COVINGTON — The Newton College and Career Academy has recently been named a Ford Next Generation Learning Community, making it one of 12 communities in the nation to receive this designation.
“Newton College and Career Academy is honored to receive this prestigious Ford Next Generation Learning Community designation,” said James Woodard, principal and CEO of Newton College and Career Academy. “The designation recognizes NCCA as having a plan which is focused on creating a learning environment which will enhance academic achievement and workforce preparedness for our students.”
At 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, members of the Newton County Chamber of Commerce and local business leaders will join together with students and staff of the Newton College and Career Academy to celebrate this prestigious honor.
Ford NGL is nationally recognized for its approach to engage key community stakeholders representing k-12 education, employers, post-secondary and community-based organizations to develop academies within existing public high schools. At its core is a framework that provides successful practices for a community’s development of its plan to ensure that academies are prioritized and support local workforce and economic development needs.
Cheryl Carrier, program director for Ford NGL, said the 12 communities that have been designated as NGL communities so far are Newton and Floyd counties in Georgia; Bay, Clay, Pinellas, Polk, Lee, Volusia and St. John’s counties in Florida; Coachella Valley in California; Philadelphia in Pennsylvania; and Nashville in Tennessee.
She said the Ford Motor Company Fund is currently working with four other communities to obtain the designation.
According to the Ford Motor Company Fund’s website, there will not be enough qualified workers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers as baby boomers retire.
“However, our educational institutions are simply not graduating enough students for the high-skilled positions in these fields that employers need to fill, and our high schools in particular are not doing enough to prepare students for success, either in college or careers,” the site states.
“Ford Motor Company Fund’s Ford PAS (Partnership for Advanced Studies) Next Generation Learning initiatives are designed to mobilize all sectors of a community and to bring communities together, nationwide, to transform high schools and the entire workforce.”
Cheryl Carrier, director, Ford NGL at Ford Motor Company Fund, said in a press release, “Today communities are looking for innovative ways to leverage their educational resources to develop scalable and sustainable systems that provide students with the skills needed for success in a global economy. We are excited to expand our partnership with Newton College and Career Academy.”
Newton College and Career Academy prepares students for college and career in a multitude of ways, including dual enrollment through Georgia Piedmont Technical College in programs such as certified nursing, automotive, cosmetology and law enforcement. The newly formed STEM Institute will enhance the science and math focus for many students.
With this Ford NGL recognition, the career academy will:
• Receive ongoing guidance and technical assistance from the Ford NGL Leadership Team as Newton College and Career Academy implements its plan and reviews its progress annually;
• Become members in the Ford NGL national network, which will allow them to learn from other Ford NGL communities and tap into their expertise through peer-to-peer mentoring, online resources, webinars, and network institutes as well as share their successful practices with other Ford NGL communities; and
• Leverage the Ford NGL designation to encourage economic development for the region by demonstrating that the school is preparing students for high-wage, high-skill jobs in their community.
“The selection of NCCA as one of more than 15 communities in the nation is testament to the hard work, dedication, and commitment of the NCCA team,” said Samantha Fuhrey, superintendent of Newton County Schools. “A partnership with Ford Next Generation Learning further underscores the commitment of the Newton County School System to ensure students are college and career ready.”