The mission of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, is to promote community, educational and economic development by providing a highly trained workforce in our 11-county service area and throughout the State of Georgia. The college fulfills the mission by providing technical and academic instruction, through traditional and distance education delivery methods, leading to associate degrees, diplomas, and technical certificates of credit; customized training for new and existing industries; professional and personal development through continuing education programs; and adult education services to meet the needs of citizens, businesses, and industry in the service area.
History of the College
On September 4, 2008, the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia (SBTCSG) approved the merger of East Central Technical College and Valdosta Technical College to be effective July 1, 2010. Almost a year to the day the merger was announced, the local board, with input from stakeholders, decided on a new name for the combined college – Wiregrass Georgia Technical College.
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College has four primary campuses – Ben Hill-Irwin campus, Coffee campus, Cook County Workforce Development Center, and the Valdosta campus - as well as one extended campus, the Moody Air Force Base location in Valdosta. The college provides Adult Education services in each of the 11 counties served by the college, including Atkinson, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Coffee, Cook, Echols, Irwin, Lanier, Lowndes, and Wilcox counties.
Individually, both East Central Technical College (ECTC) and Valdosta Technical College (VTC) have long, meaningful histories within the communities they have served. The rich history between these colleges and the local communities demonstrate how important training, and educational opportunities, have been, and will continue to be, for the citizens of the Wiregrass Georgia Technical College region.
East Central Technical College
East Central Technical College (formerly Ben Hill-Irwin Technical Institute and East Central Technical Institute) was established in 1966. Ben Hill-Irwin Tech officially opened its doors to its first full-time student body of approximately 200 on September 21, 1970, occupying three buildings with large vocational-technical labs and a small administration area. The first full-time graduates received their diplomas on September 15, 1971.
During the next 30 years, East Central Technical College underwent enormous transformation and growth. On June 10, 1977, Ben Hill-Irwin Tech held groundbreaking ceremonies for a new $600,000 expansion to house new programs. The Charles Harris Learning Center opened in 1994 housing an auditorium, classrooms, and office space. In 1995, the Board of Regents deeded land, originally part of South Georgia College, to DTAE for the Coffee Campus. On November 7, 1996, the name officially changed to East Central Technical Institute. Further county expansions occurred including the addition of the Wilcox Lifelong Learning Center in Rochelle. On April 10, 2002, the state allocated $10,000,000 for a new technology building on the Ben Hill-Irwin campus, which was completed in 2006.
On February 1, 2006, Dr. Ray Perren became the fourth president of East Central Technical College. He remained in this position until June 2008, when he left to serve at the Technical College System of Georgia as Assistant Commissioner of Technical Education. Interim Presidents were employed by ECTC until the merger of East Central Technical College and Valdosta Technical College, when Dr. Perren once again took over the presidency.
Valdosta Technical College
Valdosta Technical Institute was founded as a cooperative agreement by the state legislature, the Valdosta Board of Education, and the Lowndes County Board of Education in 1963 to serve the citizens of Berrien, Brooks, Cook, Echols, Lanier, and Lowndes counties. From 37 students utilizing one building on 10.5 acres of land to over 2,600 students per 14 quarter occupying eight buildings on 135 acres, Valdosta Tech’s original 40,300 square foot building, Berrien Hall, opened for classes in September of 1963.
The first addition to the campus was a 7,200 square foot building to house the Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Welding programs and is now known as Berrien Hall. The vigorous economic growth of the area, sustained by a workforce that included an increasing number of technically trained Valdosta Tech graduates, initiated a need for an additional expansion that almost doubled the size of the facility. In 1984, the college completed its second addition to house the horticulture, electronics, and health programs.
A few short years later in 1989, a 7,800 square foot addition for the Auto Collision program completed the U-shape of Berrien Hall. In 1989 the Georgia Legislature provided $175,000 for the purchase of 80.2 acres of land to continue the growth of the campus. Governor Zell Miller then approved a $7.64 million dollar, 83,770 square foot expansion which would be the second largest technical school expansion at that time. From this expansion, Valdosta Tech Buildings 300, 400, and 500 were opened in 1997.
The Cook County Workforce Development Center in Sparks opened its doors as a branch campus of Valdosta Tech in June 2002. Valdosta Tech opened an office at Moody Air Force Base in February 2004. The Adult Education program eventually relocated to its current location on East Park Avenue. In December 2007, Valdosta Technical College was accredited and approved for unconditional membership with the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
In February 2009, Lowndes Hall officially opened housing the administrative offices of the President, business programs, a new 7,000 square foot library, an auditorium, early childhood education, drafting technology, and printing and graphics programs. A new student center was also constructed and includes 6,625 square feet of space for the Upper Crust, security offices, and offices for student activities.
