While we may not be moving dirt yet at West Georgia Technical College’s new location in Carrollton, there is much work happening behind the scenes to prepare for construction.

You expect to hear about architects furiously drawing buildings (and they are). You expect to hear about the property transfer to enable construction (and it has). You also might expect to hear that the instructional programs currently offered on the Carroll Campus are heavily involved in the design of their new spaces. To me, that’s one of the best parts.

Instructors are asked to dream up their ideal instructional space for their programs — classrooms, labs, storage, workspace, whatever they can envision. It’s exciting. And while we seldom get exactly what we dream, having perfection in our minds can enable us to produce something really great that works just as well.

There is back-and-forth negotiation in any design and construction, but I can tell you the end product will be terrific instructional space for our programs in Carrollton. I know instructors who are ecstatic about having more space, better configuration and new equipment to train students.

Another facet is that West Georgia Tech has just this semester added a Paramedicine Diploma to our other Emergency Medical Services programs. This program expands what we are offering to train first responders and enables our EMT alumni to increase their skill level and earning potential by returning to school.

Since this program has been added to our Carroll Campus this semester, it will be moving to the new campus into an all-new instructional space, as well.

To me, the Paramedicine Diploma is a great example of what we do at West Georgia Tech.

First, it meets a demand from industry to have workers with more skills and capabilities. Employees in the emergency medical services industry have asked us to offer this program to both upskill their existing personnel and to entice new people into their field. Just like many other industries in our area, they are looking for employees who have a specific skill set we can provide.

Second, this is a great example of lifelong learning. Students can start with a basic Emergency Medical Technician certificate, which qualifies them to test and be licensed as an EMT. When they reach those goals and want more, they can take classes for the Advanced EMT Certificate, which allows them to test and be licensed as an Advanced EMT.

Once again, when they want more, graduates can return to WGTC for the Paramedicine Diploma. When they complete that, students are ready to test and be licensed as a Paramedic with the State Office of Emergency Medical Service and Trauma.

As these people grow in their profession, West Georgia Tech is ready to take them to the next level. That’s what lifelong learning is all about. It’s not enough to get a degree and coast in. You have to be learning and developing to meet the next challenge that meets you.

That’s what West Georgia Tech is doing, too. We’re not content in our current Carroll Campus. We never settle. We know the future requires more, and we are working hard to provide the very best education and training for our students — today and tomorrow.

Ben Chambers is the director of Public Relations and Information at West Georgia Technical College.

Ben Chambers is the director of Public Relations and Information at West Georgia Technical College.

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