RCA certified by new process

CONYERS – Rockdale Career Academy has been recommended for certification, becoming the first school in Georgia to complete a newly piloted review process.

The Technical College System of Georgia, the Georgia Department of Education-Charter Schools Division and AdvancED have collaborated to form a new certification procedure for Georgia College & Career Academies, which is built upon the infrastructure of AdvancED’s school accreditation process. This recently formulated procedure includes elements that are customized to GCCAs, which also incorporates state charter school renewal requirements.

Before receiving a recommendation for certification, a 10-member external review team completed a site visit when they inspected classrooms and interviewed faculty and staff as well as students. Based on their findings, the team recommended RCA for certification.

“I am extremely proud of the results of this review process,” said Rockdale County Public Schools Superintendent Richard Autry. “Rockdale Career Academy provides so many opportunities for students to create their future and graduate high school with a competitive advantage in higher education and the workforce through industry certifications and pathway completion. Being the first career academy to receive certification, RCA will continue to serve as an exemplar for others around the state and nation.”

RCA CEO Dr. Miki Edwards was also excited about the school receiving certification in this pilot process.

“This credentialing process required us to take a deep look at our own processes and practices so we can determine how to become stronger for our students,” said Edwards. “The faculty and staff at RCA are a dedicated and passionate group of professionals who work hard to assist our students in preparing for their futures, and I am so proud of what they are able to accomplish each and every day. Our community, business, and post-secondary partners have worked with us along the way to provide many opportunities for students as well. The external review team was impressed by the number of students who wanted to talk about what RCA has meant to them during their high school journey. Their stories remind us of why we are here and motivate us to do even more to help our students be successful.”

RCA was recognized for seven exceptional attributes as described by the review team. These include the school’s rigorous registration process which involves RCA counselors and special education staff, along with RCA’s use of technologies such as Mondo Pad to expedite the hiring process and build relationships with base high schools.

The only opportunity for improvement that the team could identify was for RCA to locate and parter with post-secondary institutions that can provide specific support of pathways.