ALBANY, GA (WALB) - with information from Albany Technical College
The board of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) today awarded grants totaling $10 million for career academies in Morgan County, Dougherty County, and Atlanta. Each school's share is $3.33 million, which will be matched with local funding to support the academies' start-up costs, construction, and initial staffing.
Albany Technical College will work with the Dougherty County School System, in partnership with the Terrell and Calhoun County school systems.
In Albany, the grant will largely go towards transforming what is currently Southside Middle School into the Commodore Conyers College and Career Academy (CCCCA), which will serve students in the Dougherty County, Terrell County and Calhoun County School Systems.
"This really is a historic day for students in Southwest Georgia," Dougherty County School Superintendent Dr. David Mosely said. "For the first time in Southwest Georgia public education, higher education and the business community are working together to create some amazing opportunity for our kids and that's a good thing."
The CCCCA must pass muster with the state board of Education, which will likely vote on whether to accept it at their January meeting.
The College and Career Academy will be run by a CEO and principal who will answer to a board of directors named by the Dougherty County School System, Albany Technical College, Albany State University, the Albany-Area Chamber of Commerce and the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission.
"This will be the greatest opportunity for Albany and Southwest Georgia in my 20 years at Albany Tech," Dr. Anthony Parker, president at Albany Tech said. "This will be an opportunity to bring together high school students through a mechanism that gives them a workforce credential or to earn the equivalent of an associate degree and to enter a college or university as a junior…ultimately, we believe this will give businesses and economic developers a reason to look at the second congressional district for relocation and expansion of industry because of our skilled workforce."
"This is a proud day for Albany, Dougherty County, and Southwest Georgia, said Darrel Ealum, State Representative, Georgia House District 153. "This $3 million dollar grant will allow us to provide a co-located first class facility adjacent to Albany Technical College where our students will take advantage of existing ATC facilities, as well as newly renovated facilities."
Students find that the academies' dual credit programs provide great relevancy and value, which leads to higher graduation rates. Students are also better-prepared for higher education because they take college-level courses and earn college credits. Businesses realize the benefit from students who can put their education to work as part of Georgia's highly-trained and skilled workforce.
Pictured left to right in the photo: Joe Yarborough, Board Chair, Technical College System of Georgia; Gretchen Corbin, Commissioner, Technical College System of Georgia; Darrel Ealum, State Representative, Georgia House District 153; Velvet Riggins, Dougherty County School Board Chair; Dr. David Mosely, Superintendent, Dougherty County School System; Dr. Anthony O. Parker, President, Albany Technical College; Kenneth Dyer, Associate Superintendent and Chief Business Officer, Dougherty County School System; Jenny Williams, Director of College and Career Transitions, Technical College System of Georgia; Dr. Ufot Inyang, Associate Superintendent for Academic Services, Dougherty County School System