What’s in Store for Wiregrass

Wiregrass Georgia Technical College anticipates the arrival of new additions to its curriculum this year. Faculty and students alike are excited to broaden their horizons and receive more opportunities to become successful in their fields of study.

Among the new additions is the new Allied Health building, which has been in the works for nearly five years. This building, according to Jackie Spriggs, dean of academic affairs, will further broaden the quality of education for all students.

“We are excited about the new Allied Health building,” she said. “It will provide a state of-the-art place to train our students in a modern environment. I would expect that this will get students excited about attending Wiregrass and, with our active marketing team, increase our enrollment.”

Spriggs explained that this addition will be better for the college and its students because they have essentially outgrown their current space. Some of the new building’s features will include large lab areas, more classrooms, hightech equipment, two new biology labs, and a wellness clinic.

Also coming up this year will be a new Transitions in Nursing Program, an LPN to RN bridge, starting in fall 2020. Darlene Ridley, director of the ASN Program, is responsible for program development, curriculum, daily management, and maintaining compliance with board guidelines.

She said that this is, in fact, the seventh class to be hosted, having originally started in 2014 after getting approval from the Georgia Board of Nursing.

“The purpose of the program is to provide the learner with the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes to practice competently and safely as a novice professional in a healthcare environment.”
— Darlene Ridley

Ridley explained that the curriculum is designed to produce highly trained, technically advanced, competent, and caring individuals to prepare them for professional nursing in a variety of healthcare settings.

“The purpose of the program is to provide the learner with the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes to practice competently and safely as a novice professional in a healthcare environment,” Ridley said. “Program graduates receive an Associate of Science in Nursing degree and are then eligible to apply and take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. Upon successful completion of the NCLEX-RN and licensure by the Georgia Board of Nursing, graduates may obtain employment as a professional registered nurse.”

Among that, Ridley noted that they are accredited through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and are rated No. 1 in the state based on board pass rates, according to RegisteredNursing.com.

“We are excited to start our class No. 7 in January for the generic program and to start the LPN transitions course in fall of 2020,” Ridley said.

Wiregrass offers a wide variety of programs to meet any training needs, ranging from associate degrees to technical certificates. All courses are offered in multiple settings, including classroom, online, and hybrid formats. To learn more about what more Wiregrass has to offer, visit online at Wiregrass.com.

Q & A With Dr. Tina Anderson, Wiregrass President

Wiregrass President Dr. Tina Anderson is one of many excited for these new benefits to her college. With her 27-year career in higher education, she took the time to share some of her thoughts about what these changes will mean for the college and its students.

How long has the new Allied Health building been in the works, and what does it entail? 4adb4c

We have been planning for the Allied Health building for about five years. We are excited that it was funded this year. The ground breaking is scheduled for May 2020.

How do you think this new addition will benefit the college?

The building will help train and recruit students into high-demand health fields. The community, especially the health care community, has been very supportive because we supply a valuable workforce in health care.

“We love what we do at Wiregrass and feel blessed to serve our communities.”

Tell me about learning that the LPN program was ranked No. 5 in the state.

We are so proud of our students and the faculty who work so closely with the students. We are always proud when hard work and success (are) recognized.

The LPN to RN bridge program is coming this year. How has the turnout been for the info sessions about it?

Lots of excitement. Obviously, the bridge program is needed by members of the health community and by our local health care providers.

Wiregrass has extensive online programs. What are some notable ones?

Accounting, business management, fire science, and criminal justice — all of these are fully or partially online. We need to make sure that we are meeting students’ needs and providing access in the form that students prefer.

What exactly is the LTC program?

Long-Term Care. This is an interdisciplinary program designed to
prepare graduates to assist patients and families to connect with community resources, transition from hospital to home, and manage a resident’s care in a nursing home.

How has the agreement with GSW about credit transfers benefited transfer students working toward the LTC program?

We have only recently signed the articulation agreement. However, we are excited about the future for students interested in this program.

What else does the college do to ensure that transfer students have the smoothest transition when working toward their degree or certificate?

We have many articulation agreements that assist students in a smooth transition. We work with other higher education institutions to guide students and to minimize the loss of credits from one institution to another.

Are there any other notable programs or services Wiregrass offers that you would also like to highlight?

1.We have the No. 1 RN program for 2019 in the state of Georgia, according to Nursing.org.
2.We have the highest number of student medalists in SkillsUSA at the state and national levels.
3.We have faculty who are experts in their fields (and) provide skilled knowledge to students to ready them for the workforce.
4.We have a +90% placed-in-career-field rate for students who graduate.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

We love what we do at Wiregrass and feel blessed to serve our

Written by: Alex Dunn | Photography by: Eric Vinson

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