Education: GNTC graduates earns bronze medal in China International Welding Competition. GHC accreditation reaffirmed by SACS Commission on Colleges. Honors for Rome Middle FFA.

Education: GNTC graduates earns bronze medal in China International Welding Competition. GHC accreditation reaffirmed by SACS Commission on Colleges. Honors for Rome Middle FFA.

Ryan Fincher (right) of Cedartown poses for a picture with his interpreter after winning the bronze medal in in the China International Welding Competition 2018 in Beijing.

Media release: Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) alumnus Ryan Fincher of Cedartown won the bronze medal in the China International Welding Competition 2018 in Beijing, China. The competition took place July 22-31. Fincher was selected to be the American representative at the competition in China by the American Welding Society (AWS). There were representatives from China, Mongolia, Korea, Russia, Australia, and other countries at the competition.

“I was nervous, but it was probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” said Fincher. “It was a very eye opening experience how the people in China treat their guests. They have a lot of hospitality.”

Fincher’s trip to China was part of his preparation to compete in the four part Team USA Welder Selection competition that decides which SkillsUSA welder will represent the U.S. in the international WorldSkills Competition that takes place every two years. As a GNTC student, Fincher won the gold medal in the Welding Competition at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in 2017 and became the college’s first ever national champion. Fincher graduated from GNTC in 2017.

Fincher is the only top six finalist from 2017 that will still be under 23 when the 2019 WorldSkills Competition takes place, which is why he was selected by the AWS for the competition in China. Fincher is currently competing in the pre-trials to select the 2019 SkillsUSA World Team Welder and the top six finalists will be announced on Oct. 15. The competition to select the top three finalists will take place Dec. 3-9.

Georgia Highlands College’s accreditation has been officially reaffirmed by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The reaffirmation continues GHC’s accreditation for a 10-year period through 2028.

“All the time, effort and collaboration leading up to the SACSCOC review team onsite visit culminated in a three-day review at GHC that ended with a great deal of praise,” said GHC President Don Green. “They were impressed with our ‘one campus culture,’ stating that astoundingly we have developed a cohesive ‘one college’ and ‘one mission’ mentality across our multiple locations.”

GHC currently serves over 6,000 students across five locations in Rome, Cartersville, Dallas, Douglasville and Marietta.

In addition to reviewing the college overall, the SACSCOC reviewed GHC’s new Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), which describes a course of action for enhancing educational quality that focuses on student learning and/or the environment supporting student learning. GHC’s QEP is called “Quest for Success” and places advising at the forefront of student academic and personal success. “Quest for Success” aims to increase the value of the student experience at GHC by emphasizing advising as a core component of learning in a two-pronged effort where students receive ongoing, goal-focused advising and faculty and staff advisors receive intensive training.

“SACSCOC said GHC was a ‘dynamic, vibrant community’ that is open, enthusiastic, displays mutual respect between faculty and staff, encourages open dialogue between students and employees and overall has a ‘commitment to students and to the mission of the college,’” Green said. “I can’t help but think of our common mantra that continues to resonate with students, faculty and staff today: We are GHC.”


Addison Grey, Kendall Warren and Rome Middle School Agriculture instructor and FFA Advisor, Ashley Hamby celebrate nationally recognized accomplishments at the school’s greenhouse.

Rome Middle School’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) Chapter has become a National Three Star Chapter. This shows that Rome Middle School is in the top 10 percent of FFA chapters in the country. “In order to qualify for a State or National award,” explained Ashley Hamby, Agriculture Education teacher and FFA advisor, “your chapter must complete at least 15 activities throughout the school year. For example, some of our kids participated in the Nursery Landscape Career Development Events, etc.” Not only did the RMS Chapter of FFA receive the National Three Star award, but they also received the Georgia Top Three Gold Emblem Award.


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