Inside Atlanta Technical College: Our One-On-One with President Dr. Victoria Seals
Tuesday, April 24th, 2018
“Our students are very driven and passionate about improving their lives and their families’ lives. I am very proud of them, seeing them grow beyond students to become responsible and contributing citizens,” said Dr. Seals. “Secondly, I am extremely proud of our faculty and staff. They are very passionate about our students and working with our industry partners to transform lives. Being part of this team and seeing our impact every day – those are my proudest moments,” she said.
Georgia CEO recently visited with the president of Atlanta Technical College (ATC), Dr. Victoria Seals. During our one-on-one, Dr. Seals shared the challenges and triumphs of her first year at the helm that commenced on Dec. 1, 2016. Her passion and focus starts with removing barriers that impede student success and to provide real value to students of all ages through associate degrees, certifications, continuing education programs, GED training, veterans support, and more.
Over the course of an afternoon together, Dr. Seals shared the importance of her work to build partnerships with industry leaders and how ATC responds in kind with first-class skills training and education to fill the in-demand jobs – bringing value to the students, their families, and their communities.
Dr. Seals offered, “The biggest challenge I faced in my first year is helping our business community understand the value of what Atlanta Technical College provides. There are high unemployment and underemployment rates in our area, and simultaneously, there are a number of jobs that are remaining unfilled. Atlanta Technical College is here to bridge this skills gap and to drive the economy in a positive direction.”
Atlanta Technical College was founded in 1967 and just celebrated its 50th year of service to the City of Atlanta and the Fulton and Clayton County communities. The campus is located at 1560 Metropolitan Parkway SW in Atlanta, GA and in 2017 served over 5,700 students in 150 academic programs each year. ATC also serves additional 5,700 students annually through a combination of Continuing Education and customized workforce development training programs for industry partners. And each year ATC provides another 1,000 adult students with GED training.
“A lot of my job involves being part of the conversation to really understand the workforce needs of our region. Georgia has been the number one state in which to do business, for five years running. We constantly review what skills are required in the workforce pipeline to continue to meet those needs in the various workplaces,” Dr. Seals shared.
Dr. Seals noted, “My role is to provide strategic leadership to ensure student success and make sure we are leading efforts in workforce development in our region. I also collaborate with industry partners, community leaders and our Chambers of Commerce.” She continued, “As a first generation college graduate myself, I fully understand the value of what we offer to our community and am passionate about providing those opportunities to others.”
Dr. Victoria Seals is the sixth president of Atlanta Technical College and came to the College after serving several years at Gwinnett Technical College. She joined Gwinnett Technical College in September 2005 as an instructor for mathematics, advanced to Division Director for Arts and Sciences and was named Dean of Academic Affairs in 2011. In addition to leading the growth of the Arts and Sciences Division, Dr. Seals helped guide and develop Gwinnett Tech’s faculty and staff development program as well as several student retention initiatives. She led Academic Affairs at Gwinnett Technical College as Vice President prior to her appointment as President of Atlanta Technical College.
Dr. Seals began her teaching career in Athens, Georgia. She was employed by Athens-Clarke County Public Schools for two years and Athens Technical College for six years. During her time in Athens, Dr. Seals also served as an assistant basketball coach for the Clarke Central High School girls’ basketball program and as a tutor/proctor for The University of Georgia Athletic Department.
She is a member of Leadership Atlanta’s Class of 2018, Leadership Gwinnett’s Class of 2011, as well as the 2013 class of the Technical College System of Georgia’s Executive Leadership Academy. She is an active member of the American Association of Community Colleges, American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges, Technology Association of Georgia, Women in Educational Leadership, and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.
Named among the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “Who’s Who in Education” in May 2017, Dr. Seals serves as a Board member with Horizons Atlanta, Clayton County Chamber, Work Source Atlanta, and Work Source Fulton. Dr. Seals was named Educator of the Year in 2017 by the South Fulton Chamber and was recognized by Year Up Atlanta that same year with the Urban Empowerment Award. Dr. Seals was also honored by the Urban League of Greater Atlanta at its 56th Equal Opportunity Day (2017).
Dr. Seals received a B. S. in mathematics from Spelman College. She continued her studies at the University of Georgia where she received an M.A. in mathematics, an Ed.S. in mathematics education, and an Ed.D. in educational leadership.
For more information on Atlanta Technical College, visit http://www.atlantatech.edu/.