South Georgia Tech Aviation Graduate Returns to Campus After 30 Years
The memories flooded back to Scott Schneider when he recently returned to the South Georgia Technical College campus for the first time in 30 years. As he marveled at the changes to the facilities over the past three decades, he also found much that was familiar.
When Schneider first came from Tampa, FL to Americus in 1988, the school was known as South Georgia Technical Institute. After serving six years of active duty in the United States Air Force, Schneider sought to earn his Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certificates, an achievement that would enable him to work as an aviation mechanic. Schneider completed the program and graduated in May of 1990. In 1993, he returned to South Georgia Tech to take the commercial truck driving course.
Once he had earned his A&P certificates, Schneider worked for several companies, eventually settling in at Robins Air Force Base where he stayed for 25 years until he retired in 2017.
Thirty years after last departing Americus, Schneider returned to the campus of what is now South Georgia Technical College and was blown away by the advancements in the technology and the facilities. Yet for all the newness, there were still reminders of his time as a student. He recalled learning his trade on several aircraft that are still used for instruction today. He recognized the Stearman biplane that has been part of the program since the college’s creation in 1948. He also remembered working on the iconic World War II-era Navy Lockheed P2V-7 Neptune airplane that now adorns the front lawn of the campus.
While touring SGTC’s Griffin B. Bell Aerospace Technology Center, Schneider had the opportunity to speak with current instructor Paul Pearson who also studied at South Georgia Tech in the 1980s. The two men reminisced about past teachers and discussed the changes – and similarities – from Schneider’s time in the program.
What started as a quick business trip to campus for Schneider turned into an occasion to look back and reflect on the value of his education and how he came to South Georgia Tech in the first place.
As he looked at options for attaining his A&P certificates after his Air Force service, Schneider knew South Georgia Tech was a place where he would receive quality training. “This school was well-known for the caliber of people to be hired – in aviation and the truck driving class,” he said.
Another factor that worked heavily in favor of South Georgia Tech was the availability of on-campus housing, a feature still offered by only two technical colleges in Georgia. “I had a place to stay, a cafeteria – I didn’t have to rent a house or anything like that while I was here for two years.”
As he reached the end of his visit, Schneider took a moment to look around. “This is a beautiful campus,” he commented. “Updated. Modern. I can see why students are coming here (from all around).”
South Georgia Technical College offers over 200 programs in a variety of in-demand fields. Students can pursue an associate degree, a diploma, or a technical certificate of credit. Register for summer and receive a full semester of credit in just eight weeks. Classes begin May 24. Apply now at www.southgatech.edu.