James.qxp July August 2018 web - Page 41



the country because we simply don’t have
enough qualified workers to fill these positions.
Couple this demand with rising student debt and
the underemployment of many bachelor degree
holders, and people are taking a second look at
technical education as a great way to earn a degree,
land a great job and have little to no college debt. We
are still just $89 a credit.
“Because of this, technical colleges will play an
expanding role in educating more Georgians for the jobs
our economy demands,” he stresses.
What is Matt Arthur’s background? It’s impressive.
Prior to his role as TCSG deputy commissioner, the
University of Georgia graduate (he played on the 1980
national championship football team) served as the
director of education reform for the Governor’s Office
of Planning and Budget. Previously he was the Rabun
County school superintendent for 13 years and has also
been a teacher, principal, coach and, as he says,
“everything in between.” “I really enjoyed working in
kindergarten through third grade and especially
promoting literacy,” Arthur muses. “I feel very
fortunate to have a career in education.”
Growth and Job Placement
Arthur also believes the state of technical
education in Georgia is strong right now due to the
tremendous support of Gov. Nathan Deal and the
General Assembly.
“The expansion of the HOPE Career Grant, which
covers free tuition for those enrolled in one of 17
high-demand career fields, continues to attract more
students,” says Arthur. “Our college and career
academies have grown to 43 across the state and serve
approximately 32,000 students. We are also growing
our apprenticeship programs as 21 of our colleges are
U.S. Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship
program sponsors.
What is the commissioner perhaps proud of the
most? It’s the system’s job placement rate. “Eighty-eight
percent of our graduates get a job in their eld of study
after graduation. For those students who either continue
their education or accept a job in an unrelated eld, that
number jumps to 99 percent.” The TCSG is truly quite a
“secret weapon.”
Cindy Morley is a staff writer for James and InsiderAdvantage.
Something New— MOWR
As for the future, the commissioner touts what
promises to be the “newest secret weapon” in TCSG’s
role in economic development: It’s a dual enrollment
program called Move on When Ready (MOWR).
“Dual Enrollment has been a game-changer for high
school students and their families,” he notes. “Since
students earn college credit while still in high school,
not only are they saving themselves money, they are
getting a head start on their postsecondary education.”
According to Arthur, the proof is in the numbers.
When the program began in 2013, there were 7,130
students enrolled. Today, there are more than 26,000
students taking advantage of the dual enrollment
program at TCSG colleges.
Under MOWR or dual enrollment, students may
take academic core courses that can transfer to TCSG
colleges or University System of Georgia colleges and
universities. Students may also take occupational and
career courses that can help jump start a career.
MOWR also provides Georgia students with collegelevel courses in a small class environment, tuition-free.
This early college experience provided to high school
students helps them get an early start to their
postsecondary education while preparing for the future.
J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 8
41

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