In late November, a group of 60 Twiggs County High School students visited Georgia Tech’s campus. Among them was senior Cameron Pearson, who had recently applied to Tech as an electrical engineering major. Just a few days away from releasing Early Action 1 admission decisions, Tech surprised Cameron by presenting him with his acceptance letter in person.
“While Georgia Tech has an international reputation, our top priority is attracting talent from communities around our state and providing them with a world-class educational experience,” said Rick Clark, executive director for strategic student access in the division of Enrollment Management at Tech.
From its founding in the late 1800s, Tech has focused on equipping Georgians with the knowledge and skills necessary to improve the state’s economy and competitive standing. Nearly 150 years later, through research, training, and statewide partnerships, this commitment and mission is stronger than ever: guaranteeing admission to Georgia’s high school valedictorians and salutatorians, providing millions of dollars in scholarships to talented Georgians through the G. Wayne Clough Georgia Tech Promise Program, and partnering with Georgia communities to help them improve and innovate.
One way Tech is reaching across Georgia is through its Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC). CEISMC provides K-12 support through professional development, STEM enrichment, and other outreach programs and partnerships that have become essential to Georgia’s thriving technology industry.
“Engaging with communities in all regions of Georgia allows us to have an open dialogue about the resources Tech can provide to assist in preparing students for life beyond school,” said Sirocus Barnes, senior program director for CEISMC. “We can also help prepare students who decide they want to earn a degree from Tech.”
One of CEISMC’s efforts, the Computer Science for Rural Georgia High Schools Pilot Program, began in 2022. This program, in partnership with Georgia Tech Research Institute’s (GTRI) K-12 outreach program STEM@GTRI, connects participating districts and their students to Georgia Tech faculty and staff, as well as quality instruction and high-level resources.
Twiggs County was quick to become a partner in the program, joining in the fall of 2023 to bolster their computer science program.
“In 2021, the technology sector in Georgia prospered with over 100,000 jobs, spanning areas such as programming, coding, cybersecurity, software engineering, technical repair, and artificial intelligence,” said Mack Bullard, superintendent of schools in Twiggs County. “Specifically, there are more than 25,000 IT and technical repair occupations and over 24,000 cybersecurity and system engineer positions in the state. Through our partnership with Georgia Tech, our students and faculty gain valuable exposure to highly respected faculty, cutting-edge research, and professional development programs. This exposure is integral to preparing our students for technology-related career fields.”
On top of CEISMC’s efforts across the state, the Office of Undergraduate Admission at Georgia Tech greatly expanded their state travel efforts in 2023. Counselors visited 98 counties, 60 more than their usual pre-pandemic circuit, and connected with nearly 4,500 students at 282 schools.
CEISMC plans to expand the pilot program to include eight additional schools this spring. To learn more about CEISMC, view their fall 2023 CEISMC Impact Magazine. To provide support for CEISMC and other outreach efforts, visit the Transforming Tomorrow campaign website.