Dr. Ray Perren became President of Valdosta Technical College on July 1, 2009 and served as President of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College until May 2013. Dr. Tina K. Anderson became President of WGTC on July 1, 2013 and continues to serve as the President of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College.
State Board of The Technical College System of Georgia (SBTCSG)
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College is a unit within the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). The governing board for the college is the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia.
The State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia became a statutory body on July 1, 1986, and has subsequently assumed direct governance of the majority of Georgia technical colleges and associated university technical divisions. The SBTCSG was established with the responsibility for the governance and management of all state supported technical and adult colleges. The Board executes its responsibilities in two primary ways:
• By adopting policies to provide general guidelines for governing the system;
• By appointing a Commissioner, who is given the responsibility and authority for the administration of the system in accordance with the adopted policies, and who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Technical College System of Georgia.
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College is authorized by the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia to award associate degrees, diplomas, and technical certificates of credit.
SBTCSG Board of Directors
- First Congressional District; Mary Flanders, Savannah
- Second Congressional District; Richard Porter, Cairo
- Third Congressional District; Frank S. “Chunk” Newman, West Point
- Fourth Congressional District; Baoky N. Vu, Decatur
- Fifth Congressional District; James F, Gingrey, Atlanta
- Sixth Congressional District; Dr. Lynn Cornett, Sandy Springs
- Seventh Congressional District; Michael L. “Sully” Sullivan, Atlanta
- Eighth Congressional District; Ben I. Copeland, Sr., Lakeland
- Ninth Congressional District; Dinah C. Wayne, Flowery Branch
- Tenth Congressional District; Trey Sheppard, Sandersville
- Eleventh Congressional District; Jay Cunningham, Kennesaw
- Twelfth Congressional District; Tommy David, Statesboro
- Thirteenth Congressional District; Tim Williams, Douglasville
- Fourteenth Congressional District; Joe W. Yarbrough (Chair), Dalton
Members at Large
- Doug Carter, Gainesville
- Sylvia E. Russell, Atlanta
- Ben Bryant, Atlanta
- Robert “Buzz” Law, Atlanta
- Shirley Smith, Ringgold
- Randall Fox, Calhoun
- Anne Kaiser, Atlanta
- Phil Sutton, Gainesville
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Board of Directors
While the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia (SBTCSG) is the governing Board of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, a local board of directors operates in conjunction with the State Board to accomplish the mission of the college. Local boards were established for each college based on the philosophy that decisions regarding individual schools should be made at the local level, and a portion of the authority and responsibility of governance should be delegated to the local boards. The State Board delegates to the Local Board of Directors the authority to develop local policies and procedures to meet the needs of the college’s service area.
WGTC Local Board of Directors
- Sam Allen, Lowndes County
- Barry Bloom, Chair, Coffee County
- Guy Daughtrey, Cook County
- Terrell Jacobs, Coffee County
- Terri Lupo, Lowndes County
- Andi McWhorter, Irwin County
- Ronald Mitchell, Cook County
- Jennifer Powell, Lowndes County
- Sandy Sanders, Vice Chair, Lanier County
- Steve Sirmans, Atkinson County
- Florence Staten, Echols County
- Stephen Sumner, Berrien County
- Hal Wiley, Ben Hill County
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Foundation North, Inc.
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Foundation North, Inc. is a non-profit organization established in April 1985 and operates in conformity with Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation is organized under Georgia law and is fiscally and organizationally separate from the school. The Foundation is governed by a Local Board of Trustees responsible for promoting education at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College by providing scholarships, endowments, research grants, and acquiring and administering cash, grants, and other funds and properties from industry, business, foundations, and friends of Wiregrass.
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Foundation South, Inc.
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Foundation South, Inc. was established in 1988 as a non-profit organization whereby funds, property, and other types of financial assistance could be channeled to the college for support and development of educational, cultural, social, civic, and professional endeavors. The Foundation provides academic and institutional support, scholarships, endowments, and in various ways, promotes the mission of the college.
The members of the Board of Trustees, who are empowered to administer donations to the Foundation, are distinguished business and civic leaders from the counties within the college’s service area.
Program Advisory Committees
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College utilizes program advisory committees, consisting of at least three representatives of local industry, to ensure that the college maintains programs that are meeting the current training needs in each field of specialization. This enables programs to adapt to changes that occur in the field. These advisory committees, composed of members of business, industry, and education from the 11-county service area, meet twice each year.
The instructional activities of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College are operated at four primary locations with extension sites located in almost every county served by the college. Adult Education programs are conducted at locations in each of the 11 counties served by the college. Economic Development and Continuing Education classes are also regularly conducted at various locations throughout the service area, as well as the main campus locations.
