Annual Report 2014

Dr. Kathy Love portrait in the hallwayTCSG 2013 College of the Year

Savannah Technical College received the high honor of being named the Technical College System of Georgia’s 2013 Technical College of the Year. This is a wonderful recognition that represents a lot of hard work by the dedicated faculty, staff and students at Savannah Technical College.

Each year, the TCSG State Board evaluates the state technical colleges for the Perdue Award using almost two dozen performance categories, including enrollment in technical and adult education programs, student retention and graduation rates, licensure pass rates, economic development measures, national awards, and academic efficiencies. The award caps a banner year for Savannah Technical College, which also included the opening of a new Aviation Training Center, celebrating partnerships, and many other highlights. The College began its new Baking and Pastry Hygiene class and opened new Cosmetology and Barbering labs at its Liberty Campus.

The College enrolled 7,380 students in credit classes during FY2013, which was the seventh largest enrollment in the TCSG. The College produced 1,611 graduates programs during the year, which was six percent more than the previous year. In addition, nine of 10 STC graduates, who took their state licensure exams during the past academic year, passed those tests.

This award is an overall measure of the College’s success. There is nothing more important to our faculty and staff than ensuring the success of our students to develop our region’s workforce through technical and adult education programs.

– Kathy S. Love, Ed.D., President, Savannah Technical College

Arming Students with Skills to go to Work

Savannah Technical College serves Bryan, Chatham, Effingham and Liberty counties in Coastal Georgia with quality, market-driven technical education. The College also serves as an economic and community development partner for the region, offering corporate and customized training and assessment programs for business and industry.

In February 2014, the Chatham study conducted an assessment of the county workforce and researched barriers to meaningful employment by interviewing human resources professionals, job seekers and small business employers with an emphasis on entry-level positions. This study illustrated a nation-wide underemployment issue affecting more than 10 million people in the U.S.

“From the Savannah Economic perspective, the top two things prospective companies look at when they consider Savannah are infrastructure and workforce,” said SEDA President Trip Tollison. “We know we have the infrastructure, but we needed a better understanding of our workforce, both the positives and the negatives.”

According to the study the top perceived barriers for employers for under-employed is a lack of education/ training/skills. Job seekers rated a perceived barrier of criminal record top, followed closely by lack of education/training/skills. In order for unemployed and those without a high school diploma to qualify for new entry-level jobs, they need training. The study showed there are
61 organizations in Chatham County offering 247 workforce programs, and Savannah Technical College delivers more than 65 percent of these programs.

The College’s workforce development programs and training equips students with the skills they need for employment. “It’s really what I’m most proud of – that our students leave us armed with the skills they need to either continue their education or go to work,” said STC President Dr. Kathy S. Love.

Building Hope in Our Communities

In October 2013, the United Way of the Coastal Empire invested $290,000 in Accelerating Opportunity (AO) at Savannah Technical College to support the delivery of an integrated basic skills, GED and post-secondary technical training program. The end goal was to serve 75 individuals and 50 of them would find employment after program completion.

In academic year 2014, the program served 71 individuals and awarded 52 credentials (GEDs and/or post-secondary credentials). These students completed nearly 700 college credit hours with the Accelerating Opportunity program. Currently, 12 students have been hired with full-time jobs.

Davida Williams is one of the AO success stories, finishing her GED in Spring 2014. She is currrently enrolled in the College’s Patient Care Technician certificate program and intends to go into nursing after graduation. She left high school at 17 and worked two jobs to care for younger siblings when their mother left them. She missed earning her high school diploma by one point on a graduation test, but knew she would eventually come back to school.

She attributes her success to STC’s AO team. “Everyone wanted me to be successful,” said Williams. “The teachers and administrators helped me get to class, paid my testing fees, called and emailed me and always checked up on me. They were like second parents.”

This 4.0 grade point average student is ready for future success. “Now just getting my GED isn’t enough motivation for me,” she said. “Knowing I could go into healthcare made me want to meet my goal.”

Soaring to New Heights

Savannah Technical College celebrated the opening of its Aviation Training Center in Fall 2013 at the Crossroads Campus. Then, in May 2014, the College was granted Federal Aviation Administration approval to teach the Aviation Maintenance Technology program, becoming the eighth college in the state and the only one in Coastal Georgia authorized to offer this training.

