Politics

Atlanta Technical College: Fast Track to Hot Careers

Sun., Apr. 17, 2011 11:27 AM EDT
by Roz Edward

Alvetta Thomas
President, Atlanta Technical College

Atlanta: The value — and the beauty — of education is frequently touted as the means to an end  for young people intent on earning more money and
increasing their employment options. For those already in the
workforce, it’s been  a vehicle for shoring up job security and
promotion possibilities. The post-secondary education  experience has
expanded far beyond the traditional four year college scenario, and
community colleges like Atlanta Technical College (with a 98 percent job
placement rate) are rapidly emerging as first choice alternatives for
getting a stronger foothold in the urban workplace. Dr. Alveeta
Thomas, the institution’s president at the forefront of the charge sat
down with rolling out for an impassioned discussion of  her commitment
to and plans for ATC. –roz edward

Are graduating high school students adequately prepared for college?
[In some cases] there is disconnect between what students learn in
high school and what’s expected of them in college. We have to do a
better job of creating seamless education.  I think in Georgia we have
taken the first steps to make that happen. We are in constant talks
with the Georgia Department of Education to create seamless education
from high school to technical college, and then seamless education
between technical college and four year institution.  … I am very
optimistic.

What makes ATC’s program’s so successful?
All of our programs take a building block approach . You can enroll in
a technical certificate of credit program, which will build into a
diploma program, which will build into an Associates Degree Program. … There are exit points all  along the way meaning you can  graduate
with a certificate, a diploma or a degree … and typically they go to
work or to a four year institution.

What are the hot career opportunities for students?
That is hard to answer because our students are successful in almost every field they enter. The reason is that we offer programs based on what’s needed in the community. We look for the hot jobs and we train our students for them.  We know that Atlanta is a transportation and logistic hub, so that’s hot for us, … when you go to work yo want to look good and professional so the cosmetology program is hot … Everything is hot for us.

What’s next for ATC?
We have a lot, a multi-million dollar allied health building … a number of new programs, including registered nurse, radiation technology, surgical technology a dental hygiene clinic, accounting, marketing, business management technology, paralegal and management supervisory development … and affordable online programming.