For the better part of the last decade, Georgia Northwestern Technical Collegehas been going through a process to add a sixth campus in Catoosa County. On Aug. 15, the process will be complete as GNTC’s Catoosa County Campus will open its doors for class for the very first time.

Three brand new programs will kick off on this brand new campus as GNTC launches cybersecurity, logistics, and mechatronics.

“These are important new offerings with skilled workers in these fields being in demand in our companies in Northwest Georgia right now,” said GNTC’s Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Ginger Mathis. “We have turned this project around in a timely manner to help these students have what they need to become the skilled workforce employers are counting on.”

It was just 20 months ago when college administrators, along with state and local leaders, broke ground on the site in a December 2014 ceremony.

“We are anticipating a couple of hundred students for our initial term,” said Mathis. “Between the traditional students and the dual-enrolled high school students from the three Catoosa County high schools, we are looking forward to some great success stories out of this campus.”

Three of the state-of-the-art programs being offered in the pilot year of the Catoosa County Campus are cybersecurity, logistics, and mechatronics. “We want to train our students in these programs that are already in demand right here in Northwest Georgia,” said Mathis. “These three represent the center of the current line-up of programs that will help our students earn careers locally or across the nation.

“The Catoosa County school system is so supportive. They are excited,” said Mathis. “We’ve been having meetings with them for almost a year now. We’ve been working together to try to explain how all this will work between the college and the high schools.”

However, if a student isn’t sure where they will attend college yet, GNTC’s newest site will also be offering more than two dozen courses that will transfer to four-year universities, as well.

Beyond the new three programs at the Catoosa County Campus, business management, computer support, early childhood care and education, healthcare, and industrial systems will be among the offerings available in Ringgold. Several of them will be available to dual-enrollment students who will attend the new 60,000-square-foot facility during their traditional school day.

A grant awarded to the Catoosa County school system will be paying to transport students enrolled in collegiate courses with GNTC from their respective high schools and on to the GNTC campus in Catoosa County. “Our college instructors are looking forward to teaching the traditional collegiate students, as well as high school students who feel up to the task,” said GNTC Interim Catoosa County Campus Manager Leigh Ann Pettigrew. “They’ll also be teaching some of the courses at the high school campuses, as well.”

In addition to some of GNTC’s academic programs, the campus will house a college bookstore, laboratories, library, and the offices of GNTC’s Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Administrative Services. During the week before classes kick off, students eligible for the PELL award will also have a time frame in which they can charge the cost of their books and supplies at the GNTC Bookstore against their pending PELL award they may receive during the term.

The Catoosa County Campus is at 6450 Alabama Highway in Ringgold. For more information on Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s Catoosa County Campus, contact their main office at 706-965-1120.

For information online, visit the college at GNTC.edu, as well as on their Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, WordPress, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube channels. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) and an equal opportunity institute.

Since 1962, Georgia Northwestern Technical College has provided degrees, diplomas, and certificates in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 13,734 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,876 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 5,858 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.