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STC serves Tattnall County students
L to r:  Glennville Rotarians Greg Parker, Shellie Smith (President), and Chris Roessler; Blythe Wilcox of the STC Foundation; and Larry Calhoun, STC President.
L to r: Glennville Rotarians Greg Parker, Shellie Smith (President), and Chris Roessler; Blythe Wilcox of the STC Foundation; and Larry Calhoun, STC President.

Tattnall County is one of eight counties served by Southeastern Technical College (STC), with over 14 percent of STC enrollment coming from Tattnall, second only to Toombs' 29 percent.

Information on STC and its Foundation was shared last Wednesday, May 19, 2022, by Blythe Wilcox, Executive Director of Institutional Advancement for STC, and Larry Calhoun, STC President.

A presentation of $2,000 was also made by the Glennville Rotary Club to the Foundation for the Jack Hill Scholarship Fund. Since the death of Georgia State Senator Jack Hill, a scholarship in his name was created by STC for a Tattnall County High School (TCHS) senior. The funds were raised from a recent golf tournament sponsored by the Glennville Rotary Club and chaired by Greg Parker and Chris Roessler. The recipient of the scholarship was TCHS graduate Walt Banks, who is enrolled in the Automotive Program at STC.

During the 2020-2021 year, total enrollment for STC was 2437, of which 801 were dual enrollment students, which refers to students enrolled in high school but who are also taking classes at STC at the same time.  Of the total enrollment, 78 percent are on the Vidalia campus, and 22 percent on the Swainsboro site. Staff includes 143 full-time employees and 136 part-time employees.

"Our highest enrollment programs are healthcare management, nursing, welding, commercial truck driving, cosmetology, and business management," Wilcox said.

STC had 612 graduates in 2021. The job placement rate is 99 percent, with 92 percent in field.

The demographics on students show a mainly female student population, 72 percent, with 16 percent of students attending classes full time. Of the students, 59 percent are under 21, and 17 percent are ages 21 to 25.

Overall, STC serves a 116,500 population area of eight counties, which include, in addition to Tattnall and Toombs, Emanuel, Montgomery, Candler, Treutlen, Jenkins, and Johnson counties.

The STC Foundation has a mission to partner with donors to support and invest in the students, employees, and college.  It has a Board of Trustees, comprised of 12 to 15 members who represent STC's service delivery area counties. Mark Thompson of Glennville serves as one of the Trustees.

"The Foundation provides students scholarships and assistance, helps sponsor the annual Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) program, and provides funding for the Dual Enrollment program and for GED testing. Students enrolled in the Dual Enrollment program do not have to pay for the classes, and they can earn up to 30 hours of college credit by taking these classes," Wilcox said.

The Foundation also provides funding for program equipment and salaries, auditorium maintenance/upgrades, employee scholarships for advanced degrees, and funding for special events throughout the year.

"For instance, in 2021, the STC Foundation provided $58,806 in student scholarships and assistance to 136 students in various ways," she said.

The Foundation sponsors an annual fund-raising campaign, with the employees giving approximately $35,000 each year to the fund.  In fact, a 100 percent participation to the campaign by the employees is commendable.

In reference to the Commercial Truck Driving Program, STC President Larry Calhoun commented on the severe need for truck drivers, with a shortage of 60,000 truck drivers nationwide. The summer classes at both campuses are full for the commercial truck driving course, which are seven to ten weeks in length.  Although in the past most companies demanded two years of truck driving experience, many are now hiring drivers on completion of the course and their certification.

"Many of these truck-driving jobs can pay up to $75,000 a year, even though the driver will not be home every night," Calhoun said.

He stated that the one million dollar investment that Coca Cola has invested in the Commercial Truck Driving Program sent $135,000 to STC, which has allowed the college to add another full-time driving instructor and two part-time instructors.

Partnerships with local companies have also created expansions of several other programs.