Ready, Set, Learn.. The New Atlanta College and Career Academy
Being ready means you are set. You’re fully prepared. You can now take that next step. At Atlanta Public Schools, it is our mission to ensure our students graduate ready for college and a career.
This week we received phenomenal news that APS students will benefit from a $3.3 million grant from the Technical College System of Georgia to help fund the Atlanta College and Career Academy (ACCA)— a 21st century technical center, created in partnership with Atlanta Technical College and APS.
I’m so excited to have this additional option for our students. ACCA aligns with our mission that every student will graduate ready for college and career, and expands our efforts to expose all high school students to a college preparatory, career and technical curriculum.
The primary goal of the ACCA is to prepare high school students for high demand, high-skilled technical careers, which will also address the economic and workforce demands of Atlanta and the state of Georgia. The ACCA will offer students an additional opportunity to earn a promising career-focused education in a collegiate setting.
One of the many great things about this program is that beginning next school year, our students can select to attend classes at ATC with an option to dual-enroll in both academic and technical classes, which will provide opportunities for completion in advanced academics and technical pathways. In addition, students may earn a technical certificate, a college diploma or an associate degree, while enrolled at the Academy. Over 100 programs areas will be available to students offering credentials such as: C++, CISCO certification (computer networking); Certified Professional in Health Information Technology (CPHIT), education endorsement in Early Childhood Exceptionalities and Infant and Childcare, which are recognized by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission and Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).
This project has been in the making since 2011; however, it could not have come at a better time than now as the ACCA will enhance our proposed cluster signature programs by offering continuity for existing Career Technical Architectural Education pathways and providing high-quality alternative programs that may not be part of a cluster’s signature program.
Business and community stakeholders have committed to partnering with ACCA to ensure student success. Thoughtful leaders such as Tom Money at Kauffman Tires, Tina Fernandez at Achieve Atlanta, Amy Lancaster at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Mike Kenig from Holder Construction, and Dave Cole from IBM will join representatives from APS and ATC to serve on the Academy’s board of directors to help guide its success.
I am thankful for the commitments and investments in APS students. It takes partnerships such as these, the support of organizations like the Technical College of System of Georgia, and our APS families to make our district stronger and to help us on our journey to ensure every APS student is ready for college, career and a great life.