In July of 2010, TCSG initiated a strategic brainstorming process to gather information and ideas from system stakeholders around the state. The ideas were analyzed and the result presented to the board in October 2010. Next, the planning team worked with agency leadership to craft a strategic framework for moving TCSG forward. After input from college presidents and others, the framework was finalized into the FY 2012 TCSG strategic plan update by the TCSG board.
During the strategic brainstorming process, the word appearing most often in answers to every question was “STUDENT”. This is not surprising because TCSG is a student focused organization. The following section from TCSG’s new strategic plan provides an overview of the strategic goal and strategies relating to our students.
Strategic Goal: Students and student success are the focus of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG); colleges will prepare their students for quality jobs and/or continuing education.
- Access: All residents will have access to a quality education.
- Affordability: TCSG should remain a low cost, quality educational option and provide alternative methods to help finance student’s educational goals.
- Student Life: TCSG students will have access to a full range of campus and college activities to enhance their intellectual and social experience.
- Completion: To be successful, TCSG must ensure that students graduate from their educational program in a timely manner.
- Articulation: TCSG coursework completed by students that choose to continue their education should be recognized by other institutions of higher learning.
To review the complete strategic plan, use this link: TCSG Strategic Plan Link.
Board’s Strategic Initiatives
As part of the planning process, the TCSG board identified the following three strategic initiatives:
- Global Leadership (Methods of working with international organizations)
- Development Plan (Identifying alternatives to state funding)
- K-16 Engagement (This includes initiatives that require working with the K-12 system and other postsecondary institutions.)
The board members believe that their experience will add significant value in these areas.
To be the world leader in technical education, TCSG must engage stakeholders from small businesses in our local communities to global corporations looking for a trained competitive workforce. Many new jobs in Georgia are directly related to international businesses or international trade. In 2010, Georgia ranked 12th among U.S. states in dollar value of exports. Moreover, Georgia companies imported $60.2 billion in goods in 2010, ranking Georgia 9th among U.S. states and 2nd in the Southeast in dollar value of imports.
Globalization involves the development of an integrated world economy based on free trade, the free flow of capital, and the competitive utilization of low-cost international labor markets. Georgia’s technical college system can provide training that results in a more productive workforce which, in turn, will attract business looking for a profitable balance between workforce productivity and cost.
The great recession that began in 2008 has significantly impacted TCSG colleges in two areas. First, enrollment increased significantly as students searched for training that would lead to employment. Second, state revenue plummeted, and funding for the enrollment growth was not available. TCSG responded to these challenges using several strategies:
- Hired adjunct faculty at lower cost with no benefits;
- Increased class size (where allowed);
- Eliminated 348 marginal programs; and
- Merged colleges to reduce overhead and put resources into instruction rather than administration.
These cost reductions cannot be replicated indefinitely. Accordingly, the strategic plan addresses the key area of sustainable funding. As the past several years have indicated, efficiency measures help, but there are limits. Consequently, the planning team realized that the system must identify additional revenue sources through a comprehensive development initiative. TCSG and its colleges must seek and secure alternative sources of funding for programs and students to provide the world class workforce necessary for Georgia’s economic vitality.
To be successful, TCSG must work with both the K-12 educational systems and the post-secondary educational entities in Georgia. These activities are important in moving toward the goal of a seamless education for Georgia students.
Many TCSG students choose to continue their education at other institutions of higher learning. To ensure their successful transition, it is important that college level credit hours earned at TCSG transfer. This is being accomplished through the efforts of individual colleges and via ongoing negotiations between the TCSG system office and the University System of Georgia. In addition, TCSG has articulation agreements with numerous private colleges and is constantly working to add agreements with new institutions.
The TCSG’s dual credit programs provide exceptional opportunities for Georgia high school juniors and seniors to take college level courses at TCSG colleges or on their high school campuses and earn credit toward a high school diploma and a college award at the same time. There are a number of ways that high school students can take courses under a TCSG dual credit program:
- DUAL ENROLLMENT: using HOPE to earn dual college and high school credits
- CAREER ACADEMIES: collaborative campuses preparing students for 21st Century jobs
- JOINT ENROLLMENT: earning college credits only when still enrolled in high school
- MOVE ON WHEN READY: funds forfull-time college while still in high school
- ACCEL: funds for college academic courses to pursue an associate or baccalaureate degree while in high school
- ARTICULATED CREDIT: college credit earned by successful completion of exemption exams
- YOUTH APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM: on the job training for the workforce
*2010 Georgia Import and Export Data Report, Georgia Department of Economic Development, February 15, 2011