(Marietta, Ga. – July 7, 2014)Chattahoochee Technical College students who are planning to enter some of the most in-demand career fields may be eligible for some extra funds starting this fall. Already available for students in Commercial Truck Driving, Early Childhood Care and Education and Practical Nursing, the Strategic Industries Workforce Development Grant (SIWDG) has now been expanded to include students in the diploma-level programs of Computer Programming, Diesel Equipment Technology, Information Security Specialist, Internet Specialist-Web Application Development, Networking Specialist, Surgical Technology and Welding and Joining Technology.
“Students don’t have to do anything extra to apply for this grant as long as they are enrolled in an eligible program and receiving HOPE Grant, they’ll receive this grant,” explained Student Financial Services Executive Director Jody Darby. “We hope this will help students defray some of the costs of these programs and make a college education more accessible to the future workforce.”
Beginning this fall, when they are qualifying for the HOPE Grant, students can simultaneously qualify for the SIWDG by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Newly streamlined for easier completion, students should submit this application as soon as possible for the HOPE Grant and other financial aid. Students may also apply for HOPE and other state aid, including SIWDG, through www.gacollege411.org.
Georgia’s HOPE Grant is available to Georgia residents who are working toward certificate or diploma at an eligible college or university in Georgia. Different than the HOPE Scholarship, the program focuses on technical college programs that can be completed in just a few semesters. Full-time enrollment is not required and students are not required to graduate from high school with a specific GPA, however, they are required to have a postsecondary cumulative 2.0 GPA, at certain checkpoints, in order to maintain eligibility.
For those programs eligible for the enhanced SIWDG, students can receive the traditional HOPE Grant as well as an additional $125-$500 in funding each semester.
Students in the Commercial Truck Driving program at the college’s North Metro Campus could qualify for a one-time grant of $1,000. The typical cost for the 8-week program is currently $1,576 for in-state students, plus the cost of books. With both HOPE Grant and the SIWDG funds, a student would only be required to a fraction of that amount.
Also available at the college’s North Metro Campus, students in the diploma-level Diesel Equipment Technology program could be eligible for between $125 and $500 in additional funding. The Diesel Equipment Technology program emphasizes truck repair theory as well as practical workplace application.
Several diploma-level programs within Computer Technology also fall under the SIWDG. Students studying Computer Programming, Information Security Specialist, Internet Specialist-Web Application Development and Networking Specialist could receive between $125 and $500 each semester. Job opportunities range from programmer or website designer to information security specialist or network administrator. Classes for these programs are offered at the Marietta and North Metro campuses.
Students enrolled in the diploma Early Childhood Care and Education program could be eligible to receive between $125 and $500 each term. The program, which is taught online and at multiple campuses, prepares students to work in Georgia’s child care centers or Pre-K programs.
Students pursuing a diploma in the Practical Nursing Program could also be eligible to receive between $125 and $500 each term. In just one year, practical nursing students complete 685 hours in the classroom and 485 hours of clinical experience. They learn nursing fundamentals, leadership basics and are exposed to medical/surgical, obstetrics, labor and delivery, pediatric and mental health specialties. The program classes are offered at the North Metro Campus.
Housed in a state-of-the-art lab at the college’s North Metro Campus, the Surgical Technology program has recently been added to the list of eligible programs for the SIWDG. Like the other diploma-level programs, Surgical Technology students can receive between $125 and $500 per semester if eligible. The surgical technology diploma program prepares students for employment in a variety of positions in the surgical field, ensuring that each surgery runs safely, effectively and hygienically.
Also new to the list of programs eligible for the SIWDG this year is the Welding and Joining Technology Program. Available at the Appalachian Campus, students may receive between $125 and $500 per semester, if eligible. The Welding and Joining Technology program includes training in shielding metal arc, oxyacetylene, tungsten inert gas, metallic inert gas, oxyfuel gas cutting, plasma arc cutting, and gouging. In this hands-on program, students learn about metals, electrodes and filler materials.
“This is a great policy initiative from the Governor and General Assembly,” said Chattahoochee Technical College President Dr. Ron Newcomb. “This will incentivize enrollment into needed areas and better develop this community and Georgia’s workforce for the future.”