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Polk County College and Career Academy

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Back Row: Ms. Carol Dugger, High School Initiatives Director; Dr. Katie Thomas, CTAE Director; Ms. Natalie Smith, Career Transition Specialist; Dr. William Hunter, Superintendent Front Row: Mr. Pete McDonald, President; Mrs. Karen Nissen, Chairperson of Polk County College and Career Academy Steering Committee
Georgia Northwestern Technical College – Back Row: Ms. Carol Dugger, High School Initiatives Director; Dr. Katie Thomas, CTAE Director; Ms. Natalie Smith, Career Transition Specialist; Dr. William Hunter, Superintendent
Front Row: Mr. Pete McDonald, President; Mrs. Karen Nissen, Chairperson of Polk County College and Career Academy Steering Committee

Partnering for Success : Polk County College and Career Academy
Mou Signed by Polk School District, Georgia Highlands College, Georgia Northwestern Technical College

Cedartown, GA, July 21, 2014– Polk County is one step closer to ensuring that a College and Career Academy is a reality for the community. This past week, leaders from Polk School District, Georgia Highlands College, and Georgia Northwestern Technical College met to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), formally announcing the intent of all parties to apply for charter status for the academy and to pursue funding from Georgia College & Career Academies. Across the state, local high schools and their post-secondary partners are joining together to provide the best education possible for the 21st century jobs of today. College and Career Academies are unique learning environments that provide the best opportunities for local communities to focus their educational resources on what is needed in their community and workforce.

Dr. Katie Thomas, CTAE Director, Polk School District states that a College and Career Academy will allow us to enhance our existing Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) programs by providing flexibility to customize our instruction and training to meet the needs of local business and industry. In addition, students will be offered increased dual enrollment opportunities that allow them to earn high school and college credit simultaneously. This combination of advanced academics and technical skill, with an embedded focus on work ethic, is a win-win for students, parents, business/industry, and the community.

A steering committee was formed in April comprised of various stakeholders from the community including parents and representatives from K-12, post-secondary, and business and industry. The committee, chaired by Karen Nissen, meets monthly to gather feedback from stakeholders to guide the grant process. The Polk School District Board of Education will vote to approve the proposed charter and supporting documents on July 30. This partnership is just the beginning of many wonderful educational and training opportunities for the Polk County community.

Back Row: Dr. Todd Jones, Vice President for Student Affairs; Dr. Katie Thomas, CTAE Director; Dr. William Hunter, Superintendent Front Row: Dr. Renva Watterson, Interim President; Mrs. Karen Nissen, Chairperson of Polk County College and Career Academy Steering Committee
Georgia Highlands College-Back Row: Dr. Todd Jones, Vice President for Student Affairs; Dr. Katie Thomas, CTAE Director; Dr. William Hunter, Superintendent
Front Row: Dr. Renva Watterson, Interim President; Mrs. Karen Nissen, Chairperson of Polk County College and Career Academy Steering Committee

Press Release from the Polk School District – Dr. Katie Thomas