ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A new school, with a focus on work force development, is just days away from opening the doors to its first class of students.
Administrators have been preparing the Commodore Conyers College and Career Academy, or 4C Academy for students for more than a year.
The academy is in Albany, but will serve students from Dougherty, Calhoun, Terrell and Baker counties.
Administrators said they are anxious to see students in the building.
"We are incredibly excited for the first day of school," said Chris Hatcher, the CEO of the Academy.
Hatcher was hired about a year ago.
"We have spent a lot of our time sort of planning, talking with our local business and industry, finding out what their needs are and really putting our program together," said Hatcher.
The program will be tested beginning on Tuesday, when the first group of 400 students start.
"I can't wait to see them get here and see the excitement on their faces," said Hatcher.
There will be two sessions of students at the academy throughout the day. The other half of the day students will go to their assigned high schools.
The classrooms inside the academy are not traditional. They've been designed to engage students in groups and hands-on learning.
"They have a different look and feel to them," explained Hatcher.
Many of the chairs and desks are on wheels so that students can easily get into groups. There are also lots of hands-on labs setup in the building.
The focus of the first semester will be baseline and soft-skills training, something Hatcher said industries are looking for in employees.
"Regardless of which pathway they choose these things are going to help them," said Hatcher.
Students will also spend the first part of the year exploring the basics of all 14 career paths.
"Each week will be dedicated to a different pathway," said Hatcher. "So they can have an understanding and when it comes to the end of the semester they will make a choice as to which pathway they want to be in."
The paths students can choose are plentiful.
They are aviation, construction, drafting and engineering, engineering and technology, entrepreneurship, film, graphics, three different heath care pathways, information technology, logistics, marketing, electronics and teaching as a profession.
Half the school is still under construction. It's scheduled to be completed by the time students return to school in January.
Students who have been accepted to the academy will get a look inside on Sunday at the school's open house from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
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