Press Release

Atlanta Technical College to help develop technical college in Saudi Arabia

Officials at The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) have announced that Atlanta Technical College is one of three local institutions selected to assist in the development of a technical college in Saudi Arabia. 

Under the terms of the six-year, $8.2 million contract signed in Atlanta on May 29, 2012, the TCSG and three Georgia technical colleges – Atlanta Tech, Athens Tech, and Georgia Northwestern Tech,  will collaborate with King Faisal University (KFU) in Alahsa, Saudi Arabia, to expand workforce training in the Middle East nation.

According to the agreement, the TCSG and the local colleges will provide consultation and technical education program development assistance to help create the King Faisal University Community College in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia. The U.S. schools will work with KFU on acquiring faculty and staff for the college, along with aligning and developing curriculum and assisting with the assessment of instructional programming. In addition, the TCSG will advise KFU on their institutional effectiveness, including accreditation processes and procedures.

“This is a major step forward for the Technical College System of Georgia. Building an international education alliance like this one with our friends at King Faisal University connects our colleges’ excellent reputation for technical education and workforce development to the global community,” said Dr. Sanford Chandler, the assistant commissioner for the TCSG Office of Global Initiatives. 

The associate degree programs that the TCSG and the local colleges will help develop include the fields of medical technology, business office technology, information technology and industrial technology.

The KFU president, Dr. Yussuf Aljindan, led the signing delegation in Atlanta. Also present were Dr. Ahmad Alshoaibi, KFU vice president for Studies, Development & Community Service, Dr. Abdulhakim Almatar, KFU director of Institutional Accreditation, Dr. Smehan Alrashidi, KFU dean of Academic Development, and Dr. Nourredine Khababa, a member of the KFU business administration faculty.

The TCSG was represented by a contingent of system officials that included Paul Holmes, chairman of the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia, Dr. Lynn Cornett, the vice chair of the TCSG State Board, Dr. Sanford Chandler, the assistant commissioner for the TCSG Office of Global Initiatives, and Dr. Alvetta Peterman Thomas, president of Atlanta Technical College.

“We are living in a time that encourages multiple forms of collaboration,” said Dr. Alvetta Peterman Thomas, president of Atlanta Technical College.  “As globalization blurs the borders between countries, each of us deserves the tools and education to become a world-changing force.  We look forward to working with our partners at King Faisal University and enriching both their campus community and our own.”   

Earlier this year, a contingent from KFU led by Dr. Alshoaibi visited Atlanta Tech and came away impressed after learning about the college’s international initiatives.  Atlanta Technical College has participated in a student and faculty exchange with Felix-Fechenbach Berufskolleg in Detmold, Germany for nearly 14 years.  The college is also engaged in global research collaborations with international educational institutions and actively recruits students from around the world.  Soon thereafter, Dr. Chandler was in Saudi Arabia, meeting with the education officials and starting the extensive negotiation process that culminated with the agreement to bring TCSG training to the KFU campuses.