Officials expect to sign a $3 million contract with the African nation of Kenya soon, The Athens Banner-Herald reported.
Athens Technical College and two other system colleges — including Georgia Northwestern Technical College — already are working with Saudi Arabia’s King Faisal University under an $8 million contract, TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson said recently.
The contract with King Faisal University is set to help create a new community college and expand workforce training in Saudi Arabia.
He said other Saudi Arabian universities also are interested in contracting with the Georgia technical college system.
“(These opportunities) are so potentially lucrative for the system I think we cannot not look at them in an entrepreneurial way,” Jackson told the board of the technical college system at a recent meeting.
Craig McDaniel, president of GNTC, said the fact that foreign officials are selecting the TCSG to help them is special.
“It’s an honor,” McDaniel said. “I think it speaks well of the system. They could have gone any place on the planet but they chose the Technical College System of Georgia and our college to be a part of it.”
Representatives from King Faisal University approached the system in 2012 and toured GNTC as well as Athens Technical College and Atlanta Technical College.
“Really, the fact that we have a system of 25 colleges who have focused on workforce development is what is bringing the attention to Georgia,” McDaniel said. “And that is the result of the hard work of our faculty and staff and what they do day to day.”
McDaniel will be leaving his post at GNTC on April 1 to become assistant commissioner for the TCSG’s International Center in Atlanta.
In his new role, McDaniel will work with the presidents of technical colleges to create the foundation for the system to become involved in international projects.
The International Center for Technical Education provides program development for collaborations between TCSG colleges and higher education systems in other countries.
Under the existing contract with King Faisal University, administrators and teachers at the participating system colleges are setting up a new school, King Faisal University Community College, in Saudi Arabia.
McDaniel said phase one of the partnership — teaching English as a second language courses — has been going on since the fall. Phase two, which is actually offering Associate of Applied Science degrees, is in the near future.
Jackson said Kenyan officials aren’t asking for a new school, but help in setting up a curriculum for technical colleges.
Staff writer Jeremy Stewart contributed to this report.