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College Student Guide
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Beginning this fall, local business executives can earn their green belt or black belt -- not in martial arts but in executive education programs.

These programs will be offered by the Georgia Tech College of Management, which is the business school at Georgia Tech. This is the first time these programs have been offered at Georgia Tech’s Savannah campus.

“The College of Management offers an innovative portfolio of training programs that help executives stimulate new ideas, sharpen leadership skills and develop innovative strategies,” says Terry Blum, dean of the Georgia Tech College of Management.

“Our executive education programs are very popular here in Atlanta,” says Dan Stotz, director of the Executive Programs in the Georgia Tech College of Management. “We decided to offer them in Savannah to make it more convenient for students living in southeast Georgia.”

The Savannah campus was opened a year ago next to the Savannah International Airport to offer courses in engineering and technology. “It is a very beautiful campus,” Stotz says. “In addition to the typical offerings of engineering and technology, we are offering six subjects in our executive education program this fall.”

The classes that will be offered are Advanced Innovative Management, Six Sigma: Green Belt and Black Belt, Business Strategy and Corporate Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Change Management, Marketing Strategy and Tactics and Technology for the Non-Technical Manager.

These training programs are designed to help executives stimulate new ideas, sharpen leadership skills and develop innovative strategies. “We decided it was important to make our executive education program more accessible,” Stotz says.

The Six Sigma is one of Georgia Tech’s most popular executive education programs. “It teaches executives how to do better planning of projects,” Stotz says. “Large corporations have been using it for some time. It’s catching on with small companies.”

Executives who have taken the Six Sigma course sing its praises. “I’ve taken many courses during my career and the Georgia Tech Six Sigma program is one of the best,” says Jason Krug, senior project manager at Sun Microsystems.

Since the programs are new to Savannah, Stotz has no idea how many will attend the classes. He says there are typically 25 to 30 participants in sessions held in Atlanta.

Stotz does expect the Savannah program to grow. “We are totally impressed with the economic development and growth in the Savannah area,” he says. “We want to be a part of it. We would like to do marketing to get people from all over the country to attend the executive education classes.”

Needless to say, this has been well-received by the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce and local business leaders. “Everyone has been so cooperative and very positive,” Stotz says. “We met with local business leaders to make sure the courses we were offering would be an addition to those offered by other colleges in the area.”

In addition to programs on campus, Georgia Tech will offer custom programs that will be given at local companies, such as Gulfstream.

“We’re very proud of the quality of our programs and the professionals who teach them,” Stotz says. “To offer these courses in Savannah is very exciting for us.”

Next May, Georgia Tech will begin offering a distance learning program for MBA candidates. “They can go to a high-tech campus on the Savannah campus and participate in video streaming,” Stotz says. “This would be a degree program, while the others are non-degree programs.”

Despite its newcomer status, Georgia Tech has made a strong start in Savannah. “The introduction of these executive programs represents an important and logical extension of the commitment of Georgia Tech Savannah to technology education in the Coastal Georgia region,” says David Frost, director of Tech’s Savannah campus.


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