ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A new college and career academy is coming to Dougherty County.
Today, the Technical College System of Georgia granted more than $3 million to kick start a College and Career Academy at Southside Middle School. It's aimed at increasing dual enrollment and preparing students for the workforce.
Next Fall, South Georgia students will be able to take courses at The Commodore Conyers College and Career Academy at Southside Middle School.
"It's a wonderful opportunity for our students, for our community, said Ufot Inyang, DCSS Asst. Superintendent.
"That'll provide structure to the "Move On When Ready" enrollment that we are already experiencing," said Dr, Anthony Parker, Albany Technical College President.
Students in the Dougherty, Terrell and Calhoun County School Systems will be transported to the academy through a partnership with Albany Technical College.
"Construction, Computer Engineering, Engineering technology, manufacturing, healthcare," said Parker.
"The hands on learning, the job placements that will be occurring as a result," said Inyang.
18-year-old Ayana Harp is a dual enrollment success story. She's a recent graduate of Albany High and Albany Tech and is now taking courses at Florida A&M University as a certified pharmacy technician. She's recommending any student to take advantage of the academy.
"Of course, financial reasons, academic reasons," said Ayana Harp, Dual Enrollment Graduate. "It just prepares you and puts you one step above others that you might be competing with getting into school or into jobs."
School officials are hoping the academy will have nearly a thousand students over the course of its five year charter.
"We'll hire new teachers, we'll hire a CEO from the business sector, we'll hire a principal who will be in charge of curriculum," said Inyang.
"I think it's going to work well because of the plan that we put together and because of the proximity between the two institutions," said Parker.
The academy will start off as a wing at Southside Middle School and school officials hope that over time it will utilize the entire building. School officials are now working to put together information to inform parents on how to enroll their children in the academy.