South Georgia Tech earns John Deere “College of Tomorrow” Gold
Americus, GA – South Georgia Technical College’s John Deere TECH program earned “The College of Tomorrow Gold Level Award” from the John Deere Company recently. The award was presented to South Georgia Tech officials at the college’s John Deere TECH Advisory meeting. This is the second highest national ranking that a college can receive.
The John Deere College of Tomorrow Award is a prestigious honor given to John Deere training programs across the nation. Rankings of Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum may be awarded to programs. The programs are evaluated and graded on a number of factors including internship communications and connections to businesses.
The award serves as a ranking system for the 21 colleges in North America that offer a John Deere TECH program. There are 16 John Deere Tech programs in the United States and five in Canada. The program evaluates several areas of the program including Facilities and Image, Processes, and Training.
“We are pleased to be recognized with the Gold level award,” said South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford. “This is the fourth time that we have earned this recognition and the program is only a little over five years old. We are honored that John Deere selected South Georgia Technical College as the site in Georgia for this program and we are working hard to continue to keep and earn their approval.
South Georgia Technical College and John Deere Company partnered together in August 2014 to provide potential John Deere Technicians with a comprehensive two-year associate degree in Agricultural Technology and the career of a lifetime. After completing its first full year and prior to even hosting its first graduating class from the program, South Georgia Tech was recognized for having the second highest ranking in the country. South Georgia Tech earned that same distinction for in 2016, 2017, and now again for 2019.
“I would like to extend congratulations to SGTC Vice President of Academic Affairs David Kuipers, Academic Dean David Finley, and our John Deere instructors for their hard work and dedication to making this program such a success,” said South Georgia Tech President Dr. John Watford. “There is tremendous value that this program provides and our faculty and staff are showing John Deere why we are successful in creating business and industry partnerships as well as providing quality graduates to fill their workforce needs.”
Dr. John Watford thanked Bob Cunningham and the John Deere Dealers from the southeastern area of the United States for their support of this program and for their continued support of South Georgia Technical College and its students.
“We are very appreciative of John Deere and the dealers for their support of South Georgia Technical College and this Agricultural Technology program,” said Dr. John Watford. “We value this input from John Deere and we will continue to work towards becoming the best program in the nation.”
Matthew Burks and Wayne Peck are the two Agricultural Technology John Deere TECH instructors at South Georgia Tech.
The John Deere TECH partnership allows students interested in pursuing an associate degree program in Agricultural Technology at South Georgia Technical College to partner with John Deere agriculture and turf equipment dealers across the Southeastern portion of the United States for a career as a John Deere technician. Students must be sponsored by a dealer to enroll in this program.
The Agricultural Technology curriculum addresses the full range of technological advances in agricultural mechanization, focusing on both John Deere’s Agricultural and Turf Equipment product lines. Students learn about diesel engine systems, powertrains, hydraulics, machine setup and adjustment, as well as high-tech AMS electronics, schematics and diagnostics computers. Students also gain practical experience and expertise working with the computer-assisted resource materials used throughout the John Deere service network, such as Service ADVISOR. The program also emphasizes communication skills and other non-core disciplines essential to a successful career in Ag service.
Students attend classes at South Georgia for eight weeks each semester and then serve an eight-week internship at their sponsoring dealer. The program is approximately two years in length and graduates receive an Associate of Applied Science in Agricultural Technology degree. Students are enrolled in general education courses and as well as their specialty classes.
Students utilize John Deere equipment, training components, and computer diagnostic tools to understand what makes equipment run. This program provides students with the instructional knowledge needed as well as the hands-on knowledge and skills to be successful in this career.
Studies indicate that there is a critical shortage of technicians in this field and the John Deere TECH partnership helps satisfy this need. John Deere dealers prefer to hire John Deere TECH students as they already have a detailed understanding of John Deere equipment and bring with them John Deere certifications in electrical, hydraulic and Service ADVISOR™.
The South Georgia Tech – John Deere partnership is just another great example of how industry and educational institutions can work together to provide a strong educational background and the trained technicians needed across the country.
For additional information on the new John Deere TECH partnership and Agricultural Technology program at South Georgia Technical College, please contact the college at 229-931-2394 or on the web at www.southgatech.edu.