Ogeechee Tech's Commercial Truck Driving Expands Offerings To Meet Students' Needs

Staff Report

Monday, August 31st, 2020

This semester, Ogeechee Technical College’s Commercial Truck Driving program began offering weekend courses in Sylvania and day or night courses in Hagan, to accommodate a growing array of student needs.

“With the continuing rise in eCommerce across the globe, there is an increasing demand for drivers to haul all of that freight,” said Larry Jarriel, OTC’s Commercial Truck Driving program director. “This has afforded us the opportunity to expand our course offerings to weekends and day or night courses to better accommodate the needs of our students.”

Ogeechee Tech has shifted their CTD program for the fall semester in Sylvania to Friday and Saturday instruction to give working students the opportunity to complete the program without taking time away from other responsibilities. Terrance Reddick, a student in the CTD program in Sylvania is one of many taking advantage of the change in course offerings.

“The weekend classes are beneficial to me because of how my work schedule is laid out during the week,” said Reddick. “If it were not for the weekend truck driving classes offered at Ogeechee Tech, I likely would not have the opportunity to go to school and earn my CDL.”

In Hagan, there are classes offered both day and night during the week to accommodate students with varying needs.

“The day program is perfect for me because it gives me an opportunity to go to class while my kids are in school,” said Shanequa Cooper. On the other hand, night classes give students who have other responsibilities during the day the opportunity to earn their CDL in the evening. “For me, it’s more than just having the ability to take classes at night,” explained James Coples, a student in Hagan’s night program. “I get the opportunity to learn how to operate a tractor-trailer at night which is a big advantage for a beginning driver.”

The CTD program at Ogeechee Tech is a three-phase program that walks students through all aspects of earning their CDL, including the basics of DOT compliance, inspections, control skills, and completing the required minimum of 12 hours experience behind the wheel in order to test for a commercial license.

“I entered the CDT program with reservations,” said Chicarra Alston, a student in Hagan. “Those reservations quickly went away the first day of classes due to the incredible support and dedication of my instructors. I had little-to-no experience in truck driving prior to starting classes, this program has given me the extensive training and confidence to become successful in the trucking industry.”

The newly offered weekend CTD program in Sylvania will run Friday’s from 6 – 10 p.m. and Saturday’s from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. The Hagan day classes are scheduled Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., and night classes are scheduled Monday through Thursday from 6 – 10 p.m. For more information on the Commercial Truck Driving program at Ogeechee Tech, please visit www.ogeecheetech.edu/CTDL