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Georgia Northwestern Technical College.

IN 2008, GEORGIA'S STATE BOARD OF TECHNICAL AND ADULT EDUCATION APPROVED THE MERGER OF Coosa Valley Technical College and Northwestern Technical College, two schools with rich histories dating back to the early 1960s. So, although the new entity, Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC), has only existed by its new name since July of 2009, it is built upon a strong foundation and has continued to expand upon that foundation by adding new facilities and new opportunities for residents, as well as business and industry, in the community.

Today, GNTC serves nine counties and is the largest college in northwest Georgia, as well as one of the largest technical colleges in the state. At its six campuses, which are located in the counties of Catoosa, Floyd, Gordon, Polk, Walker and Whitfield, the school offers associate degree, diploma and certificate programs that prepare students for careers in technology, business, health care and public service. Approximately 13,800 people benefit from the credit and non-credit programs, and high school students may take college courses at GNTC or at their high schools through the dual-enrollment program. For three years in a row, GNTC was recognized as having the largest number of dual-enrollment students out of all the technical colleges in the state of Georgia.

Among the programs in human service careers offered at GNTC is Social Work Assistant, which includes a diploma option and a degree option. The diploma includes eight credit hours of general core curriculum courses in Fundamentals of English, Foundations of Mathematics, and Interpersonal Relations and Professional Development. The occupational curriculum consists of introductory courses in computers, social work and case management, as well as courses in human behavior, interviewing techniques, behavioral health, group work intervention, child welfare issues, and social policies and programs that relate to aging.

There are also two supervised social work field practicums. GNTC notes that the practicum is "an educationally focused, guided field experience in which students engage in community-based practice with individuals, families and/or communities. Students gain experience with various social work roles, such as advocate, broker and counselor."

In the degree program option, students take the same 48 hours of occupational curriculum, but the general core curriculum is 15 credit hours and includes Composition and Rhetoric, a humanities/fine arts elective, a social/behavioral sciences elective, and a general education elective, as well as a mathematics course in Mathematical Modeling, Quantitative Skills and Reasoning, College Algebra or Introduction to Statistics.

The GNTC Social Work Assistant program is designed to prepare individuals to obtain entry-level employment in public and private social service agencies. Students have the option to select courses that will prepare them to provide client services and support for families in fields such as psychology, rehabilitation and social work.

Social work is a field that requires a unique understanding of the issues we face today in our communities, and it also requires people who are equipped to help guide families and individuals as they navigate their way through difficult times. For those who choose to take on those issues--and the difficult but rewarding challenge that social work brings--human services programs like the one at Georgia Northwestern Technical College will start them on their journey with the knowledge-based learning, interpersonal skills and practical experience that will not only benefit children, the elderly, those with mental or physical disabilities, and others in need, but will also benefit their community and society as a whole.

For more information about Georgia Northwestern Technical College and its Social Work Assistant program, visit

Susan Reese is a Techniques contributing writer. E-mail her at
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Author:Reese, Susan
Geographic Code:1U5GA
Date:Feb 1, 2017
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