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Dougherty County Schools, Community In Schools of Georgia and Albany Technical College form partnership

New College and Career Performance Learning Center aims to increase graduation rates

ALBANY — Albany Technical College, Communities In Schools of Georgia, and the Dougherty County School System have joined forces in an effort to help improve the high school graduation rate in Dougherty County while offering career training and skills at the college level.

Through the new partnership, slated to begin with 60 students in January, the College and Career Performance Learning Center (PLC) aims to accelerate the completion of high school credits needed for graduation while allowing students who meet criteria to enroll, concurrently, with ATC to earn college credit and prepare for a career.

“The Communities In Schools Performance Learning Center (PLC) has proven its ability to enable potential school dropouts to become successful students and graduate from high school with a regular diploma by focusing on credit recovery.” ATC and the DCSS said in a joint news release. “ATC will further these efforts by offering these students the opportunity to dually enroll to earn college credit. The outcome of the partnership will impact both the DCSS graduation rate as well as provide students with an opportunity to access ATC programs and better prepare for today’s workforce.”

ATC President Anthony Parker said, “Albany Tech’s ability to ensure that eligible students continue on a path to postsecondary education in preparation for entering today’s workforce as productive Dougherty County citizens by increasing access to higher education, which can positively impact the postsecondary transition rate of DCSS.”

The expansion of the Performance Learning Center will increase the number of students currently being served while expanding the postsecondary education access for students to ATC and its academic programs. Initially, DCSS will support the expansion by working to grow the enrollment of the program to a target of 200 to 250 students by next school year.

The program will be housed in the former vocation wing at Monroe Comprehensive High School to help facilitate direct access to college educational resources at ATC. The college will support the expansion by providing access for students to its Academic Achievement Center (AAC) on campus, by working to support pre-COMPASS diagnostic testing and COMPASS remediation, as well as offering a survey course to expose DCSS students to many different potential career fields.

“Our objective is to help students reach levels of academic competence so that they can graduate from high school and succeed on a career path,” said Butch Mosely, interim superintendent for the school system. “This new effort creates opportunities to help young people set attainable goals for their lives and then gives them the tools for success.”

With the resources available through this three-way partnership, students could benefit academically while gaining the necessary skills for today’s workforce.

“CIS is the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization,” said Virginia Monroe, executive director of the local effort. “Our unique model positions site coordinators in schools to assess student needs, provide resources to help them succeed in the classroom and in life. We partner with local businesses, social agencies, health care providers and volunteers.”