Sat, May 25, 2024

Bigger commitment to boost workforce training

The education and training needed to create a skilled workforce remain a top priority in Georgia.

Gov. Brian Kemp (R) recently announced a change to the College & Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI), which is the state’s accountability system for schools. The changes, scheduled to take effect in 2025, are designed to promote high-demand career pathways, those that are aligned with an in-demand industry.

“As the No. 1 state in the nation to do business, we have to prepare Georgians for the unprecedented opportunities coming our way, by equipping students with the skills needed to succeed,” said Kemp in a news release announcing the change. “Building on the success of programs like dual enrollment and Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE), this initiative will further strengthen our ability to meet the needs of a thriving workforce and business community.”

Joining Kemp for the announcement were State School Superintendent, Richard Woods of the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) and Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) Commissioner, Greg Dozier.

According to the GaDOE website, “The CCRPI is Georgia’s annual tool for measuring how well its schools, districts, and the state itself are preparing students for the next educational level. It provides a comprehensive roadmap to help educators, parents, and community members promote and improve college and career readiness for all students. The CCRPI includes five main components each scored on a scale of 0 to 100: Content Mastery, Progress, Closing Gaps, Readiness, and Graduation Rate (high school only). The CCRPI also reports other information, such as the performance of student subgroups, school climate, and financial efficiency status.​”

The new calculation will give a student additional credit if they complete a career pathway in what GaDOE will define as a high-demand industry. The high-demand industries will be determined through a partnership with the state’s business and industry communities, along with TCSG.

“This change will ensure schools and districts are recognized for aligning Career Pathway offerings with high-demand careers, ultimately benefiting our students and our state,” Superintendent Woods was quoted in the release.

Three student pathways will qualify: Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) programs in high-demand areas, technical certificates of credit (TCC) through dual enrollment with TCSG institutions, or accelerated career diplomas.

“I am pleased that technical college credentials (TCC) earned through dual enrollment and the Accelerated Career diploma are part of this new incentive,” said Commissioner Dozier.

Augusta Technical College recently announced three new TCC programs.

The Junior Web Developer and Specialty Printing courses at Augusta Tech will help students interested in careers in design-based industries.

The Cyber Crime Specialist will focus on the forensic side of cyber security. Junior Web Developer and Specialty Printing classes target students interested in careers in design-based industries.

“It meets more of a specific need,” explained Dr. Tammy O’Brien, Dean of the School of Cyber and Design Media. “This is a great way for students to begin at one point, and then advance further into the degrees that we offer, that these three TCCs are actually embedded in.”

The new classes will be offered beginning with the Spring 2024 semester. Registration is underway at: www.augustatech.org.

According to the governor’s news release, the CTAE program is designed to prepare students for their next steps, either further education or a skilled trade, after they graduate high school.

“Students can select Pathways that will prepare them for real-world careers – from financial technology to flight operations – while earning recognized industry credentials and participating in work-based learning and apprenticeship opportunities. Pathway completers continually record graduation rates above 97 percent, along with high placement rates in higher education and careers.”

The CCRPI has guidelines for the elementary, middle and high school levels. Details of the current requirements are available at: www.gadoe.org/Curriculum-Instruction-and-Assessment/Accountability/Pages/default.aspx.

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