Marion County Schools and South Georgia Technical College’s partnership to provide greater access to higher education in Buena Vista off to great start
BUENA VISTA, GA – “A great start,” was the way Marion County Schools’ administrator Dr. George Porter described the first registration session held in Buena Vista to encourage individuals from Marion County to enroll in college classes that will be offered in their county beginning in August. A second registration session is planned for Tuesday, June 28th at the former Marion County Middle School at 100 Burkhalter Avenue from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. A special task force of Marion County Schools’ employees, community leaders, and South Georgia Technical College officials met in May at the Marion County Schools Superintendent’s office to discuss ways to provide greater access to college courses and workforce development options to the citizens of Marion County. “We want to offer the citizens of Marion County the opportunity for a better quality of life. By working with South Georgia Technical College we are able to help our citizens obtain the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in today’s work force,” said Marion County Schools Superintendent Richard McCorkle. “I hope the people of Marion County will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Approximately 10 individuals showed up for the initial registration and information session and filled out applications. They also received information from South Georgia Technical College’s mobile registration team about the over 200 different associate degree, diploma, and technical certificates of credit available to students. “Our goal is to remove as many barriers as possible for the citizens of Marion County to get the skills and education needed to find good jobs,” said Superintendent McCorkle, who also serves on the South Georgia Technical College Board of Directors. “It can be very intimidating for some people to even think about enrolling in college. They may want to attend, but they are unsure about what to do next, who to talk with, how to begin, the costs, and how to proceed. All of that can be a barrier for not going to college and gaining the skills needed for the job market of today. We need to do everything we can to eliminate those obstacles.” Superintendent McCorkle talked with South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford about this concept and the two met with officials from Marion County and South Georgia Tech to implement a program that will “provide greater access to higher education and workforce development options for individuals of all ages in Marion County.” Dr. George Porter from the Marion County School System is heading up the initiative. Dr. Porter, Superintendent Richard McCorkle, new Marion County High School Principal Jamie Penoncello, and Sally Hagler from the Superintendent’s office as well as Marion County School Board Vice Chair Virginia Swint joined South Georgia Technical College officials at the initial registration session. “We are very pleased with this initial turnout,” said Dr. Porter. “This is a good start. We know this is a busy time for our citizens. Many of them are out of town on vacation or had other plans tonight but we hope to have this many or more attend the next session on June 28th following the Chamber of Commerce meeting.” The Marion County School System agreed to provide classroom space in the old middle school building at 100 Burkhalter Avenue in Buena Vista for South Georgia Technical College to offer classes to the community. South Georgia Technical College is providing the instructors and also sending a registration team to the community to help individuals apply, enroll, and fill out financial aid forms to begin their journey for careers of a lifetime. South Georgia Tech plans to offer at least two classes for the first session beginning August 15th. One class will help individuals learn the skills needed to get and keep a job as well as skills that will help career advancement. The second class will be an introduction to computers which will provide individuals with the skills needed to be successful in today’s technological society. “We have over 200 different programs of study at South Georgia Technical College,” said SGTC President Watford. “Marion County is one of the six counties in our service area and we want a larger presence in Marion County. We are pleased to be able to partner with Richard McCorkle and the Marion County School System to offer this type of new initiative that will help the residents of Marion County sharpen their workforce skills and earn a technical certificate of credit, diploma, or associate degree in a field that will allow them to provide for themselves and their families. Both of these classes are great first steps in becoming successful in whatever career you choose.” The South Georgia Technical College registration team will be at the 100 Burkhalter Avenue location again on Tuesday, June 28th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. to conduct the same type of registration and information. SGTC President Dr. John Watford will also be the guest speaker at the Marion County Chamber of Commerce meeting on Tuesday, June 28th to talk about this new initiative. “I believe that this is a great opportunity for Marion County and for South Georgia Technical College,” said Superintendent McCorkle. “We are already working together with the Move on When Ready program that allows our high school students to take college classes. I believe this is a great next step to help those individuals who need a GED or have a high school diploma and want more. Anything we can do to help our individuals gain the skills needed to provide for themselves and their families is worth doing.” South Georgia Technical College and Marion County School officials will be working together to promote this new opportunity with individuals in the community. For more information about this project, contact Dr. George Porter at the Marion County Board of Education, 229-649-2234 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Karen Werling at South Georgia Technical College at 229-931-2902 or email@example.com.
equipment and diesel engines. The scholarship and related work cycles is worth over $27,000.