GNTC Receives $2.1 Million Federal Grant From U.S. Department Of Education

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) received a $2.1 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education called the Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) to improve academic quality, institutional management and fiscal responsibility.

 

The five-year grant is intended assist eligible higher education institutions to become more self-sufficient and expand capabilities to better serve lower-income students and boost graduation rates.

 

“Student success is our number one priority at GNTC,” said Pete McDonald, president of GNTC.

“The faculty and administration of GNTC define student success as each student completing their academic program of study on-time and obtaining a job in their career field of choice.”

 

The proposal, “Success through Coaching and Access” that led to the grant was spearheaded by Samantha Bishop, credentialing and grants assistant at GNTC. It was designed based on feedback from students, faculty and staff with an objective to better serve lower income, first generation students.

 

“We are very excited about all the ways this grant will greatly enhance our distance learning capabilities and student support resources,” said Ms. Bishop. 

 

The grant proposal was based on feedback from surveys, interviews and input from a program design team. 

 

A five-year strategic plan was created based on the SIP grant. It consists of four key activities designed to increase the retention of full-time students seeking a degree, particularly underserved students.

 

The first activity in the Strengthening Institutions Program is the implementation of a videoconferencing-based distance learning system on all six campuses. GNTC serves nine counties in the northwest Georgia region with campuses in Catoosa, Floyd, Gordon, Polk, Walker and Whitfield counties.

 

Many classes are offered online, however there are some programs and courses that require direct interaction between instructors and students that isn’t possible through traditional online instruction. The telecommunications technology via live video will allow live interaction and also make distance learning a possibility for courses that previously were only available by traveling to a campus.

 

The first two campuses to be connected via video telecommunications technology will be the Gordon County Campus in Calhoun and the Walker County Campus in Rock Spring. Other GNTC campuses will receive these upgrades in later years throughout the program’s five-year period.

 

The second activity is the hiring of five new staff members to assist with admissions, financial aid, dual enrollment and students that are considered at risk of completing their program of study. Larry Blanchard of Rome was selected to be the coordinator of the Strengthening Institutions Program at GNTC.

 

Mr. Blanchard will oversee a team of four student success coaches that will work with first year, high need students that may need additional assistance. The four new student success coaches are Matt Bryant, Walker County Campus; Tracy Gentry, Whitfield Murray Campus; MaryAnn Russell, Floyd County Campus; and Victoria (Tori) Townsend, Gordon County Campus.

 

Gentry was previously with GNTC’s Financial Aid department and Russell was with GNTC’s Student Help Center before they became student success coaches.

 

Faculty development, both in-person and through the distance learning telecommunications system, is the third activity in the five-year plan. Topics will include synchronous interactive distance learning, cultural competency, utilizing on-campus resources and academic advising.

 

The fourth activity is implementing an institutional-wide data plan to address student needs, identify gaps in services and improvements to service and course development. GNTC will develop a strategy to improve workflows, policies and procedures based on data analysis to determine the best ways to advance student success.

 

“The college is very pleased to receive the $2.1m ‘Strengthening Institutions Program’ grant from the U. S. Department of Education,” said Mr. McDonald. “The funds will allow the college to dedicate additional staff to assist students to help them navigate through the challenges of college attendance, work and life.”


CSCC Employees Attend Tennessee Campus Civic Summit

Third Student From Signal Mountain Aces The ACT

Ceremony Breaks Ground For New Middle School In East Hamilton


Three Cleveland State employees Sherry Holloway, director of Service-Learning, Dr. Barsha Pickell, dean of Humanities and Social Sciences and Dr. Michele Wollert, coordinator of Academic Advising ... (click for more)

Caroline Cornett, a junior at Signal Mountain Middle/High, is the third student from Signal Mountain to achieve the highest possible composite score of 36 on the ACT college entrance exam in ... (click for more)

The East Hamilton community held the groundbreaking ceremony for the new East Hamilton Middle School on Wednesday to signal the start of the exciting project for families in the community. The ... (click for more)


Student Scene

CSCC Employees Attend Tennessee Campus Civic Summit

Three Cleveland State employees Sherry Holloway, director of Service-Learning, Dr. Barsha Pickell, dean of Humanities and Social Sciences and Dr. Michele Wollert, coordinator of Academic Advising and Transfer Articulation, and one student, Cassiopeia Blackburn, attended the Tennessee Campus Civic Summit at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. One of two community college ... (click for more)

Third Student From Signal Mountain Aces The ACT

Caroline Cornett, a junior at Signal Mountain Middle/High, is the third student from Signal Mountain to achieve the highest possible composite score of 36 on the ACT college entrance exam in the past year. She is the sixth student in the history of the school to achieve the score putting her in the Top 1 percent of all students who take the ACT. Ms. Cornett joins seniors Jack Poss, ... (click for more)

Breaking News

TDOT Plans To Add 1 Lane In Each Direction To I-24 From Georgia State Line To US 27; New Section Of Apison Pike To Be Widened

The state plans to add one lane in each direction to a seven-mile section of Interstate 24, which is one of the most congested freeways in the country. The purchase of right of way for the project is included in TDOT’s annual three year transportation program. Right of way is listed for 2022 in a section between the Georgia state line and Brown's Ferry Road and another ... (click for more)

Man, 50, Shot In Road Rage Incident On Bailey Avenue; Christopher Bell, 29, Wanted For Attempted Criminal Homicide

A man, 50, was shot on Bailey Avenue on Thursday afternoon, and Christopher Bell, 29, is wanted for criminal attempted homicide. At approximately 3:20 p.m. Chattanooga Police were dispatched to a person shot call at 1050 Bailey Ave. Upon arrival, officers located a man suffering from a gunshot wound. The man stated to police that he and the suspect were involved in a vehicle ... (click for more)

Opinion

Save The Wildlife, Mr. Berke

Why in the world would there be any question regarding the wildlife at East Lake park, and the humane relocation of same? Why would anyone need to beg for the right thing to be done? Maybe if the ducks could ride scooters, there would be money for this. Or maybe if they had means to pay for one of the so-called affordable apartments we have in Chattanooga, they would rate the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What's 'Good' About It?

For the biggest part of my life (a real long time) I refused to acknowledge what is “good” about Good Friday. Today, in literally every country on earth, it is ‘Good Friday’ and, nope, nothing is “good” about killing my Jesus. Forget that it is the most singular display of His love for me, and I push all of the human race aside, to stand completely alone, and feel Jesus’ eyes on ... (click for more)