SGTC, John Deere Host Second Annual Open House Event
High school students from across the Southeastern region of the country visited South Georgia Technical College recently to find out more about the college’s John Deere Agricultural Technology program during an open house event. The event was held in SGTC’s John Deere Ag Technology labs and classrooms and featured breakout sessions where prospective students, their parents and John Deere officials could learn more about the college and the program.
The event was sponsored by South Georgia Technical College and John Deere. John Deere officials and dealers invited prospective students and their parents as well as high school guidance counselors, and agriculture teachers from their service areas to attend the open house. Officials from John Deere’s corporate team and South Georgia Technical College met with the prospective students to outline the program, discuss admissions and financial aid procedures and demonstrate what students would be exposed to during the five semester program which results in an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Agricultural Technology.
South Georgia Technical College Special Assistant to the President Don Smith, SGTC Admissions Director Whitney Crisp and John Deere Division Customer Support Manager Bob Cunningham welcomed the approximately 80 attendees and students to the Open House at South Georgia Tech – 10 more than the previous year. SGTC President Dr. John Watford was traveling with the Lady Jets basketball team during their recent run at the NJCAA National Championship title and could not attend the event.
Following the welcome, the attendees were divided into different groups for sessions about financial aid, admission to the program, student life, and general information about the John Deere Ag Tech program. There was also an open question-and-answer session.
South Georgia Tech’s students, who are currently enrolled in the Agricultural Technology program, provided demonstrations in the John Deere labs and classes to show individuals the types of activities that they are involved in learning on a daily basis.
“Today’s event went very well with a large number of attendees having never been here before to see our program in action,” John Deere instructor Matthew Burks said. “Seeing this program in action Is the best way to promote it so the student can see exactly where they will be in the shop and in the class and get a feel of what they will be studying and learning while they are here as well.”
To enroll in this program, students must be sponsored by a John Deere Dealer. The students spend eight weeks on campus in classrooms and labs learning specific objectives, then work with a dealer for eight weeks to put their knowledge to work in a dealer setting. The students return to the college for another eight weeks and repeat the pattern during the five semester program. Students can earn a two-year associate of applied science degree in Agricultural Technology while partnering with John Deere agriculture and turf equipment dealers across the Southeastern portion of the United States for a career as a John Deere technician.
Studies indicate that there is a critical shortage of technicians in this field and the John Deere TECH partnership helps satisfy this need. Students will graduate out of the John Deere TECH program having a detailed understanding of John Deere equipment and bring John Deere certifications in electrical, hydraulic and Service ADVISOR™ with them to the dealership.
Students in the South Georgia Technical College Agricultural Technology program are enrolled in general education courses, but students also train and become John Deere certified in Electrical and Hydraulic systems as well as John Deere’s computer based diagnostic tool, Service ADVISOR™. Students utilize John Deere equipment, training components, and computer diagnostic tools to understand what makes equipment run. Students will also spend time understanding engines, drive trains, and product applications for a variety of agriculture and turf machinery.
The instructors for the program at SGTC are Matthew Burks and Wayne Peck. For more information about the Agricultural Technology program, visit www.southgatech.edu, or call 229.931.2394 or 229.931.2401.