Athens Technical College (ATC) is a technical school with its main campus in Athens, Georgia. The college began in 1958, when the state of Georgia opened Athens Area Vocational-Technical School. The size of the campus doubled in the 1970s. The name of the school changed to Athens Area Technical Institute in 1987, then again in 2000. Today, there are three supplementary campuses in Greensboro, Elberton, and Monroe as well as several educational centers in its catchment area.
ATC offers 32 associate degree programs and 53 technical certificates. The Elbert County campus contains a large Early Childhood Care and Education program as well as an adult education laboratory, while the Greene County campus has a particularly large technical education center.
Academics on the Leading Edge
This was the first technical institute in Georgia to develop an associate degree program to train registered nurses, offer an associate degree program in paralegal studies, and to develop a laboratory assistant program for biotechology laboratories.
The college makes every effort to stay on the leading edge of knowledge for the fields in which they train their students. Along with the other schools in the Technical College System of Georgia, the college guarantees the skills of their students in their fields of training for two years after graduation.
Adult Basic Education
The institution has been providing basic adult education programs for the greater Athens area for over 20 years. These services include basic math and reading classes, English as a Second Language (ESL), General Education Development (GED) classes, and workplace literacy. All four campuses offer basic adult education services.
Online courses feature small class sizes, personal interactions with instructors, and online discussion forums with classmates. Unlike online classes at some colleges, online courses are not self-paced and do not feature independent study. Students are expected to complete assignments according to schedule and participate in online discussions on a regular basis. Some instructors ask students to participate in discussions during particular time frames, so it is important for the student to clear his or her schedule of other commitments during those times.
Students should expect to spend 10 to 15 hours a week on each online class in order to achieve successfully. In general, students do not need to visit the campus to participate in online classes. It is possible to use an off-campus proctor for any written exams.
Online classes cost the same tuition and earn the same credits for students as in-person classes. Online students do not need to come to campus, but if they wish to do so then all the amenities of the campus are open to them, including the computer lab and library computer systems.
The library system maintains or belongs to a variety of databases in the fields of training for their students. These include the Nursing Resource Center (GALE), and Salem Health Database for students in the Allied Health programs.
Students in the Automotive Collision Repair, Automotive Technology, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, and Dental Hygiene programs are expected to participate in “Live Work”, which essentially means that they perform work in their intended profession for faculty, staff, and fellow students as part of their educational process. Students in both Cosmetology and Dental Hygiene may perform live work for members of the general public as well.
Students who participate in live work must create and submit a plan for their work, which includes a description of how their work supports and enhances the classroom curriculum; exactly what work they intend to do and for whom, what days and times of day they will perform their work; what their customers expect to receive; and what a breakdown of costs related to service. Students are not meant to gain profit from live work and should not actively compete with private businesses.
For most students, the end result of the live work program is this: heavily discounted auto repair, cosmetology services, fine dining, and teeth cleaning right on campus! Of course, it’s important for students taking advantages of these services to keep in mind that the people doing work are students themselves and not yet seasoned professionals; as a result, the work is not always done to professional standards. Partaking of these services is a risk that each person must assess for themselves.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Admissions for most programs are open, in keeping with the school’s mission to provide higher education for any Athens-area resident who wishes to pursue it. To facilitate the admissions process, The admissions office offers informational sessions to prospective students called “TECH on Tuesdays”. During these sessions, prospective students learn how to apply for admission, what is involved in the financial aid application process, and what to expect from placement testing procedures. Participants who submit their application for admission during a TECH on Tuesday session will have their application fee waived.
In addition to the usual assortment of financial aid available to college and university students in Georgia, the financial aid office also offers several of their own need- and merit-based scholarships. These include the Alpha Phi Alpha Book Scholarship, the Athens Technical College Foundation Scholarships, the Chi Omega Alumnae Educational Grant, the Fiscal Managers Scholarship, the George S. Neath Scholarship, the Georgia Mining Foundation Scholarship, the Home Depot Trade Scholarship, the Pearson publishing Allied Health Scholarship, and the Ty Cobb Scholarship.
Student support services include academic advising, personal counselling, career counselling, and assistance with financial aid. Placement tests offered by the Student Services Office include COMPASS, a computerized assessment of basic math, reading, and writing skills; and ASSET, a timed written test of basic skills in numeracy, algebra, writing, and reading.
The Career Services Office helps students and alumni assess their work opportunities, develop job search skills, and access career tools. The office uses the Georgia Career Information System (GCIS) to help students develop resumes, write cover letters, prepare for job interviews, and gain other helpful employment skills. Employment opportunities in the Athens area are catalogued in the job referral listings. The office also offers workshops on job hunting skills on a regular basis. The Career Services Office often places graduates in employment at the University of Georgia or at a variety of smaller workplaces, as coordinated through the Georgia Department of Labor.
Clubs and Organizations
Student organizations complement the academic programs of study and enhance the general development of the students. There is a wide range of student groups, including the Culinary Club, Biotechnology Club, Student Ambassadors, and a large number of professional organizations and honor societies. The library hosts a fiction book club for interested students.
Student Enrollment Demographics
There is no athletics program at the college. Students who wish to participate in athletics have the intramural program of the city of Athens at their disposal, while those who wish to attend college-level games generally follow the athletics department at the University of Georgia.
The city of Athens is known as a college town. It is home to the University of Georgia. In fact, the city grew around the university and it remains the major “industry”. It is named after the home city of Aristotle and Plato. Piedmont College also has a campus in Athens. The median age of residents is 25. Summers are hot and humid; winters are mildly chilly.
Athens is rich in restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries, bookstores, and concerts. Virtually any kind of food can be found here, from vegan to Thai to traditional Southern. As one might expect in a college town, there are also a very large number of bars and other venues for late-night fun. The city has a particularly strong reputation for birthing great rock musicians and bands. R.E.M., B-52s, Indigo Girls, Matthew Sweet, Dreams So Real, Indigo Girls, and Widespread Panic all got their start in Athens. AthFest, an annual music and arts festival, takes place downtown every summer.
Hill Street Press, an independent publisher, is a major contributor to the intellectual and bookish culture. Athens is home to an annual Human Rights Festival. For the nature minded, there are several well-known gardens, including the University of Georgia Campus Arboretum and the State Botanical Garden of Georgia.
There are three bus systems in and around the city. A small airport provides commuter service, where students can transfer to any major airline. It is also an extremely bike-friendly community, with bike lanes built into most major streets and a series of trails in and around town. Athens features a series of bike rides and races every year, including Critical Mass, Courteous Mass, and Twilight Criterium.
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.