With the highest graduation rate and the highest high school enrollment rate among technical colleges in Georgia, Ogeechee Technical College was named Thursday as the state's Technical College of the Year.
For the second time in the past four years, Ogeechee Tech in Statesboro was chosen by the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia as the recipient of the Sonny Perdue Award, given as the state's highest honor among technical colleges.
"This is a well-deserved honor for Ogeechee Technical College," said Gretchen Corbin, commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia. "Under President Dawn Cartee's strong leadership, the staff and faculty of Ogeechee Technical College have consistently exceeded their goals. The true winners here are the Ogeechee Tech students who are benefiting from an excellent education that is equipping them with the skills that they need for careers with great companies."
Each December, the Technical College System board chooses the award winner from among the system's 22 technical colleges. The top college is named after a review of 20 performance categories covering technical education, adult education, economic development, resource development and administration.
"I couldn't be more proud to accept this award on behalf of all the local board, faculty, staff and students of Ogeechee Tech," Cartee said. "We could not have achieved this milestone without their support, as well as that of the state board, the community, and the TCSG system office."
Highlights from Ogeechee Tech's 2015 academic year include:
• The highest graduation rate (75.5 percent) in the Georgia's public technical college system. Ogeechee Tech graduated over 1,100 students in 2015, and has exceeded its Complete College Georgia degree production goals the last seven consecutive years.
• The second-highest student retention rate of 69.3 percent, compared to a system-wide rate of 64 percent.
• The highest increase in enrollment by high school students (up 140 percent from the prior academic year).
• The third-highest licensure pass rate in the system during the 2015 fiscal year, with 94.7 percent of graduates passing their licensure exams.
• An increase in the number of companies whose employees received Customized Contract Training through the college's Office of Economic Development program, providing over 25,000 hours of training in 2015.
The other two finalists for the 2015 award were Athens Technical College and Gwinnett Technical College. Ogeechee Tech, which was named College of the Year in 2011, serves Bulloch, Evans and Screven counties in eastern Georgia. Previous College of the Year award winners include Lanier Technical College (2014), Savannah Technical College (2013), Atlanta Technical College (2012) and Wiregrass Georgia Technical College (2010).
The state College of the Year award was created in 2010 in honor of former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, a strong supporter of the Technical College System colleges and their mission to develop the state's workforce through technical and adult education