Ge­or­gia North­west­ern Tech launches new web­site, mo­bile app, and vir­tual tour

The Catoosa County News - - FRONT PAGE -

Ge­or­gia North­west­ern Tech­ni­cal Col­lege (GNTC) of­fi­cially launched a newly re­designed web­site, mo­bile app, and vir­tual tour to pro­vide users with an en­riched on­line ex­pe­ri­ence and a more en­hanced way to con­nect with the col­lege.

The web­site went live on Mon­day, Feb. 20, and has a cleaner, sim­pler look to give users a more in­tu­itive nav­i­ga­tion. The new in­ter­face makes it eas­ier for in­di­vid­u­als to nav­i­gate the site to find key re­sources such as dif­fer­ent pro­grams of study, fi­nan­cial aid, and stu­dent ser­vices.

It fea­tures a mo­bile­friendly, re­spon­sive web de­sign, that al­lows web pages to be viewed in re­sponse to the size of the mo­bile de­vice or com­puter that is be­ing used to ac­cess GNTC’s web­site.

“In ad­di­tion to a new, fresh look, our re­designed web­site places an em­pha­sis on pro­vid­ing a more user­friendly ex­pe­ri­ence by stream­lin­ing menus and sim­pli­fy­ing our site nav­i­ga­tion,” said Am­ber Jor­dan, di­rec­tor of mar­ket­ing and pub­lic re­la­tions at GNTC. “Prospec­tive stu­dents can find in­for­ma­tion on ad­mis­sions and fi­nan­cial aid, while cur­rent stu­dents can ac­cess all the re­sources they need dur­ing their ed­u­ca­tional ca­reer at GNTC.”

The front page spot­lights up­com­ing events and re­cent GNTC news. Ban­ners and six call-out boxes on the pri­mary web­page brings fo­cused at­ten­tion to im­por­tant con­tent such as aca­demic plans, stu­dent suc­cess sto­ries, and the Foun­da­tion.

The lay­out of the of the new web­site in­cludes drop down menus, which are con­sis­tent on top level pages, that di­rects vis­i­tors to key ad­mis­sions fea­tures, aca­demics, stu­dent re­sources, com­mu­nity ini­tia­tives, and in­for­ma­tion about GNTC. The web­site footer is also con­sis­tent through­out the site and con­tains links to GNTC’s so­cial me­dia chan­nels, vir­tual tour, and var­i­ous poli­cies.

GNTC also has launched a new mo­bile app named MyGNTC that gives stu­dents an

a hus­band, fa­ther and grand­fa­ther. But serv­ing as a leader in his com­mu­nity was im­por­tant to him he says.

What are John­son’s views on gov­ern­ment now that’s he’s on the in­side?

“I’ve learned how com­pli­cated and slow it can be and why. There are many lev­els of reg­u­la­tion and pa­per­work to get things done. Some of them reach all the way to the fed­eral level. Even just get­ting an an­swer to a cit­i­zen’s ques­tion can mean calling mul­ti­ple peo­ple and wait­ing for phone calls to be re­turned.”

But John­son says he also has more con­fi­dence in Ca­toosa County gov­ern­ment now that he’s part of it. “We have a good group of com­mis­sion­ers who I be­lieve re­ally want what’s best for the county. We don’t al­ways agree on things, but we all take our re­spon­si­bil­i­ties very se­ri­ously and we’re all will­ing to ex­plain things to cit­i­zens.”

John­son says one thing an of­fi­cial must learn is how to dis­agree and be dis­agreed with with­out get­ting up­set or de­fen­sive. “I try to call every com­mis­sioner from time to time just to see how they’re do­ing, keep in touch, keep lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion open.

“We also have great em­ploy­ees in the county. They re­ally work hard. A lot of them do more than one job, which helps the county save money.” One ex­am­ple of that, says John­son, is the re­cently re­fur­bished county web­site. “That could have cost us thou­sands of dol­lars, but we had two em­ploy­ees – our eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment co­or­di­na­tor, Katie Spon­berger, and our for­mer IT di­rec­tor, Rick Nel­son – who knew how to do it and were will­ing to put a lot of work into it.”

One thing that’s changed since John­son was elected is the re­la­tion­ship be­tween com­mis­sion­ers and de­part­ment heads. The prac­tice of meet­ing and talk­ing with those who man­age de­part­ments is now en­cour­aged.

“I try to visit around to all the county de­part­ments and get to know peo­ple and what their jobs are like,” says John­son. “I think they de­serve to know their com­mis­sion­ers and we should care about know­ing them.”

John­son is es­pe­cially pas­sion­ate about cit­i­zens get­ting in­volved with their gov­ern­ment. “I’d like to see more peo­ple com­ing to meet­ings, serv­ing on boards, let­ting us know what they think. If an is­sue is im­por­tant to you, you’re free to ad­dress the com­mis­sion­ers at the meet­ings. Or you can just share gen­eral thoughts – what­ever you want us to hear. We try to be open and re­spon­sive.”

Cit­i­zens can speak for five min­utes each at com­mis­sion meet­ings. They don’t need to sign up in ad­vance – they need only show up and raise a hand when it’s time for cit­i­zen com­ments. There is no re­stric­tion on how many meet­ings a cit­i­zen can speak at and no ap­proval needed by any of­fi­cial.

“We try to be as open and re­spon­sive as pos­si­ble,” says John­son. “We can’t ac­com­mo­date every wish for a lot of rea­sons, in­clud­ing reg­u­la­tions that tie our hands, but we can ex­plain why. Some­times when we can deal with an is­sue, it just takes a lot more time than peo­ple think it should. Un­for­tu­nately, gov­ern­ment has too many lay­ers to get things done as fast as pri­vate in­dus­try can.”

A com­mon ex­am­ple of the slow march of gov­ern­ment, says John­son, has to do with road main­te­nance. “There’s a sys­tem to how it’s done. Roads are rated based on in­spec­tions, and they’re main­tained based on avail­able funds. But peo­ple should con­tact us if they feel there’s a prob­lem and we’ll have some­one go out and look at it. If it’s a real se­ri­ous prob­lem, we have some lee­way to deal with it – just not quite as much as peo­ple think we do. We can’t solve every prob­lem in­stantly, but we can try.

“I can as­sure peo­ple that in this county it’s not about who you know. We try to run an open and hon­est gov­ern­ment that’s fair to ev­ery­one.”

John­son says he con­stantly works to be­come a bet­ter rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the peo­ple. A cur­rent area he’s work­ing on is im­prov­ing his re­sponse to emails. “This is a part-time job, and I still have my reg­u­lar full­time job, so some­times it’s a chal­lenge to keep up, but I try to an­swer all my calls and emails. I want to hear from peo­ple and I want them to know they can trust me to serve them.”

GNTC’s new web­site went live Mon­day, Feb. 20, and fea­tures a cleaner de­sign that pro­vides users with a more in­tu­itive nav­i­ga­tion.

A new app named MyGNTC al­lows stu­dents to man­age their fi­nan­cial aid, grades, im­por­tant no­ti­fi­ca­tions, reg­is­tra­tion, and cour­ses with a mo­bile de­vice.

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