Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Ron Jackson announced today the launch of a new International Center for Technical Education that will enhance the TCSG’s global outreach.
The center’s goal is to build greater worldwide recognition of the TCSG education programs while also working to expand new and existing international student and faculty exchange at the 25 TCSG colleges.
“The International Center for Technical Education will strengthen the overall mission of the TCSG to create a competitive workforce in Georgia while opening avenues for greater awareness in the worldwide education community about the TCSG colleges and the outstanding quality of our faculty and students. Our plan is to forge international partnerships that will enable the TCSG to solidify its goal of becoming a global leader in technical education,” said Jackson.
The TCSG International Center for Technical Education will establish collaborations with countries and colleges that are interested in developing and improving their technical workforce through higher education partnerships and the sharing of people, programs and best practices. In addition to faculty and student exchange programs, international partners can receive TCSG assistance with technical education curriculum, faculty training, college system management, and consultation on accreditation.
The center will also work closely with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the University System of Georgia and the TCSG’s own Quick Start workforce training program regarding business recruitment projects for Georgia.
Jackson has appointed Dr. Sanford Chandler, the current president of Chattahoochee Technical College, to be the assistant commissioner for global initiatives. He’ll lead the center, which will operate from the TCSG system office in Atlanta.
International enrollment at Chattahoochee Technical College has grown under Chandler’s leadership. He has also championed economic development opportunities resulting from the promotion and creation of education and training partnerships with colleges in other countries. “I’m looking forward to this new challenge and continuing to make a difference in the lives of students here and abroad. It’s my hope that this international initiative will ultimately help to improve the economic and workforce development of our state,” said Chandler.
Chandler has guided cooperative agreements between Chattahoochee Technical College and Changzhou College of Information Technology (China); Sanjiang University (China); Hanyang Women’s University (South Korea); and Tabuk Community College and Tabuk University, Jeddah Community College, and Abdullah Aziz University (Saudi Arabia). Chattahoochee Technical College is also assisting in a nursing program in Kenya and is in negotiations to partner in a nursing program in Amman, Jordan.
Chandler will transfer to his new position on October 1.
Dr. Ron Newcomb, the provost and executive vice president of Chattahoochee Technical College, will serve as the college’s interim president until a replacement for Chandler is selected.
About the TCSG: The 25 TCSG colleges offer almost 600 certificate, diploma and degree programs in a wide range of career fields, including specialized education in professions like healthcare, aerospace, life sciences, energy and the environment, and agribusiness.
Enrollment at Georgia’s 25 technical colleges has increased by 30% in just the last three years, growing from 145,990 students in the 2008 college year to 189,216 students in 2011. The system’s record year was 2010, when enrollment reached 190,842 students.
Another part of the TCSG, the Quick Start program, plays an important role in the state’s economic development through the delivery of strategic solutions for workforce training. Last year, Quick Start delivered training to more than 98,000 employees working for new and existing businesses in Georgia. About one-third of Quick Start’s projects are with international businesses.
In addition to the college enrollment, the TCSG served another 90,000 adult learners last year through its Office of Adult Education (OAE). The OAE also administers Georgia’s GED preparation and testing programs; almost 20,000 Georgians earned their GED diploma in 2010.
About Dr. Sanford Chandler: Chandler has been the president of Chattahoochee Technical College since November 2008. In 2009, he oversaw the merger of his college with North Metro Technical College in Acworth and Appalachian Technical College in Jasper. The new Chattahoochee Technical College is now Georgia’s largest technical college, enrolling more than 20,000 students during the 2011 school year.
Chandler was president of Appalachian Technical College from 2003 to 2008, and the vice president of operations at Coosa Valley Technical College (now Georgia Northwestern Technical College) from 1999 to 2003.
Chandler began his career in the Georgia technical college system in 1989 as an instructor at North Metro Technical College then rose to the positions of dean of institutional advancement and vice president of instruction. Earlier in his career he was a teacher in the Opelika, Alabama school system, an instructor at George Wallace State Community College in Selma, Alabama, and an assistant professor at Reinhardt College in Waleska, Georgia.
Chandler received his doctorate in occupational education from the University of Georgia in 1996. He has a bachelor of science and master’s degree in vocational and adult education from Auburn University.
Chandler has served on numerous boards and advisory councils related to technical education in Georgia and across the U.S. He is a certified team leader for the Council on Occupational Education and has participated in accreditation visits at postsecondary educational institutions throughout the southeast. He has been active in the leadership of a number of civic clubs, chambers of commerce and development authorities.
About Dr. Ron Newcomb: Newcomb was the acting president of North Metro Technical College when it merged with Chattahoochee Technical College in 2009; after the merger he became the provost and executive vice president of the college. Earlier in his career, he served as North Metro Tech’s vice president of academic affairs and institutional advancement, vice president of student affairs, and vice president for planning and institutional effectiveness. He has also served as an assistant for education research and policy under Georgia Governors Joe Frank Harris and Roy Barnes.
Newcomb is a graduate of the University of Georgia with both bachelor and master’s degrees in political science. He received his doctorate in education from the University of Georgia.