Columbus Technical College
|Columbus Technical College|
|President||Lorette M. Hoover|
|Location||Columbus, Georgia, United States|
Columbus Technical College's origins date back to 1961, when the Columbus Area Vocational-Technical School, operating as a unit of the Muscogee County School District, opened with thirty-nine students enrolled in eight different programs. In 1966, under the leadership of Perry Gordy, who replaced Richardson in 1965, the school merged with the Muscogee Area Vocational-Technical School at Columbus Tech's present-day location. A $500,000 addition to the campus was completed in 1967.
A $2.6 million expansion ten years later doubled floor space. W. G. Hartline became president in 1979, and in 1981 Columbus Tech became one of only three technical schools in Georgia to offer an associate degree in engineering technology. A $6.8 million expansion followed in 1985, and the school, then called Columbus Technical Institute, officially converted to state governance in 1987, becoming part of the newly formed Department of Technical and Adult Education (DTAE) in 1988. Eugene Demonet succeeded Hartline as president of the school in 1995.
In 2000, due to legislation (1187) that allowed technical institutes offering associate degrees to be called colleges, the school became Columbus Technical College. Further expansion was implemented by current president J. Robert Jones in 2001, when the school purchased twenty-nine acres adjacent to its existing campus (formerly owned by carpet manufacturer Beaulieu of America) for the site of a new health sciences building. According to the DTAE's 2005 annual report, 6,245 students were enrolled in certificate, diploma, or degree programs at Columbus Tech. An additional 1,354 students were enrolled in noncredit courses.
In 2007 the DTAE was renamed the Technical College System of Georgia, an entity comprising the thirty-four colleges under its administration, and in 2008 the DTAE's name officially changed to TCSG. In 2005, Columbus Technical College spearheaded a capital campaign to raise funds for a state-of-the-art health sciences learning facility. This fundraiser brought in about $10 million in addition to the State of Georgia approving an additional $16 million. The Robert L. Wright, Jr. Health Sciences Center opened its doors in October 2010. The TCSG reports 5,928 students were enrolled in classes at Columbus Technical College in 2012.
In July 2013, Columbus Technical College President J.Robert "Bob" Jones retired and was replaced by President of Altamaha Technical College, Lorette M. Hoover.