“This long-awaited announcement means that Savannah Technical College can now offer the full range of aviation training to meet the workforce demands in one of the region’s critical industries,”
said College President Dr. Kathy S. Love. “The Aviation Training Center was designed and built in anticipation of this important step.”

The Aviation Training Center is 29,152 sq. ft. featuring a 5,000-sq. ft. hangar with a hoist, four training labs and six classrooms with a tarmac on the back of the property. The four state-of-the-art training labs include: Powerplant lab for turbine engine training, Airframe lab for airframe composition training, Aircraft Structural lab for training in areas of sheet metal and cabinet making and Composite lab for electronics and avionics.

“General aviation contributes more than $150 billion to the U.S. economy and employs more than one million people,” said Ira Berman. “This new Aviation Training Center, which strengthens an already long standing and fruitful relationship between our organizations, will further ensure that Gulfstream has a steady pool of highly qualified and motivated applicants.”

Savannah Tech’s Aviation division also offers programs that prepare students for careers in aircraft structural manufacturing and repair, luxury craft cabinet making, aircraft electrical equipment repair and installation.

Education Always Comes Primero

Hispanic Outreach and Leadership at (HOLA) Savannah Technical College is one of the tri-branch efforts of the CAMINO (College Access Mentoring Information and Outreach) program, which aims to double the combined total number of Latino students at Armstrong State University, Savannah State University and Savannah Technical College, to 6.4% by 2015.

Savannah Technical College hosted its first Domingo Universitario (University Sunday) to engage Latino families in learning activities to prepare them for college admissions, financial aid applications and scholarship research. The bilingual program was open to high school students and their parents. The workshop addressed college preparedness needs of Hispanic and Latino families. It was modeled after a similar successful event, offered through Armstrong State University’s HOLA program.

This local push comes from the Lumina Foundation’s national announcement of its Latino Student Success efforts, including a $600,000 investment in CAMINO, as the only program selected in Georgia.

The CAMINO program is centered on Latino communities in the four Southeast Georgia counties that surround Savannah: Chatham, Liberty, Tattnall, and Toombs counties. This area has a
total population of approximately 26,000 Latinos, representing an average of 6.84% of the total population in the four counties (Census 2010).

With the partnership of the region’s post-secondary education institutions, the area Hispanic/Latino community now has the support needed to increase student success.

Joining Forces to Become Partners in Crime

Partnership and collaboration have always been key elements in accomplishing goals shared by many. Education is no different. Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”

With the same collaborative spirit, STC President Dr. Kathy Love and Armstrong State University President Dr. Linda Bleicken signed an articulation agreement, which ensures a seamless
educational pathway for criminal justice students between the two institutions of higher education.

“We are pleased to announce the beginning of an important partnership between our institutions,” said Love. “With this partnership, I can honestly say that the higher education community in our region is leading the way in the Complete College Georgia initiative.”

This agreement ensures that STC students who receive an associate of science in Criminal Justice have the opportunity to apply all of their coursework toward Armstrong’s bachelor of science in Criminal Justice.

A Smile is the Universal Welcome

The College recently provided a new home for it’s Dental Hygiene Program. Held at Armstrong Atlantic State University for 44 years, the rigorous program seamlessly transferred to Savannah
Tech in 2012 without academic interruption for students.

“Bringing this program to Savannah Technical College is the perfect example of our commitment to local workforce development,” said STC President Dr. Kathy Love. “We listened to the concerns of area dentists and worked diligently to create a seamless transfer of location and administration of the program.”

The College constructed a new facility with a mix of renovated space and new construction that includes a clinical lab with 24 dental hygiene stations, four radiology rooms, a dental materials lab, two classrooms, specialized spaces for records, sterilization, and patient reception, as well as six faculty offices and an administrative area. The $1.81 million project was designed by Hansen Architects of Savannah and built by Benning Construction.

Dr. Suzanne Edenfield, Dental Hygiene department head, has been with the program for 30 years providing instruction, clinical supervision and administrative leadership. She is proud of the program’s record of success, noting that most students are offered employment positions pending successful completion of two credentialing examinations and licensure. The program has posted a 100% licensure pass rate for many years.

Baking & Pastry Take Rise

STC Culinary Arts Department Head Chef Jean Vendeville recently developed a second culinary associate degree or diploma option with Baking & Pastry Arts.

