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DeKalb Tech signs agreement with local school systems

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CONYERS -- DeKalb Technical College signed more agreements with Rockdale and Newton County public school systems this week that will help high school students get a head start on college courses before they graduate.

The college, which eventually will be renamed Georgia Piedmont Technical College, signed articulation agreements with Rockdale County Public Schools for its law and justice career pathway and with Newton, Rockdale, DeKalb and Decatur City schools for their early childhood education pathways.

With the new agreement, high school students will receive college credits for course work they complete during high school.

"The opportunity for high school students to have these articulated credits and be able to transfer in this economy is a great thing for students and employers," said Larry Teems, interim vice president at the college. "You have students going into the work force sooner than before."

Teems joined officials from Rockdale County Public Schools and the Newton County School System on Thursday to sign the agreements at the Rockdale Career Academy in Conyers.

"We're excited, and we're very proud to have this," said Roger Ivey, the Career, Technical & Agricultural Education Coordinator at RCPS.

High school students who take required courses at their schools may receive articulated credit at DeKalb Technical College. In order to receive credit, students must complete all of the courses in the program, make at least a C in all of them and pass the End of Course Tests for each with at least a score of 80.

"This comes after a year of refining curriculum and content," Ivey said.

It is the purpose of these partners to create a seamless transition of credits utilizing the system of matching state-approved secondary career pathways with state-approved technical college programs, college officials have said.

Additionally, Ivey and Teems said it helps students save time, money and HOPE scholarship hours.

Last year, Rockdale and Newton County schools, along with school systems in Decatur, DeKalb and Morgan, signed an agreement with DeKalb Tech for small business students.

More agreements could come in the future as individual systems and the college, along with other technical institutions, look at their student demands and needs, officials said.

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 DeKalb Tech Web site at www.dekalbtech.edu.