foot facility brought Moultrie Tech to Tifton.
In 2011 Moultrie Tech made the change from the quarter calendar system to the semester calendar. Two years later, the college received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
In 2003 Tina Anderson was appointed as president, and she served Moultrie Tech until 2013, the year the college received its accreditation. After Anderson’s departure, Jim Glass became acting president until 2015, when Moultrie Tech merged with Southwest Georgia Tech to form SGTC. In 2013 Moultrie Tech enrolled more than 2,700 students in accredited courses.
History of Southwest Georgia Technical College
Southwest Georgia Tech’s origins date back to 1947, when the Thomas County Vocational School opened. The school catered primarily to soldiers seeking an education upon their return from service in World War II (1941-45). Among the first programs offered were auto mechanics, construction, electrical wiring, machine shop and welding, and sheet metal fabrication. A new facility for the school was built in 1952 in Thomasville. In 1963 segregation laws forced the opening of a second facility in Thomasville. The two schools were combined in 1965 to form an institution known as the Thomas Area Technical School.
The Thomas Area Technical School continued to expand in the 1970s, first with the completion of the Paul G. Sewell Vocational Center, named after the school’s first director. Alton Salter became director in 1975 after Sewell’s retirement. At that time, the school offered nineteen programs of study, and more than 900 students were enrolled. Charles R. DeMott became director in 1979 and served the college until 2000. In 1987 the school transferred from local to state governance and was renamed Thomas Technical Institute. DeMott was named president of the institute when it came under the DTAE in 1988, and the school began offering adult literacy classes the following year.
In 1994 Thomas Tech broke ground on a new allied health facility, which opened in 1997. The school gained accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges that same year. The Sewell building was renovated and became the library/media services center in 1998, and the Mitchell County campus in Camilla opened in 1999.
With the passage of Georgia House Bill 1187, Thomas Tech acquired the name Southwest Georgia Technical College in 2000. Freida Hill was appointed president of the college that same year. In 2003 Southwest Georgia Tech received approval from the Georgia Board of Nursing to offer an associate degree program in nursing, making it one of only four technical colleges in the state and the only technical college in south Georgia to offer the degree.
In 2006 Glenn Deibert was appointed president of Southwest Georgia Tech. He served until 2010, when Craig Wentworth took over. Wentworth remained president until the college’s merger with Moultrie Tech in 2015. In 2013 Southwest Georgia Tech had around 2,300 students enrolled in its accredited courses.