D. SEAMLESS ACCESS TO TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Postsecondary Pipeline Greater Awareness of and Enrollment in CGTC
CGTC is working to bring the varying components of education together to provide a continuous educational pipeline to enable students to enter, exit, and re-enter the educational pipeline to achieve their full potential. Components of this initiative include:
Traditionally, education in Georgia has been broken into separate components, such as high school, GED preparation, home schooling, technical college credit programs, non-credit continuing education, and four-year college credit programs, with little interaction among the components. Now, Georgia leaders are working to bring the varying components of education together to provide a continuous educational pipeline that will enable people to start at the level that is appropriate to their skills and needs and to continue to learn at progressively higher levels without artificial impediments to their advancement.
Technical college dual enrollment for high school students is an increasingly important component of the new approach to providing a smooth flow of education across secondary and postsecondary levels in which students can earn technical college credits while simultaneously earning credits toward high school graduation. Using different methods of recruitment in each county, CGTC increased the number of credit hour students participating in dual enrollments throughout the seven-county service area during 2006-07. School systems utilizing direct recruitment to students in a classroom setting reported great participation.
However, an improved, more systematic recruitment approach, increased staffing, and a variety of alternatives will enhance the effectiveness of dual enrollment and similar programs and help to overcome some of the challenges involved. Challenges that CGTC is working to overcome include the dual enrollment hour cap, high schools being on the semester system and CGTC being on the quarter system, the preference for use of articulated credits rather than dual enrollment, and concerns that technical college credits often will not transfer to 4-year colleges or universities. CGTC will research new means to assist students who are receiving dual enrollment credits to avoid using HOPE hours and to overcome other concerns regarding dual enrollment.
High School Dual Enrollment Opportunities throughout the Service Area
CGTC will improve the seamless matriculation process at multiple access points in order to provide students with the options needed to fulfill their career objectives. This will include facilitating Career Academy partnerships. It may also include locating College recruiters on high school campuses; collaborating with CTAE professionals, guidance counselors, ECP coordinators and graduation coaches; and providing College instructors on high school campuses to provide dual enrollment and other postsecondary options. Recruitment efforts for dual enrollment will be intensified in the middle and high schools, and faith-based organizations will be involved in helping to disseminate information to students and parents throughout the service area.
Career Academies Established in Partnership with Area School Systems
CGTC will be an active partner in efforts to establish at least two new charter-school career academies in the service area. These career academies will provide excellent opportunities for students to take advantage of dual enrollment to gain technical college credits and TCC credentials while in high school.
Bridges to Technical Career Success for ABE, GED, and ESL Students
CGTC will increase programs and services to help adult education students to advance along the educational pipeline. ABE and ESL students will be helped and encouraged to progress to the GED level, and GED graduates will be assisted to make the transition to postsecondary education. By co-locating adult education instruction on the same campus or in the same facility with technical credit programs, GED students who have the ability to benefit will be able to use the dual enrollment concept to start earning credits toward technical program completion while working to complete their GED.
Inter-Collegiate Bridge Programs Developed with Four-Year College and University Partners
CGTC will continue to develop "bridge" program articulation agreements with other colleges and universities. Areas for greatest expansion of two-year plus two-year bridge program agreements are in business/public service, childcare and education, information technology, and healthcare. CGTC will also continue to work with the growing number of student referrals and transfers from four-year colleges and universities.
Merit Scholarships for Outstanding High School Graduates and GED Graduates
It is envisioned that, through the Foundation, the community will help CGTC offer merit scholarships for outstanding high school students and GED graduates who will enter CGTC diploma or degree programs as full-time students soon after graduation. The intent of these scholarships will be to attract outstanding students and raise awareness of CGTC as a preferred educational choice for preparation for rewarding careers. It is also envisioned that the Foundation will continue and/or expand support for awards for outstanding students who are already enrolled at CGTC.