December 8, 2014- Albany, GA- The State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) has selected Lanier Technical College in Oakwood, Georgia as this year's recipient of their Perdue Award for the TCSG Technical College of the Year. Albany Technical College was a runner up for the award for the second time since the award began in 2011.

Each December, the board chooses the award winner from among the system's 23 technical colleges. The top college is named after a review of almost two dozen performance categories covering technical education, adult education, economic development, resource development, and administration.

TCSG State Board Chairman Joe Yarbrough made the announcement during the board's monthly meeting in Atlanta on December 4.

"The State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia is pleased to present Lanier Technical College with the Perdue Award for the 2014 Technical College of the Year," said Yarbrough. "We congratulate President Ray Perren and his faculty and staff for their excellent record of high educational achievement and strong commitment to student success in the classroom and on the job. We're proud of the outstanding work of each of the 23 TCSG colleges, but the record shows that Lanier Technical College has clearly earned our respect and commendation as this year's top college."

President Perren accepted the award for his college. "On behalf of the faculty, staff, students and all of the supporters of Lanier Technical College, I want to thank the TCSG State Board for this great honor. It's a testament to the tremendous work that the people of our college put forth every day to ensure that students learn the skills they need to succeed in Georgia's workforce."

TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson thanked the board for recognizing the college's accomplishments. "This is a well- deserved honor for Lanier Technical College, and I thank President Perren for his strong and effective leadership. I'm also very grateful to the college's faculty and staff whose steadfast commitment to technical and adult education ensures that their students are equipped with the skills that they need for solid careers with great companies," said Jackson.

Albany Technical College, along with Moultrie Technical College and Savannah Technical College, was a runner up for the award. Albany Tech was also a runner up for the award in 2011, which was the first year former Governor Perdue launched the award.

"Benchmarking the performance of technical colleges against each other and a set of standards provides each institution with criteria for measuring effectiveness," said Dr. Anthony O. Parker, President of Albany Technical College.

Parker said that another advantage to benchmarking is that colleges understand how well they've performed when compared to each other and that those colleges near the top are assumed to have implemented the best educational practices possible and each can improve by emulating those best practices.

"We are proud that for three of past five years, our practices have placed us among the best colleges in an excellence college system," said Parker.

The award benchmarks include enrollment growth; graduate rate; student job placement and graduate licensure rates; adult education and GED® success rates; corporate contract training; college fundraising; and the result of an administrative audit.

Highlights from Lanier Technical College's 2014 academic year include:

  • The college enrolled 5,240 students in credit classes during AY2014, which was a seven percent increase from the previous year.
  • The number of full-time equivalent students attending the college increased by eight and a half percent over the same time span.
  • The college's student retention rate was 69 percent during AY2014.
  • The college's graduation rate was 71 percent in AY2014.
  • The college increased the number of high school students enrolled in its dual credit programs, from 212 students in AY2013 to 361 students in AY2014 (a 70 percent increase).
  • The college, which has a long and successful history of contract workforce training partnership with businesses and industries throughout the seven counties in its service delivery area, provided training to 396 companies in AY2014; that was 32 more companies it served in AY2013 (a nine percent increase).
  • 422 adults earned their GED® credential through the college's adult education and GED® testing programs.

Lanier Technical College serves Banks, Barrow, Dawson, Forsyth, Hall, Jackson, and Lumpkin counties.

The TCSG college of the year award was created in 2011 and named in honor of former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, who was a strong supporter of the TCSG colleges and their mission to develop the state's workforce through technical and adult education.

Previous Perdue Award winners include Ogeechee Technical College (2011), Atlanta Technical College (2012), and Savannah Technical College (2013).

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Pictured (left to right): TCSG State Board Chair, Joe Yarbrough,
Albany Technical College President, Dr. Anthony O. Parker, and TCSG Commissioner, Ron Jackson.

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