SRTC president announces retirement

Published 4:28 pm Tuesday, June 18, 2019

After thirty-seven years of service in higher education, including twenty-nine years within the Technical College System of Georgia, Southern Regional Technical College President Dr. Craig R. Wentworth has announced that he will retire June 30, 2019. 

His retirement caps a successful career that has been enthusiastically devoted to the mission of technical colleges in Georgia. “It has been tremendously rewarding to lead an organization that is as student-focused as SRTC. As we have grown, we have remained wholly dedicated to positive and successful student outcomes. During each commencement ceremony, I have been able to shake the hands of hundreds of students whose lives have been improved by technical education. I can assure you that I’m smiling just as wide as each student as they walk across that stage,” said Dr. Wentworth. 

Dr. Wentworth began his career as a Graduate Assistant in the Psychology Department at the then Valdosta State College before serving as the Dean of Academic Affairs at Crandall Junior College in Macon.

He then became Vice President for Academic Affairs at Central Georgia Technical College in Macon. Wentworth received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees from Valdosta State University. He earned his Doctor of Education degree in Occupational Studies from the University of Georgia.

The College has grown tremendously under Dr. Wentworth’s leadership. Southern Regional Technical College was formed in 2015 following a merger of the former Southwest Georgia Technical College (SWGTC) and the former Moultrie Technical College (MTC). In 2018, SRTC acquired the former Bainbridge State College (BSC) campuses from the University System of Georgia. When he was named President of the former SWGTC in late 2010, the school had an enrollment of 2752 students. As of June, enrollment has grown to over 6000 students for fiscal year 2019.

In addition to a merger and an acquisition, Dr. Wentworth oversaw impressive capital improvements, including constructing and opening a new Health Science building, and renovating the original Health Science Building, as well as the Technical and Industrial building on the Thomasville Campus. The College also upgraded campus conference centers resulting in improved and enhanced facilities for room rentals, conferences and meetings, and daily college functions. As well, SRTC completed Welding Lab upgrades, updates, and expansions on Thomasville and Tifton campuses utilizing World Class Labs funds.

To support students who decide to continue their education after graduation, SRTC has finalized articulation agreements for the Associate of Science Degree in General Business, Criminal Justice, Social Work, and Nursing. Articulation agreements allow technical college students to seamlessly continue their education at University System of Georgia institutions without loss of credit hours earned.

To maximize transfer opportunities for students, SRTC has significantly increased general education degree and online course offerings. 

Alongside rising traditional college student enrollment, SRTC has also seen growth in Dual Enrollment among high school students, and Adult Education and Literacy classes, which are designed to support students pursuing a GED. 

In order to meet growing rural healthcare needs, Dr. Wentworth has lead the charge to forge meaningful partnerships with area medical facilities. SRTC has implemented and grown Associate of Science Degree in Nursing and Licensed Practical Nursing programs in Bainbridge, Moultrie, Thomasville, and Tifton. These partnerships have resulted in new scholarship opportunities for students, facility improvements, clinical training prospects, and career pathways for graduates.

Eric Hughes, Chairman of SRTC’s Board of Directors, commented, “It has been a pleasure to work alongside Dr. Wentworth during this period of terrific growth. His focus on expanding and enhancing the opportunities afforded to students has resulted in better facilities, better accessibility, better class offerings, and better career opportunities for our students. Dr. Wentworth is leaving behind a legacy of excellence and growth, a which legacy has benefitted SRTC and all of the communities that we serve.” 

Southern Regional Technical College would like to thank Dr. Wentworth for his years of leadership and service. Each year, a large majority of SRTC staff and faculty members give back to the SRTC Foundation in support of student scholarships.  The Foundation is pleased to acknowledge those who give at an extraordinary level. The Two Percent Club was named in honor of Lynn Tanner and Dale Aldridge, two exceptional employees of SRTC, in recognition of their years of selfless service to students and generosity to the Foundation.  In May of 2019, SRTC Director of Advancement Jenny Dell announced that the One Percent Club would officially be renamed the “Dr. C. R. Wentworth One Percent Club.”  The faculty, staff, and students of SRTC wish him a long and happy retirement. Dr. Wentworth plans to remain in Thomasville, where he lives with his wife, Deb.