Ben Hill-Irwin Campus
667 Perry House Road
Fitzgerald, GA 31750
706 West Baker Highway
Douglas, GA 31533
Cook County Workforce Development Center
1676 North Elm Street
Sparks, GA 31647
4089 Val Tech Road
Valdosta, GA 31602
Additional Instructional Sites and Adult Education Services Locations
Ben Hill County Adult Education Center (Ben Hill County)
667 Perry House Road
Fitzgerald, GA 31750
Berrien County Adult Education Center
100 West Marion Street
Nashville, GA 31639
Brooks County Adult Education Center
400 East Courtland Avenue
Quitman, GA 31643
Coffee Adult Education Center (Coffee County)
706 West Baker Highway
Douglas, GA 31533
Department of Labor (Lowndes County)
221 S. Ashley Street, Room #125
Valdosta, GA 31602
Echols County Adult Education Center
113 Walker Circle
Statenville, GA 31648
Goodwill Center (Lowndes County)
100 North St. Augustine Road
Valdosta, GA 31602
Irwin Adult Education Center (Irwin County)
311 Vo-Tech Drive
Ocilla, GA 31774
Lanier County Adult Education Center
1014 West Thigpen Lane
Lakeland, GA 31635
Lowndes County Adult Education Center
4089 Val Tech Road
Mobile Unit 2 & Mobile Unit 7
Valdosta, GA 31602
Pearson Learning Center (Atkinson County)
59 Pearson Street
Pearson, GA 31642
Valdosta Campus (Lowndes County)
4089 Val Tech Road, Room #128
Valdosta, GA 31602
Wilcox Adult Education Center (Wilcox County)
239 Gordon Street
Rochelle, GA 31079
Policy on Catalog and Requirements
Each student at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College is responsible for learning and observing all current published regulations and procedures required by the institution and by the program in which he or she is enrolled. A current published regulation will not be waived, nor will an exception be granted, because a student pleads ignorance of the regulation or asserts that he or she was not informed of specific requirements by a faculty member or by an institution staff member.
Each student must become familiar with the offerings and requirements of his or her program of study and the contents of the schedule of classes, which may contain notices of changes in academic regulations or procedures.
While the provision of the appropriate catalog will normally be applied as stated, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College reserves the right to change any provision listed in a catalog, including but not limited to academic requirements for graduation, without actual notice to individual students. WGTC will make reasonable efforts to keep students advised of any such changes, and information on changes made by WGTC will be available in the Office of Academic Affairs. Each student must be aware that it is his or her own responsibility to remain informed about current graduation requirements for his or her particular program.
A candidate for graduation is normally subject to the catalog requirements that are in effect at the time of initial enrollment. However, in consultation with his or her advisor, a student may elect to satisfy the graduation requirements specified in any of the catalogs in effect subsequent to the time of the initial enrollment, with the following exception: a student who has a break in enrollment is subject to the requirements in effect at the time of readmission.
Campus Tours and Visits
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College encourages visitations from individuals and groups at any time during normal operating hours. Prospective students, groups, clubs, and organizations wishing to visit any one of the campus locations may contact the Director of Recruiting to schedule a tour.
For the safety of all individuals, the following information on children and pets should also be adhered to while on campus.
- Children are not allowed on campus unless accompanied by an adult and may not be left unattended at any time.
- Children should not be taken into classrooms, working lab areas, computer labs, or testing areas. In addition, at no time should a student who is attending classes have children on campus for any reason, attended or unattended, including common areas such as the Student Center or waiting areas.
- Pets are allowed on campus only if required for assistance to persons with disabilities.
Campus Police may be asked to provide assistance if an individual or individuals cause, or contribute to, a disturbance to the normal operating activities of the college.
Warranty of Graduates
The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) guarantees the skills of its students for up to two years after graduation from a degree, diploma, or technical certificate program of study. Graduates who are found to be deficient in one or more competencies can retake the related course work at no instructional cost to the graduate or employer, at any TCSG institution within the state.
The four main instructional campuses for Wiregrass Georgia Technical College offer amenities to students, faculty, and staff while creating an opportunity for on campus social interaction.
Each campus location offers student lounge areas for studying, gathering, and holding meetings. Additionally, there are food and snack areas located on each campus, with vending machines placed in public gathering areas. Some locations offer wireless connectivity.
Campus Student Centers
Valdosta Campus Student Center and “Upper Crust” Student Lounge
The student center on the Valdosta campus is located between Berrien Hall and Lowndes Hall. The lounge provides a comfortable place for students to eat, meet, and mingle, or to just relax between classes. The lounge offers seating inside or outside under the covered patio. The Upper Crust offers a full kitchen providing breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. In addition, the student center houses the office of the Campus Life Assistant and the Student Government Association.
