Diane Lee, the Director of the Savannah Campus of “Georgia Tech” gave us a fact-filled talk on Wednesday. Diane has been at Georgia Tech for nine years and the Director of the Savannah Professional Education Campus for five years. Her previous professional experience was with GTE (now Verizon), in Health Care and the American Heart Association.
The Georgia Tech Savannah Professional Education Campus serves learners of varying ages, “from K to Grey”, and Diane gave us a detailed description of what is offered. There are really several endeavors: for those who are already in professional careers, for those who are still in school, and for those who are beginning their careers. We listened to details of what is offered to each of these groups, and they are described below.

The local campus started by offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering. It switched to its current format in 2011, offering education for people who were already professionals with courses in leadership, technology and logistics, “21st century learning for professionals.” The philosophy behind this change was based on the idea that many professional people, with degrees from maybe 10 years ago, or longer, may feel the need for further education in fields relevant to their current responsibilities and in response to their companies’ businesses. Thus the focus here is on the adult learner, offering access to the expertise of a technological research university. The focus is also on the needs of businesses in Georgia and its neighbors, and the courses offered have been developed in close consultation and cooperation with those businesses. These courses, offered on the Savannah campus, include STEM, business, leadership, supply chain logistics, computer tech, military transition programs, workforce development, OSHA. They offer professional development, certification programs and professional master’s degrees, with a variety of face-to-face, on line, and blended courses to suit the diverse needs of career focused adult learners. The military programs for veterans offer education, training and transitional assistance to the Georgia workforce. Corporate sponsors in the Savannah area are Gulfstream and Mitsubishi, among others.

Beyond the Professional Education described above, there are three further enterprises. For the very young students, the Georgia Tech Savannah campus offers summer programs in three counties; these are K-12 outreach events with emphasis on elementary science, with STEM days on campus. There is an Advanced Technology Development Center for young adults which supports tech entrepreneurs, with the objective of helping a business launch or the building of new companies. And there is an Enterprise Innovation Institute, serving Georgia manufacturers by emphasizing growth and offering assistance to Georgia companies seeking government contracts.

There is an added benefit to all of us – these programs bring people of all ages to the city of Savannah, so they can see its beauty, its attractions, its lifestyle, and its potential; maybe some of them will stay with us and make Savannah their home.
Pictured below is Diane Lee and President Bill Jahn