GOAL and Rick Perkins Award
Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership
First launched in 1972, GOAL focuses on student excellence in technical education by focusing on academic excellence and personal achievement. In 2023, the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) program, which focuses on excellence in technical education, celebrated its 51st year. 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.
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. 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 their college winner, competition among the students moves to the regional level. 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. 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 is 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 program is recognized as the Technical College System of Georgia’s Student of the Year and a new automobile, sponsored by Kia Georgia, is awarded as the grand prize.