Chattahoochee Technical College recently was awarded a $480,000 Rural Utilities Service Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant by the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to extend educational opportunities in Gilmer, Paulding and Pickens counties through the use of advanced technologies.
“These funds, combined with matching funds of $487,340, will allow the College to purchase telepresence equipment for high schools in Pickens, Gilmer and Paulding counties,” said Dr. Trina Boteler, Chattahoochee Technical College Special Assistant to the President for Strategic Initiatives. “We will be using this equipment to provide credit courses and additional support and information for students and potential students who may have college access barriers due to their location in rural areas.”
Chattahoochee Tech has identified the need for distance learning to expand health program opportunities for students in rural areas, according to Boteler, including any prerequisite coursework needed for admission into health programs. Equipment funded by the DLT Grant also will be used to support Dual Enrollment and teacher professional development.
The DLT Grant is a competitive, national grant program administered by the Rural Utilities Service unit of USDA.
Murray County Chief Magistrate Judge L. Gale Buckner and Hiram Police Chief Todd A. Vande Zande were seated as members of the Highland Rivers Health governing board at its most recent meeting in February. Buckner and Vande Zande will serve three-year terms as representatives of Murray and Paulding counties, respectively.
“Mental illness and substance use disorders continue to have a substantial impact on both law enforcement agencies and the criminal justice system in our state,” said Judge Allen Wigington, chair of Highland Rivers’ governing board. “Chief Vande Zande and Judge Buckner are important partners in Highland Rivers’ ongoing efforts to address these issues in communities in northwest Georgia. We are very pleased to have them join our governing board.”
Highland Rivers Health is governed by a 14-member board that includes a representative from every county in the agency’s service area (with two representatives from both Floyd and Polk counties) who are appointed by each county’s board of commissioners. Members serve three-year terms, and terms are staggered to ensure continuity of governance.
The board includes several individuals who have family members with mental illness, addictive disease or developmental disabilities, and includes representatives from the judicial system, family services, private industry, law enforcement, local government and healthcare, among others.
“Highland Rivers Health is very fortunate to have governing board members that are true advocates – not only for our agency, but more important, for the individuals we serve,” said Highland Rivers CEO Melanie Dallas. “Judge Buckner and Chief Vande Zande are excellent additions to our board and we thank the commissioners of Murray and Paulding counties for appointing them.”
Chattahoochee Technical College recently received the distinction of hosting one of the top 10 nursing programs in Georgia by www.registerednursing.org. Listed at No. 5, CTC was noted for its Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program.
“Nursing programs were assessed on several factors which represent how well a program supports students towards licensure and beyond,” RegisteredNursing.org Founder and Managing Editor Brooke Wallace said. “We analyzed past and present National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) pass rates, weighted by year.”
The website used CTC’s pass rates from 2011 to 2015 and analyzed 40 total institutions in the state of Georgia. The institutional graduation rate for Chattahoochee Tech’s ASN program is more than 70 percent.
Quetina Pittman-Howell, Associate Dean of Nursing for CTC, said this accomplishment was made possible by the hard work of the college’s faculty and students.
“The faculty at Chattahoochee Technical College have the knowledge and expertise necessary to prepare nursing students to enter practice,” Pittman-Howell said. “They are creative and innovative, which creates an informative and fun learning environment. The program’s board pass rate reflects that students are capturing what they are being taught in both clinical and class.”
Pittman-Howell is a registered nurse, a doctoral candidate and holds a Master of Science in Nursing Education.
“The students at CTC are truly amazing. They are hard workers, open to learning and they trust their faculty with the process of preparing them to become nurses,” she said. “Every one of them brings something to the classroom, whether it’s a smile, the spirit of joy, determination, or the innate desire of wanting to become a nurse. I’m proud to say CTC nursing students are making their mark in the nursing profession.”
The Associate of Science in Nursing and Associate of Science in Nursing – LPN to RN Bridge Option programs are located at the college’s Paulding Campus, 400 Nathan Dean Blvd. in Dallas. Upon completion of the highly rigorous and competitive programs, students are eligible to apply and sit for the NCLEX-RN. Successful completion of the exam qualifies graduates for employment in physicians’ offices, hospitals, clinics, extended care facilities, hospices, governmental agencies, private industries, or the home health care field.