Career Academy Celebration of $3 Million Grant

Career Academy Celebration of $3 Million Grant
Posted on 01/17/2020
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On January 14, over 150 people joined Catoosa County’s Board of Education and the College and Career Academy Board of Directors to celebrate the From HERE to CAREER! Academy receiving a $3,000,000 grant. With overwhelming support from the community and dedication of the individuals who made the grant application possible, the celebration and presentation of the check were spectacular.

For the past thirteen years, The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) has provided grants to assist communities developing new College and Career Academies. The leadership and support from the academy’s Board of Directors was essential in developing an excellent application. With only two grants available in Georgia, the application was highly competitive; however, Catoosa County received an exceptional score of 82 out of 84 possible points on the written portion. The system earned twelve additional points when the grant was presented to the TCSG panel in Atlanta. “We have never had a score as high as Catoosa County’s,” said Jenny Williams, Director of College and Career Transitions at TCSG.

Following the check presentation, students were recognized for their success in the Academy’s first Mechatronics Pathway. Sixteen students from the county’s three high schools have successfully completed first semester and earned an Industrial Electrician Certificate from GNTC. Superintendent Reese said, “Every student made A’s and B’s, which is an outstanding accomplishment.”

To recognize earning a Technical College Certificate (TCC), students received a special cord to wear at graduation to signify their achievement. Superintendent Reese added, “The College and Career Academy is committed to students earning college credit and technical college certificates. When students wear these special cords at their high school graduation, it signifies that they have earned college credentials and certificates, and they are prepared to continue post-secondary education or to begin a highly-skilled career.”

In addition to academics and technical skills, Academy students participate in Professional Skills Development. National and regional employers report a lack of soft skills and work ethics in high school and college graduates, so developing professional skills is a high priority in the From HERE to CAREER! Academy.

In the first semester, students learned basic business interaction and professional skills, as well as higher level competencies including transactional analysis and emotional intelligence. To help students remember the lessons, they utilize a Professional Skills Alphabet. The students performed this alphabet when the system presented the grant application to TCSG in November. Ms. Williams said, “The students’ performance sealed the deal for the committee to award the College and Career Academy Grant to Catoosa County.”

After the students’ performed the alphabet and received their cord and certificate, confetti cannons exploded, applause erupted, and smiling faces filled the room in celebration of the students’ outstanding success.

Superintendent Denia Reese said, “I am so proud of every one of these students! They have taken full advantage of their opportunity in this program, and they will graduate high school highly-skilled to enter the workforce and highly-prepared to continue post-secondary education. They have established a standard of excellence as the first From HERE to CAREER! Academy cohort. I will challenge future cohorts of students to follow their example to achieve success.”

The next step is breaking ground on the Benton Place Campus to build the new school. Construction is set to begin in 2021. CCPS would like to thank the community for their overwhelming support. 

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