The following information was released by the Technical College System of Georgia:
The State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia has given their approval for TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson to initiate the process of merging Moultrie Technical College (MTC) in Moultrie and Southwest Georgia Technical College (SWGTC) in Thomasville.
The board voted to consolidate the administrations of the two colleges during their monthly meeting at the TCSG headquarters in Atlanta on June 5, 2014. "Our goal is to make sure that the students at both colleges continue to receive the highest level of training possible so that they can succeed in their chosen careers. This merger will ensure that the consolidated college is financially stronger and provides its students with greater access to a wide array of the very best technical and adult education resources," said Jackson.
The merger of MTC and SWGTC is expected to be accomplished by July 1, 2015.
MTC Acting President Jim Glass and SWGTC President Craig Wentworth will lead the merger, working with the faculty, staff and student leaders from both colleges to develop and implement a transition plan. In an email statement to the Moultrie Tech faculty and staff immediately following the State Board's vote to merge the two colleges today, Glass said, "This is a new day for us, and I trust that you will join me in recognizing the positive impact the merger will have on the students in our new seven-county service delivery area."
Glass added, "There will be some exciting times in the coming year, but you have proven time and again that you are up to any challenge that comes your way. I appreciate all of you for that, and I look forward to working with you in this new endeavor." Moultrie Technical College has two campuses in Moultrie and an additional campus in Tifton with Adult Education-GED test preparation class centers in both Ashburn and Sylvester. Southwest Georgia Technical College has its main campus in Thomasville and others in Cairo and Camilla. Last year, the two colleges enrolled a total of 5,121 students in credit classes.
The TCSG has used mergers as a way to reduce administrative costs while creating larger, more efficient colleges. In 2009, there were 33 colleges in the system. Since then, 17 have been merged into eight; the system is currently made up of 24 colleges.
On July 1, Altamaha Technical College in Jesup and Okefenokee Technical College in Waycross will join as Coastal Pines Technical College, becoming the eighteenth and nineteenth TCSG colleges to merge. Once the MTC-SWGTC merger is completed next year, the TCSG will consist of 22 colleges.
As the previous mergers have shown, students at MTC and SWGTC should experience little change in the day-to-day operation of their campuses. They will, however, gain from the benefit of a larger, more regional college that is more efficient financially and makes better use of shared instructional and technical resources among its campuses.
No campuses will be closed, and the colleges' other programs, including adult education, continuing education, and customized workforce training for business and industry, will continue as before. Duplication of administrative roles could lead to several executive jobs being eliminated through attrition, reassignment, or a reduction in force. Jackson stated that the input and involvement of the colleges' local and regional stakeholders, including their boards of directors and foundations, will be essential to steering the merger to a successful completion. "Moultrie Technical College and Southwest Georgia Technical College both have strong boards and foundations as well as great support from the community leaders in the areas that they serve. We value their guidance and support and I will be asking for their assistance at each step in the merger process," said Jackson.
The boards of directors at MTC and SWGTC will be asked to recommend a new name for the college. They will also work together on a plan for an eventual combined board of directors.
Moultrie Technical College enrolled 2,783 students in credit courses in 2013. It serves Colquitt, Tift, Turner and Worth counties.
Southwest Georgia Technical College enrolled 2,338 students in credit courses in 2013. It serves Grady, Mitchell and Thomas counties.