Central Georgia Technical College has received a two-year grant from AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) to support Adult Education Program initiatives designed to enhance student achievement. This is the second time AmeriCorps has selected CGTC to serve as a sponsoring agency.
CGTC was awarded $212,088 from Americorps. When value from the volunteers is added, the combined value is over $572,000 per year.
Eleven VISTA volunteers will be assigned to work with the staff to support three key initiatives: Keystone Academy, Home School Project, and Bridges Association. VISTA members will support efforts to match community volunteers with the needs of students participating in these programs.
"Volunteers have a powerful impact on our program," said Sallie Devero, Dean of CGTC’s Adult Education Program. "They enable us to provide one-on-one tutoring to students who are working to improve academic and life skills. The AmeriCorps*VISTA grant will help us secure more volunteers to support students in achieving educational goals that result in a better quality of life. We are also very pleased with the opportunity to continue our partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service; our community is better because of CNCS."
CGTC's Adult Education Program is a gateway program for adults wanting to return to college. Only one in six undergraduates is a "typical" 18 year-old who enrolls in a traditional college with a residential campus, stays for four years, and graduates with a degree. Adult students (25 years of age and older) are becoming the new majority on campuses across the nation, and many of these students, particularly those who are low-income, face multiple challenges and barriers to academic success.
Research shows that despite having a higher rate of remediation and more family obligations, low income adult students earn, on average, slightly better grades in college than do traditional students. Among students enrolled in credit-bearing courses in 1999, the average GPA for traditional students was 2.80, compared with a 2.97 average for low-income adult students.
Adults enrolling in CGTC’s Adult Education Program are seeking to bridge the gap between their current circumstances and a better life for themselves and their families. Various work schedules, transportation, and childcare are common obstacles; the process can seem even more daunting when combined with the challenges of learning. The Bridges Program was established to address issues which often prevent students from reaching their goal.
Teresa Lovick is a VISTA member assigned to work with the Adult Learning Centers in Jones and Bibb Counties. "I learned a lot about the power of volunteering,” Lovick said. “By sharing, I have gained strength, built relationships, and have seen a community grow stronger."
Prior to this award, Ms Lovick served as a VISTA member in a previous adult education program to encourage parents of school age children to obtain a degree.
The commitment of CGTC is an enormous factor in our success and contributes to our ability to attract this kind of funding,” said Dr. Ronald D. Natale, II, president of Central Georgia Technical College. “It also shows the close, cooperative relationship we have with the community and the strong support we have to interact on a number of projects to help improve the quality of life for all our residents.”
AmeriCorps*VISTA, provides full-time members to nonprofit, faith-based and other community organizations, and public agencies to create and expand programs that ultimately bring low-income individuals and communities out of poverty. There are currently over 5,000 VISTA members serving in 1,200 VISTA programs nationwide.
About Central Georgia Technical College
A comprehensive higher education institution, Central Georgia Technical College provides students more than 200 career program opportunities with numerous degree, diploma and certificate options, in addition to customized business and industry services, continuing education and adult education services. The College serves Baldwin, Bibb, Crawford, Jones, Monroe, Putnam and Twiggs Counties.