ALBANY, Ga. -- Although the recent Hispanic and Latino Outreach Luncheon drew a sparse crowd, that didn't keep Albany Technical College officials from utilizing the opportunity to tout its classroom facilities recently.
"We incorporated a tour," said Lisa De Jesus, the school's dean of admissions. "A lot of people were working, but I think the participation with the breadth of the tour showcased Albany Tech's academic programs very well."
Ada Bello-Cruz, Evelyn Torrellas, Sandra Love and Keysha Torrence participated in last week's tour. Love and Torrence work for Girls Inc. The hour-plus tour focused on the health care technology building and also visited a visual communications class in the school's electronics and computer building.
Dorothy Garner, the dean of the school's health care technology division, proudly showed the guests the rooms or labs in surgical technology, anatomy, dental assisting, nursery exam, medication supply, birthing suite, phlebotomy, learning support, radiology technology and pharmacy technology. The birthing suite will soon add a birthing mannequin, Garner said.
"We compared our room to Phoebe, Palmyra and Albany Healthcare," Garner said of the nursing lab's patient room. "We do that so that when are graduates get out, they'll be in the same atmosphere.
"Our students get the best training and instruction," Garner added at the end of the tour. "I'm a proud graduate of Albany Tech. We give them everything possible (to succeed)."
The tour ended by visiting a visual communications, printing & graphics class that featured 21 Mac computers.
Albany Tech President Anthony Parker said the event aimed to increase the school's small enrollment of Hispanic and Latino residents living in Southwest Georgia. De Jesus said that Southwest Georgia has a Hispanic population of about 10 percent, but Albany Tech has only about 1 percent enrolled in the school.
"We're concentrating on that group because we feel we're under serving those citizens," he said. "We feel we have proportional enrollment from Caucasian and African-American populations, but I don't feel we have proportional enrollment from citizens of Hispanic descent."