History, Mission & Values


Tracing its origin through six decades, Atlanta Technical College has grown from fairly modest beginnings. Atlanta Technical College was established as Smith-Hughes Vocational School at 232 Pryor Street, and first enrolled adults in vocational education in 1945 following World War II. The school was moved in 1964 to Smith High School at 535 Hill Street and renamed Hoke Smith Technical Institute. At that time, about 24 occupational programs were offered. Federal funding for vocational education in the late 1960s promoted the concept of area vocational technical schools.

In 1953, the Northside extension campus, Tuxedo Center, was opened at 4191 Northside Drive in northwest Atlanta. In 1967, the school was reorganized as Atlanta Area Technical School and was moved to its current southwest campus, enrolling its first students in the new facilities in January 1968. The Child Care Center and Ferguson Hall Annex were completed the same year. In 1997, the school's name was changed to Atlanta Technical Institute, and the institution became part of the Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education. Dr. Brenda Watts Jones was tapped to become president, making her the first African-American woman in Georgia to lead a technical institution. She served the college until 2007, and Dr. Alvetta Peterman Thomas was named president in 2008.  

In June 1999, Atlanta Technical Institute completed a $1.3 million renovation of its south entrance facade. The renovation provided covered walks and outdoor seating plazas. On July 1, 2000, the name was changed to Atlanta Technical College. In 2007, the college acquired use of the property at 1520 Metropolitan Parkway, adjacent to main campus, through the Atlanta Technical College Foundation, Inc. The facility at that location currently houses the Atlanta Technical College Institute for Males. The $14 million Brenda Watts Jones Allied Health and Technology Complex opened in the fall of 2010.  In August 2012, the college completed a $4.8 million renovation of a new 36,000 square foot state-of-the-art library, testing center, and facility department hub.

Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and with an average semester enrollment of 4,800 students, Atlanta Tech offers associate degrees, diploma programs, technical certificates of credit, and continuing education short-term courses. In addition to day and evening class schedules, hybrid schedules and online courses are also offered. Additionally, Atlanta Technical College, through its Economic Development Division, develops customized courses for business and industry.

Atlanta Technical College has produced seven state GOAL (Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership) winners and four state PRIDE (Performance Recognition Indicating Demonstrated Excellence) winners. GOAL is the highest award given to outstanding technical students in Georgia. In addition to having an excellent track record in producing winners in state competitions, Atlanta Technical College is proud of the students who also excel in regional and national competitions representing student associations and organizations.   In 2007, Washington Monthly magazine named Atlanta Technical College “America’s Best Community College, and the college was recognized by the Technical College System of Georgia with the Perdue Award for Technical College of the Year in 2012.  

Atlanta Technical College provides an exceptional education to a diverse group of students, representing ethnic groups from around the world, younger and older people, high school and college graduates, persons with special needs, and persons with varied backgrounds, academic requirements, and interests. Women are enrolled in nontraditional programs such as automotive technology, aviation maintenance technology, carpentry, and welding and joining technology.


Atlanta Technical College, a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, located in the city of Atlanta, is an accredited institution of higher education that recognizes the importance of global education. The college provides affordable lifelong learning opportunities, associate degrees, diplomas, technical certificates of credit, customized business and industry training, continuing education, and other learning services using state-of-the-art technology. The integration of academics and applied career preparation to enhance student learning is essential in meeting the workforce demands and economic development needs of people, businesses, and the communities we serve.

The mission of Atlanta Technical College is composed within the philosophical framework of the Technical College System of Georgia.

It is reviewed and approved annually by the faculty, staff, administration and the Board of Directors

Warranty Of Degree, Diploma, And Technical Certificate Of Credit Graduates
To demonstrate confidence in and commitment to quality technical programs which are relevant, current, and responsive to the stated expectations of Georgia's businesses and industries, that the Technical college System of Georgia will warrant every graduate from programs offering a technical certificate of credit, diploma, or associate degree in a state technical college according to the following stipulations.

  1. The warranty guarantees that the graduate has demonstrated the knowledge and skills and can perform each competency as identified in the industry-validated Standard or Program Guide, and any program graduate who is determined to lack such competence shall be retrained at no cost to the employer or graduate.
  2. A claim against the warranty may be filed by either an employer in conjunction with a graduate or a graduate if the graduate cannot perform one or more of the competencies contained in the industry-validated Standard or Program Guide, including failure to pass a State of Georgia required licensing examination.
  3. The warranty is applicable only to graduates of any technical certificate of credit, diploma, or degree program who entered the program subsequent to the mandated standards of implementation date.
  4. The warranty will remain in effect for two consecutive years immediately following the date of graduation and will be honored by any state governed technical college which offers the same program.
  5. The warranty shall be issued in writing to each graduate who entered a program on or after the mandated standards implementation date for the applicable program standard.

Warranty information is available on the Atlanta Technical College website. The contact person is the Special Needs Coordinator who may be reached at (404) 225-4463.

Warranty Claim Report Procedures
The Department guarantees that graduates of its Technical Colleges have demonstrated proficiency in those competencies defined by the Industry Technical Committee and included in the approved state curriculum standards. Should any student within two years of graduation not be able to perform one or more of the competencies contained in the industry-validated Standard or Program Guide, including failure to pass a state required licensing examination. The Department agrees to provide specific retraining at any Technical College offering the program to the former student at no cost to the employer or graduate for tuition or instructional fees.

Implementation of a claim shall follow the procedures as outlined below:

1) The employer in conjunction with a graduate shall contact the Atlanta Technical College to discuss the need for retraining.

2) The Technical College representative shall analyze the claim request, complete a warranty claim report after consulting with the employer in conjunction with the graduate, and shall inform the employer and the graduate of the action to be taken.

3) If the Technical College processing the claim is not the college from which the student graduated, the graduating college shall be notified of the warranty claim, the services to be provided, and the institutional costs incurred during the retraining.

4) The Technical College processing the claim shall forward a warranty claim report to the Commissioner. 

The contact person for Atlanta Technical College:

Sylvie Moses, Special Needs Coordinator
1560 Metropolitan Parkway, SW
Atlanta, GA 30310
Phone: 404-225-4463
Email: smoses@atlantatech.edu

Strategic Plan

Core Values

These core values define our enduring character and are the primary reasons that Atlanta Technical College has been a strong community influence for so long. We are proud of our reputation in the community and our traditions of academic excellence and educational success. We honor tradition yet seek to expand it, moving forward into the future informed by traditional values that transcend time, college size, business and industry trends, management changes, or external factors.

By maintaining these core values, we preserve what has always been special about Atlanta Technical College.

Our core values are the guiding principles that direct our work as we fulfill our mission. Whether you interact with a staff member or an administrator, attend classes taught by one of our faculty members, or meet an Atlanta Tech student in the community, you will see these values at work.

  • Service
  • Academic Excellence
  • Respect and Integrity
  • Empowerment and Accountability
  • Creativity
  • Diversity
  • Community

Atlanta Technical College’s core values complement the Technical College System of Georgia belief system.