College and Career Academies
TCSG board pledges $9.45 million
Atlanta – The State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) recently awarded grants totaling $9.45 million to help establish three new college and career academies in Georgia.
Grants were given for the Cairo High School College and Career Academy, Coffee County College and Career Academy, and Troup County College and Career Academy. Each received $3.15 million in funding that is to be matched with local funding to support the academies’ start-up costs, construction, and initial staffing.
Coweta County’s Charter and Career Academy, the Central Educational Center, was groundbreaking for college and career academies in the state.
The TCSG board’s College and Career Academy Committee selected the grant recipients and the full board voted their approval during their monthly meeting in Atlanta.
TCSG State Board Chair Lynn Cornett expressed the board’s strong support for Georgia’s career academy initiative and the expanded possibilities that it provides for high school students.
"Career academies are a unique collaboration between the school system, area TCSG college, and business and industry, all working together to develop programs that educate and prepare Georgia students for in-demand jobs. The result is an innovative learning environment where students earn high school and college credit while being challenged to reach their potential and, ultimately, excel in great careers," said Cornett.
Students find that the academies’ dual credit programs provide greater 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.
Students at the 27 college and career academies across the state have graduation rates in the high ninetieth percentile, and most go on to attend college. The job placement rate for career academy graduates is also very high.
Georgia’s College & Career Academy Initiative has been spearheaded by Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, who has focused the effort on higher achievement for Georgia students and preparing them for future careers.
Since the initiative began in 2006, the state has appropriated $83 million in start-up funding for college and career academies in the form of grants from the TCSG.
Last year, the 27 academies enrolled almost 14,000 students.
“I thank the Governor and General Assembly for their strong support of Lt. Governor Cagle’s vision for Georgia’s college and career academies and helping to open career pathways for Georgia’s high school students,” said TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson. “The Technical College System of Georgia is proud to be a partner in this model program that expands the education horizon and contributes to workforce development.”
Southwest Georgia Technical College will collaborate with the Grady County School System for the Cairo High School College and Career Academy; Wiregrass Georgia Technical College will partner with the Coffee County School System for the Coffee County College and Career Academy; and West Georgia Technical College will collaborate with the Troup County School System for the Troup County College and Career Academy.
“We are excited to partner with the Troup County School System for their College and Career Academy,” said West Georgia Technical College President Dr. Skip Sullivan. “We look forward to this program having an impact on students’ lives as well as the surrounding community.”