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Board OKs new name for college

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

CONYERS -- A longstanding state institution soon will be known by a different name.

DeKalb Technical College announced Thursday that the State Board of Directors of the Technical College System of Georgia approved the college's intention to change its name to Georgia Piedmont Technical College. Earlier this year, the school announced its plans to find a new name for the school.

"We have been working diligently the past nine months to get input from various stakeholders on what would be the best name to reflect who we are," said Cory Thompson, DeKalb Tech's public relations and information director, in a press release Thursday.

The name change is part of the school's re-branding effort that will affect its eight centers in four Georgia counties: DeKalb, Morgan, Newton and Rockdale.

DTC President Robin Hoffman said the new name is more reflective of the varied communities the college serves.

"Georgia Piedmont Technical College seemed to represent all that we are, and aspire to be," she said. "The name 'Georgia' gives us instant identity within the great state of Georgia. 'Piedmont' reflects a geographic location within the state of Georgia -- if you look at a map of the different regions within the state, you'll see that our service delivery area is directly in the middle of the Georgia Piedmont. The term 'Technical College' identifies us as one in a network of 26 colleges within the Technical College System of Georgia."

DeKalb Technical College was first established in 1961 as DeKalb Area Vocational School. Since then the school has had several names, including DeKalb Community College from 1972 to 1986; DeKalb Technical Institute from 1986 to 2000; and for the past 11 years, DeKalb Technical College.

"This will be the first time in the college's history we are exploring the use of a name that will reflect our expanded service-delivery area," Thompson said.

College officials said a new logo and school colors will be selected by the end of June, and the rollout of a new brand will begin in late August, when DeKalb Tech and the other 25 technical colleges within the state of Georgia will convert from a quarter academic calendar to a semester system.

"This is a pivotal year for our college," said Hoffman. "We not only have the quarter-to-semester conversion ... but we are marking our 50th anniversary as well as our rebranding initiative."

Along the way, school officials have brought in focus groups, held peer meetings, conducted research and surveyed the public. Next they will develop a communication and transition plan before implementing the changes. DeKalb Tech is partnering with marketing company Tillman-Allen-Greer for the rebranding effort.

"We are moving in the right direction with a name that represents the educational legacy we have forged in the past half-century, while shaping an institution that will be poised to meet the growing educational and economic needs of the next 50 years," said Larry Teems, DeKalb Tech's Executive Vice President.

DeKalb Technical College has more than 4,000 students enrolled in diploma or degree programs and more than 9,000 in adult education classes. Academic and technical programs at DeKalb Tech cover more than 100 different occupations.

For more information on the college, visit its website at www.dekalbtech.edu. More information about the re-branding effort is available at www.dtcvision.com.