Darton State College Interim President Paul Jones, left, Albany Technical College President Anthony Parker, Dougherty County School System Interim Superintendent Butch Mosely and Albany State University Interim President Art Dunning are shown after a fourth meeting of the County’s educational leadership. (Special Photo)
ALBANY — Leaders from all levels of the public education arena in Dougherty County took another step toward establishing a new foundation for improving academic performance through collaborative efforts.
Chief executives from Albany State University, Albany Technical College, Darton State College and the Dougherty County School System met for the fourth time last week at a luncheon discussion hosted by Butch Mosely, Interim Superintendent for the school system.
Joining the conversation for the school system were Administrative Assistant for Support Services Jack Willis; Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Ufot Inyang, and Executive Director of Finance and Operations Ken Dyer.
Among the items discussed during the session was the progress of new initiatives, such as the College and Career Performance Learning Center, where the goal is to improve the high school graduation rate throughout Dougherty County while affording students an opportunity to dual enroll in college level courses at Albany Technical College.
“I am very pleased with the progress of our enhanced relationships with our educational partners,” ATC President Anthony Parker said. “We have served students through the new College and Career Performance Learning Center who would have likely dropped out of high school.”
The leaders also heard about system initiatives aimed at improving reading ability in the earliest grade levels so that students improve their chances for academic success. The group also discussed the school system, following up on discussions about the prekindergarten through sixteen collaborative in El Paso, Texas, and its interest in an on-site visit to learn more about how the El Paso community has transformed education through its collaborative efforts between business, community leaders, K-12 schools, and higher education partnerships.
The central focus of the meeting turned to suggestions from Albany State University under consideration and begin to involve all community stakeholders in the communication process of options for improvement. These options will provide a solutions map and an implementation timeline for moving forward.
Inyang described plans to increase dual enrollment in all of the higher institutions of the community and the plan to increase the number of students taking AP classes as well as the variety of AP classes offered to students. Willis opened a discussion about the need to restore and maintain discipline in the classrooms and the various efforts the system is utilizing to maintain the ideal learning environment. This involves parent involvement and improved accountability.
Resources mentioned included the various civic and community groups such as the Boys and Girls Club, Girls Inc., and the YMCA, that work with students to keep them engaged after school hours when parents are at work.
The chief academic officers of Albany Technical College and Darton State College have scheduled meetings to attempt to reactivate a bridge program between Paramedic Technology and Registered Nursing. The academic leadership from ATC and ASU continue to meet to determine which programs could be added to the AAS to BAS Bridge.