Periodically, the Culinary Arts program will host luncheons/dinners. Tickets can be purchased in the bookstore.
Ben Hill-Irwin Campus
The Ben Hill-Irwin campus, Irwin Hall, has an ultra-modern high-tech student lounge with televisions, a cyber-café, vending machines, and microwave. In addition, there are study areas in the student lounge and on the patio adjacent to the student center. Charles Harris Learning Center has a television, vending machines, microwaves, and areas for food service use. Additionally, outside the Charles Harris Leaning Center is a covered gazebo where students enjoy meeting, studying, relaxing, and eating.
The Coffee campus has 2 open areas for studying, eating, and computer usage. Adjacent to this area is a covered patio with picnic tables and benches for relaxing and use during class breaks. Vending machines, televisions, and microwaves are located in this area as well.
A snack area and student lounge area is located in the middle of the main building and provides vending options as well as a microwave for student use. In addition, there is outside seating available when weather permits.
Bulletin Boards and Posters
The Student Affairs Department maintains financial aid information, job opportunities, registration information, club information, and other current items of interest on several bulletin boards located around all campus locations. Career Services also maintains listings of jobs on the college website. Posters announcing special events and services are placed strategically throughout the college in an effort to keep the student body informed. All postings must be approved through the Director of Marketing and Public Relations.
Office phones are not for student use. A phone is located on the Valdosta campus in the student center adjacent to Lowndes Hall and is available to students for local calls only. Telephones are located on the Ben Hill-Irwin campus at the Welcome Center and on the Coffee campus in the Student Center. Otherwise, students needing assistance requiring use of a telephone should ask any department secretary to assist them with making the emergency phone call.
Lost and Found
Each campus provides a point person for lost and found items. The Valdosta campus location is the library in Lowndes Hall. The Cook, Coffee, and Ben-Hill-Irwin campus locations for lost and found are the main Welcome Center desks. Articles not claimed within 30 days are given to an appropriate charity.
Designated Smoking Areas
There are designated smoking areas on each campus of WGTC. Maps highlighting the smoking areas, including gazebos and other assigned areas, can be found at the receptionist desk on each campus. Smoking is prohibited in buildings and non-designated areas.
The bookstores are owned and operated by WGTC and are located on the Valdosta, Cook, Ben Hill-Irwin, and Coffee campuses. The stores provide required texts, supplies, and a variety of logo and gift items. Normal operating hours are posted at each location and are subject to change during holidays, semester breaks, and at the beginning of the semester.
Current booklists are available online prior to the beginning of each semester. Information regarding title, author, ISBN, and pricing (when available) is listed alphabetically by course number.
The mission of the Library/Media Services Center at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College is to stimulate a desire for life-long learning in users by ensuring the diverse academic and individual needs of students as well as the instructional, professional, and individual interests of faculty/staff are met by providing a current and relevant collection, state-of-the-art technology, and services that support the mission of the college to all campuses. The library maintains a variety of learning resources readily accessible to faculty, staff, students, business and industry, and the general public. Students, faculty, and staff have access to any WGTC library with a current WGTC ID card. In addition, current students, faculty, and staff have full privileges to Valdosta State University (Odum) Library and South Georgia College (Smith) Library.
The Valdosta Campus Library is located in Lowndes Hall, Room 7147A. The Cook County Library Resource Center is located at the Cook County Workforce Development Center (CCWDC) in Room 112. The Lewis I. Brinson, Sr. Library is located in Room 101 of the Ben Hill-Irwin campus. The Coffee Campus Library is located in Room 180.
Hours of operation vary per library. Scheduled library hours are posted at each library and online at https://www.wiregrass.edu/library.
Students may register to vote in the state of Georgia through the Student Affairs Department. The student must complete, sign, and mail (postage free) a simple form to register to vote. The student will be notified concerning his/her district and place to vote in special and general elections. Persons who wish to register to vote must be Georgia residents and at least 18 years of age. There is no fee for registration to vote.
Notice and Responsibilities Regarding this Catalog
The information in this College Catalog and Student Handbook accurately reflects current policies and procedures at the time of publication. Students are admitted to the College under and are subject to the provisions of the WGTC Catalog and Student Handbooks for the term they initially enroll. Students in all programs are admitted under and are subject to the provisions of the College Catalog and Student Handbook and applicable addendums for the term they are admitted to the program at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College. If for any reason, a break in enrollment occurs, students must reapply and satisfy the College Catalog and Student Handbook requirements for the term of their re-entry to any program. The provisions of this catalog are not to be regarded as an irrevocable contract between Wiregrass Georgia Technical College and the student. The College reserves the right to change any provision or requirement at any time.