Lanier Technical College opened its doors last week for prospective students to get an up close look at labs and classrooms as well as meet faculty and staff.
The Dawson campus was open from 4 to 7 p.m. on July 12.
Troy Lindsey, dean of the Dawson campus, was on hand to take students through the facilities and answer questions.
Students interested in careers ranging from gaming to dental hygiene asked questions and looked over requirements for registration and financial aid.
"They get directions on how to apply. They apply online. Then, of course, we have got financial aid here and we go over instructions on that," said Joan Chadwick, admissions coordinator.
Lindsey showed groups through the cosmetology area, electrical systems technology, automotive technology and welding classrooms.
Ashly Smith of Dawsonville recently finished her GED and is looking for local educational options.
Her goals for the future?
"Bigger and better," she said after taking the tour.
"I have seen some pretty unique stuff that people can do with welding, so it's a possibility," she said.
Lindsey added: "If you learn how to weld, you will never want for lack of work. There will always be work for you to do. We have all the equipment you need to fabricate metal."
Most of the campus features classrooms where students are able to immediately put their knowledge to use, be it welding or something like cosmetology.
The cosmetology department has its own state-of-the-art salon that is open to the public.
"We simulate a real salon," said Jayna Durden, who is the program chair for the department, as well as a cosmetology instructor.
"We have a really nice setup here. We do oxygen facials. We have microdermabrasion. These are things that are really big in the skin care world right now," she said.
Even during the tour, students were at work in departments like electrical systems technology and automotive.
"They build out the junction boxes and that kind of thing," Lindsey said. "Our placement rate is amazing. The people we train get jobs in the field."
Outstanding placement rates and little to no debt incurred are big benefits, according to Lindsey.
The HOPE Grant is available to most Georgia residents regardless of income or academic record and covers a majority of tuition. It is available to students who are working towards a certificate or diploma and full-time enrollment is not required.
It is an option for many students attending Lanier Tech.
Visitors were also able to get information from career service specialists who are able to give guidance through career counseling. The school's career resource library offers referrals, planning and development literature.
The career services department also works with employers in the community to match them with qualified students and graduates of the programs.
Programs for local high school students, like Move On When Ready, give them a head start for their collegiate career. Students can take classes that are applicable for both their high school graduation and for college credit.
The Lanier Tech Dawson campus is at 408 Hwy. 9 North, Dawsonville. To get more information about upcoming semesters and availability, call (706) 216-5461.