Albany Technical College President Anthony Parker gave his Fiscal Year 2011 State of the College Address Wednesday at ATC’s Kirkland Hall. Parker touted the school’s record enrollment and said that focusing on the region’s adult literacy rate is one of his goals.
ALBANY — Albany Technical College President Anthony Parker presented the school’s FY 2011 State of the College address Wednesday, touting record enrollment rates.
Transitioning to the semester system, ATC recorded a summer 2011 enrollment of 3,944 then followed with a record fall enrollment of 4,562.
“We were the only school in the Technical College System of Georgia to have an increase in enrollment during the summer transition to semesters,” Parker said to applause from the gathered faculty, staff and students.
Parker pointed to several areas of pride for the school, noting that while the state was cutting budgets during the economic downturn, ATC had managed to avoid furloughs and layoffs by boosting funding from meeting performance-based funding goals. Those benchmarks included full-time equivalents, square footage and graduation/placement.
In FY 2011, ATC issued 3,435 awards (diplomas, certificates and degrees) and 1,071 diplomas.
“Diplomas are our bread and butter,” Parker said. “We are the first (technical) college to graduate more than 1,000 in a year. We have a large impact on the region’s economy because we put a lot of people into the work force.”
Parker said the school needs to get a handle on adult literacy in the region, noting that in ATC’s six-county service area between 22,000 and 26,000 adults lack high school diplomas or GEDs.
“We are in the process of looking for a site for an adult education center in Lee County and will eventually have one in every county we serve,” Parker said. “Studies have shown that within a year of obtaining their GED, the average worker was making $10,000 a year more. We need to put a dent in those numbers.”
The ATC president, however, cautioned, “If you are a 16- or 17-year-old dropout, go back to high school. If you are 19 to 20, come to Albany Tech.”
Parker then rattled off a list of the school’s accomplishments over FY 2011, including being cited first runner-up in the Governor’s Technical College of the Year competition, being recognized as a Top 100 school by Community College Week for two-year and one-year certificates and enrollment growth for colleges 2,500 to 5,000, and the opening of the college’s new Logistics Education Center.