“We have developed this unique baking and pastry program especially for our culinary students,” said Vendeville. “There is nothing like it from Atlanta to Charleston.
This program offers a tremendous opportunity to train our students to achieve high standards and quality baking and pastry skills, which will benefit area hotels and restaurants.”

Based on curriculum from the American Culinary Federation (ACF), students enrolled in the  program learn the art of creating tasty baked goods, pastries, and confections, from traditional bread baking to beautiful showpieces. Students also learn a variety of international and classical pastries and desserts using basic and advanced techniques, which meet industry quality standards.

The College dedicated a classroom solely for Chocolate and Confection Artistry classes. Luke Atwell, Coastal Granite & Marble owner and former Savannah Tech student, donated 15 granite slabs to equip the classroom. The granite cools melted chocolate, so that the chocolate can be tempered and worked with more easily.

As the 2012 Instructor of the Year, Chef Vendeville has led student teams to countless victories and championships. Under his direction, culinary arts enrollment has increased 130% since 2008. With the College’s ongoing commitment to excellence, students will acquire the ability to excel quickly.

The first class graduated from this program in 2013.  The program, like Culinary Arts, is so popular, additional classes have been added, and some students are on a waiting list to enroll.

STC 2014 By the Numbers

Graduates: 1,754 (9% increase – unduplicated)
Awards Conferred: 2,791 (5% increase)

Job Placement:

  • AY2013: 95.66%
  • AY 2012: 95.59%
  • AY2011: 95.91%

Enrollment (based on fall semester 2013):

  • Full-time: 36.6%
  • Part-time: 63.4%

Student Population:

  • African American: 3,397
  • Caucasian: 2,866
  • Hispanic: 459
  • Asian: 162
  • Multi-Racial: 149
  • Non-Resident Aliens: 40
  • American Indian: 24

Enrollment by County (based on AY 2014 Enrollment)

  • Chatham: 55%
  • Liberty: 19%
  • Effingham: 13%
  • Bryan: 5%
  • All Other Counties: 5%

Gender (based on AY 2014 Enrollment):

  • Female: 61.5%
  • Male: 38.5%

2014 Briefs:

  • Upcycling pallets into picnic tables: Savannah Technical College Historic Preservation students donated five kid-sized picnic tables and one end table to the West Broad Street YMCA in
    July 2013. The tables were created out of repurposed wood as a class project. As a continual effort to use education to help preserve and sustain their community, the Historic Preservation students chose the children of the West Broad Street UMCA as the recipients. To keep the significance of preserving the past, the tables were placed under a 180-year-old oak tree on the YMCA property. The picnic tables are used for arts and crafts activities, storytelling, snack times and more.
  • Whole Foods Market Opening: Savannah Technical College students were an intricate part in the design, which opened in August 2013. Four culinary students were hired to work at the
    location, and students in the Historic Preservation program helped design and construct dining area tables with local reclaimed wood from a bowling alley.
  • Paralegal Honor Society: In 2014, the Lambda Epsilon Chi (LEX) National Honor Society for Paralegals held its first induction ceremony at Savannah Technical College. Current students and former graduates participated in the induction ceremony led by Paralegal Studies Department Head Debra Geiger.
  • Instructor and Student of the Year: STC Emergency Medical Services Instructor Lahoma Patton and Surgical Technology student Matthew Tuttle were selected as the College’s Instuctor and Student of the year in 2014. Patton was selected as a semi-finalist in the Technical College System of Georgia instructor of the year competition. Tuttle was honored by WTOC-TV as a Hometown Hero.
  • American Red Cross Refinished Trailer: The old trailer from the Southeast Georgia Chapter of the American Red Cross had seen better days – its last washing removed all the paint, leaving it looking so bad it couldn’t serve its intended purpose of transporting items to shelter disaster victims. That’s when Savannah Technical College stepped in to assist
  • Skills USA 2014: Skills USA is a national non-profit student organization that has developed more than 10 million workers through active partnerships between employers and education. SkillsUSA’s mission is to empower its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens. Students, who win gold at the state level, compete
    at the national SkillsUSA convention. In 2014, two competitions brought home U.S. bronze for Savannah Technical College with Kelvin Conyers for Nursing Assisting and the Quiz Bowl team: Amara Kone, Rodolfo Hille, Chante Bunch, David Jackson and Rodney Johnson.