5 school districts, Tech sign agreement

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

COVINGTON -- A major educational milestone was launched last week as DeKalb Technical College signed articulation agreements with five school districts within the college's service delivery area.

DTC President Robin Hoffman joined Newton County School System Superintendent Gary Matthews, representatives from Rockdale County Public Schools and officials from the three other school districts in a ceremonial signing of the agreement that is the culmination of a two-year project.

"It's an exciting time for seamless education in Georgia," said Karen Howard, a DeKalb Tech marketing instructor and architect of the articulation agreement.

The articulation agreement is a collaborative effort between Decatur City, DeKalb, Morgan, Newton and Rockdale county public school systems and DeKalb Technical College. The goal is to encourage small business development career pathways for high school students in the five school districts.

High school students who take three courses at their schools -- Business Essentials, Legal Environment of Business and Entrepreneurial Venture -- may receive articulated credit at DeKalb Technical College with their coupled college courses -- Entrepreneurship, Small Business Management, Principles of Management and Business Law.

In order to receive articulated credit, the student must complete all three courses, make at least a C in all of them and pass End Of Course Tests for each with at least a score of 80.

"DeKalb Technical College is committed to a seamless educational system in Georgia," Hoffman said. "This articulation agreement will enable students to move from high school to higher education along a career path that ensures a bright future. We look forward to the development of many more such agreements with our high school partners."

The purpose of the partnership is to create a seamless transition of credits using a system of matching state-approved secondary career pathways with state-approved technical college programs, she said.

"What is about to happen is indicative of the type of excellence we are going to pursue in our public schools," Matthews said.

Roger Ivey, coordinator of Career, Technical and Agricultural Education at RCPS, said the system has created other articulations in the past, but they have not been successful. He foresees this one as successful because of the alignment between the college and high school programs and because teachers are using a common syllabus and are creating progress-monitoring exams at nine and 18 weeks, as well as End Of Course Tests.

"We're excited and see a great opportunity for students," he said. "In tough economic times, even though students qualify for the HOPE scholarship and HOPE grant, this also will give them 12 credit hours paid for by the secondary tax dollars."

RCPS also will finalize another articulation agreement with DTC for early childhood education in the coming months.

DeKalb Technical College is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and has eight centers of learning in DeKalb, Newton, Rockdale and Morgan counties.

Established in 1961, the college currently has more than 4,000 students enrolled in diploma or degree programs and more than 9,000 in adult education classes. Academic and technical programs at DeKalb Tech cover more than 100 different occupations.

More information is available by visiting the DTC website at www.dekalbtech.edu.