Southern Crescent Technical College, a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, located south of Atlanta, delivers relevant technical education, adult education, and learning opportunities via various instructional modalities at the associate degree, diploma, and certificate levels to promote service, workforce development, and economic development.
Southern Crescent Technical College will emerge as the preeminent technical college that prepares students to become globally work-ready.
Southern Crescent Technical College is guided by the practice of the following core values:
Southern Crescent Technical College was formed in July of 2010 as a result of a merger between Flint River Technical College and Griffin Technical College. The College serves the workforce and community needs of the citizens in the eight counties of the South Atlanta region including Butts, Fayette, Henry, Jasper, Lamar, Pike, Spalding, and Upson counties. Southern Crescent Technical College students are served at the Flint River Campus in Thomaston, the Griffin Campus in Griffin or at one of the centers in Butts, Henry, or Jasper counties. In addition, the College provides Adult Education services in each of the eight counties in the service area.
In both equipment and in facilities, Southern Crescent Technical College is constantly working to provide the most current, hands-on training to help stimulate the economic growth and development of this community. The tradition of academic excellence continues as the College expands and updates its facilities to help prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s workforce.
Flint River Technical College and Griffin Technical College had a rich legacy for the communities and the students that they served. The following historical background information on both of the colleges highlights the significant impact of the colleges and illustrates the importance of the educational and training opportunities of Flint River Technical College and Griffin Technical College.
The history of Flint River Technical College began in April of 1961. At that time, an agreement between Upson County and the City of Thomaston created the Upson County Area Vocational-Technical School. Upson Tech was the seventh vocational-technical school established in Georgia. After two years of planning and organizing, the school began classes in September of 1963 in a temporary building in north Thomaston. The school offered four programs of study.
In September 1964, a new facility was completed on U.S. Highway 19 South that was considered the main campus. The new facility allowed for programs of instruction to increase to eleven. The school served an eight-county area. Additional facilities were added in 1975, 1978, 1991, 1996, and 2007.
In 1988, the Georgia Legislature created a new Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education. The change allowed local schools to become a part of a unified state system with governance vested in a state board. This change became effective for this institution in 1988. The change also caused the institution’s name to become Upson Technical Institute. Since 1963, several programs of instruction were added to reflect the changing employment opportunities in the institution’s service area. Likewise, programs were deleted due to a lack of student interest and/or employer needs.
In 1989, in addition to the main campus located in Upson County, a major effort was begun to establish outreach centers in the three primary counties outside of Upson that were served by the institution. As a result of this effort, the institution developed full-time services in Crawford, Taylor, and Talbot counties. Associated with this expansion of services, the institution changed its name to Flint River Technical Institute. The name was selected to reflect the geographic area served by the institution that bordered the Flint River.
On July 6, 2000, the name of Flint River Technical Institute officially became Flint River Technical College. Continued growth necessitated further expansion in 2004 when the Flint River Technical College Foundation acquired the former Thomaston Mills corporate office complex. This location in downtown Thomaston served as a new location for Adult Education, Economic Development programs, and the Child Care Resource and Referral Agency. The Community Development Center, as the new location was named, provided more space to deliver these programs, and it freed up locations on the main campus for new credit classes.
In 2006, the Georgia Legislature approved $7.5 million in funding for a new industrial training center to be placed on the main campus. Building D, consisting of 16,000 square feet, housed the Welding and Joining Technology, Air Conditioning Technology, Commercial Truck Driving, and Construction programs.
In 2007, the One Georgia Authority and the Department of Community Affairs awarded approximately $1 million dollars for an 8,000 square foot expansion of the Taylor County Center. This Center provided expanded classroom and lab areas for training programs for the citizens of Taylor County and surrounding areas. Also in 2007, a $300,000 donation from the Windhover Foundation of Quad Graphics was obtained which expanded and renovated the library on the main campus. The addition added approximately 1,400 square feet of floor space for library materials, as well as designated space for computer stations and office space.
Flint River Technical College had five leaders to serve as the President of the College from 1961-2008. The leaders included the following: Mr. E.G. McCants, 1961-1972; Mr. Clarence R. Tunmer,1972-1975; Mr. Leon L. Barnes,1975-1987; Dr. Carlos R. Schmitt, 1988-2001; and Dr. Kathy S. Love, 2001-2008.
The history of Griffin Technical College began in September of 1963 when the first students began classes in temporary quarters. Since that time, Griffin Technical College expanded its facilities and program offerings. Originally named the Griffin-Spalding County Area Vocational Technical School, the school operated under the supervision of the Georgia Department of Education. The first 48,000 square foot building was completed in 1966, and the first expansion of the school was completed in 1978 with the addition of 18,748 square feet of classroom space.
In 1985, the State Board of Post-Secondary Vocational Education was established and existing schools were encouraged to join this network. Griffin Tech joined the system in July of 1987 and adopted the name Griffin Technical Institute. Governor Joe Frank Harris elevated the Board to a Department in July 1988, changing the name to the Department of Technical and Adult Education.
In August of 1990, a 26,000 square foot office, classroom and lecture hall was added to the existing facility. The new Academic Building followed in the spring of 1995, which provided 15,297 square feet of additional classroom and office space. In September 1995, seven acres were acquired from the City of Griffin, and in February 1997, an additional two acres vacated by the Georgia State Patrol Station were acquired, providing an additional 7,223 square feet of classroom and office space.
In March of 2000, Governor Roy Barnes approved legislation to change the name of Georgia’s technical institutes to colleges. In July 2000, Griffin Technical Institute officially became Griffin Technical College and began offering students more options for their education. The term “technical college” more accurately reflected the quality and levels of services provided by these institutions to the citizens of Georgia.