Ogeechee Technical College’s fall open house Saturday will give the public, from high school students thinking about college and older adults considering a career change to taxpayers simply interested in how their money is spent, a chance to learn more about the college.
Many staff and faculty members will be there to greet visitors during the event from 8:30 a.m. until noon, said Vice President for College Advancement Barry Turner.
The open house offers tours of the campus; opportunities to learn about certificate, diploma and degree programs direct from instructors; and information sessions on enrollment and financial aid. A tour of the library is also included, and both the bookstore, with “Ogeechee Tech wear” for sale, and the new Cattails Café will be open for business.
“Essentially the whole campus will be open. …,” Turner said. “We find that quite often people are very aware of Ogeechee Tech, but they’re not aware of all the programs that we offer, and if they come to campus and see some of our labs and classrooms and actually meet the people who teach the classes, it helps make them a little more aware of everything we have to offer.”
Joe Kennedy renovation
The college has not held an open house every semester. This one will also give visitors a chance to see the renovations completed recently to the Joseph E. Kennedy Building, Ogeechee Tech’s original building.
At the heart of the $3 million makeover, the Student Affairs Division offices, previously somewhat scattered, have been clustered, with hallways extending like spokes from a central information desk. A new exterior entrance with a contemporary, sloping steel and glass rain canopy features a monumental sign for “Enrollment Services.”
But in addition to the admissions, registrar’s and financial aid offices, the remodeled area houses the counselors; the Student Success Center, which offers support for students having difficulty with a class; and the Move on When Ready coordinator, with information on how high school students can dual-enroll. The dean of students and the campus police are based there as well.
“You can come to that one area of campus and see anybody that you would need to see typically, if you’re a student, either to get enrolled, to continue in school, or to solve any problem that you might have,” Turner said.
Cattails Café, the college’s first dedicated dining facility, was also added as part of the makeover. It is ordinarily open to the public, as well as students and faculty, from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, the college’s regular days of operation. But special hours this Saturday morning will give open-house visitors a chance to try the menu.
As part of the renovations, the auditorium was also freshened up, with new seating and flooring.
Although the Joe Kennedy Building has something new to share, all four of the OTC main campus’s currently used major classroom buildings will be part of the tour, Turner said.
An ‘OTC passport’
Not quite ready yet is the Natural Resources Building, the fifth classroom building, which is nearing completion and expected to be open for classes in January.
More than the number of buildings, Ogeechee Tech officials tout the specific programs of study, over 100, offered by the college.
Visitors will be invited to complete an “OTC passport,” marked at the campus sites and programs they visit, for a chance to win prizes. An area with inflatable play areas for children is also slated to be part of the open house.