SRTC, ABAC continue to hold strong presence in Bainbridge

Published 3:08 pm Friday, June 7, 2019

Thursday afternoon the Chamber of Commerce held their Chamber Connect Lunch where Lori Haddock and Dr. Craig Wentworth spoke on the merger of ABAC and SRTC and how the school has progressed since then.

During July 2018, ABAC consolidated with Bainbridge State College and at that time the technical programs transferred over and merged with SRTC. In August 2018, ABAC began their first semester of classes and Haddock said they have been rolling forward ever since.

ABAC at Bainbridge only offers one baccalaureate degree, which is in business, compared to the twelve they offer at their Tifton campus. However, Haddock expects the Bainbridge campus to expand their offerings in the near future.

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ABAC’s main focus has always been agriculture and they offer degrees in wildlife management, agribusiness, crop production and more. Haddock understands that there are many Bainbridge students who may want to focus in this so their goal is to help them get through the basics, so they can study at the main campus.

“What we can offer for the students who are interested in these tracks is help them get through their core classes, so when they transfer to Tifton to pursue the 3000 and 4000 level courses they are very prepared and can pursue a college education, graduate and return to rural Georgia,” Haddock said.

Another key program at ABAC at Bainbridge is their registered nursing program, which is a two-year program. Haddock reported the students have had a 100 percent pass rate on NCLEX exam for the pass two years.

“This speaks very highly of our faculty and our students as well,” she said.

Not only is the program a success, but 80 percent of the nurses who graduate return to rural Georgia to work.

Haddock was happy to report that this fall, ABAC will be hosting a new bridge program for students who already have their RN degree, but want a BSN.

“We have 300 prospective students, so we are excited to see how this turns out,” Haddock said. “This will be specific to the Bainbridge site.”

After discussing the new bridge program, Haddock turned it over to Wentworth, President of SRTC.

SRTC offers four different majors. They offer health sciences, business, industrial technology and arts and sciences. However, Wentworth said their main focus is workforce development, which shows in their 150 different programs.

One of their biggest programs is industrial technology, Wentworth said. The program offers training in electronics, electrical system, industrial maintenance, welding and joining and will soon offer CNC precision machinery manufacturing.

This program will be a direct response to Taurus coming to town, he said. Wentworth went on to say the program is currently awaiting 1.4-1.5 million dollars in CNC machinery that will be delivered to the campus in between the months of August- October. He said these are state of the art machines that will only be available at the Bainbridge campus.

Wentworth was thankful for the letters of support that went into the funding of these machines.

He is excited to offer this new program and thinks it will draw in potential students, who are hoping for a future at Taurus.

“I’m very excited and it’s going to be a really great machinery center,” he finished.