COLUMBUS, GA - The U.S. Department of Education has announced that six Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) colleges, including Columbus Technical College, have been awarded a total of almost $2.4 million in federal grants to improve the colleges' abilities to serve low- and middle-income students.
Columbus Technical College received $453,338 under the grant provided by the U.S. DOE's Predominately Black Institutions (PBI) program.
The PBI program supports colleges that have undergraduate enrollment of at least 40% African-American and at least 50% low-income or first generation college students.
The funds may be used for a wide range of projects, including the development of tutoring, counseling and service programs that will improve academic success.
The grant money for Columbus Technical College has been earmarked for the implementation and maintenance of a writing lab, scheduled to open in January. Columbus Technical College English instructor Carrie Holzmeister is the coordinator of the lab. The center will feature experienced tutors, 15 computer stations, round tables for study sessions and/or one-on-one tutoring, shelves full of resource materials, and much more.
"The lab will help serve a part of our student body that needs writing instruction and assistance," Holzmeister said. "It's really exciting to come in on the ground floor of this project. We can't wait to get the center up and running!"
"No matter what program a student is in or what industry he or she chooses to enter, the ability to communicate effectively is paramount," said Columbus Technical College president Bob Jones. "This writing lab will help all of our students by providing the fundamental skills and hands-on practice needed to make it in the real world. This grant is greatly appreciated and will have a phenomenal return on investment for years to come."
Atlanta Technical College: $419,198
DeKalb Technical College: $482,613
Columbus Technical College: $453,338
Heart of Georgia Technical College: $250,000
Central Georgia Technical College: $545,397
Sandersville Technical College: $272,252
The amount given to the TCSG colleges accounted for 22% of the grant total and was the largest awarded to any state in the nation.
"Our colleges put forth a great amount of hard work to receive these funds, but the result was well-worth the effort," said TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson. "We want as many students as possible to realize the value of a college education. These grants will help us to bring more African-American students into our technical college classrooms and labs and, ultimately, help to create a better-educated and more versatile 21st Century workforce for Georgia and our nation."