GOAL Student of the Year Award

The Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) program focuses on excellence in technical education. During GOAL Week, as declared and named by our Governor, outstanding students attending Georgia’s technical colleges and divisions are recognized for academic excellence and personal achievement. From this outstanding group of students, a panel of judges selects one student, the state GOAL winner, to serve as the statewide Student of the Year and ambassador for technical education in Georgia.

More About GOAL

GOAL competition begins during the Fall semester. Technical college instructors across Georgia identify their most promising students and nominate them for GOAL based on academic achievement and personal leadership:

  1. The first phase of GOAL takes place at the local technical college level. As nominees move through an interview process, the screening committee selects the top student to represent their college and community. After each college selects its college winner, competition among the students moves to the preliminary regional level.
  2. Selection committees made up of business and industry representing each college, select three winners from each of the TCSG’s three regions. Then, these nine finalists will move on to compete at the state level in Atlanta.
  3. The state-level competition involves more interviews as the nine regional finalists receive individual consideration from a panel of judges for the state title. The winning GOAL student serves as an ambassador for technical education in Georgia. He or she will make many public appearances throughout the year including addresses to the Georgia General Assembly, the Governor, and the Technical College System of Georgia Leadership Conference just to name a few.

GOAL is more than an awards banquet; it's a who’s who event where Georgia’s business, government, and industry leaders join our technical colleges to celebrate technical education’s vital impact on Georgia’s workforce, prosperity, and future.

GOAL strives to stimulate the community’s interest in and knowledge of technical education by recognizing outstanding student talent as well as strengthening the association between educators and the business community.

GOAL emphasizes the importance of technical education in today’s world and rewards students who exemplify excellence in their chosen program of study.

The recipient of the statewide GOAL award is recognized as the Technical College System of Georgia’s Student of the Year and a new automobile, sponsored by Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, is awarded as the grand prize.

This year’s college winner is, Ms. Tatiyana Matthews,
who will represent the college at various forums this year.

Tatiyana Matthews photo
Tatiyana Matthews
North Regional Finalist
Dental Hygiene
2022 GOAL Winner
Nominated by Marisha Singleton

"I chose Technical Education because I’ve had previous success in my career with
dental assisting after attending another technical college. I obtained my associate's
degree in Dental Assisting in 2010 from Fortis College. I chose Atlanta Technical
College because they offered the Dental Hygiene Program for an economical price that
would not hinder me financially. Also, Atlanta Technical College would provide me with
the hands-on training I would need to perform in a clinical setting as a registered dental

Past GOAL recipients:
2021- Mr. William McRae
2020 -Mr. Dwayne Jarrett
2019- Mr. William Merriman
2018- Ms. Loretta Grissom (North Regional Finalist)
2017-Terrylyn Stevenson

As set forth in its student catalog, Atlanta Technical College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, sex, religion, disability, age, political affiliation or belief, genetic information, veteran status, or citizenship status (except in those special circumstances permitted or mandated by law). For further information regarding these laws (Title VI and IX) contact Mattie Goss, Director of Student Services, Academic and Student Affairs Division, Atlanta Technical College, Academic Building, C1111B, 404.225.4446. Email: mgoss@atlantatech.edu. To request reasonable accommodations upon enrollment (Section 504/ADA), contact Mattie Goss, Director of Student Services, Atlanta Technical College, Academic, and Student Affairs Division, Academic Building, C1111B, 404.225.4446. Email: mgoss@atlantatech.edu.  Faculty and staff with questions about equity or reasonable accommodations should contact Human Resources, Cleveland Dennard Building, suite B-180A, Atlanta Technical College, 1560 Metropolitan Parkway, SW, Atlanta, GA 30310. 404.225.4446. Email: mgoss@atlantatech.edu.