Innovative Education Initiative Redefines Teamwork in Carroll County

In a time when non-profits, schools and community leaders are often working independently in silos, Carrollton City and Carroll County Schools are coming together with a new, innovative approach focused on the single goal of helping students in their districts succeed.

The Carrollton-Carroll County Education Collaborative (CCEC) is an example of how two school districts – Carrolton City and Carroll County – have partnered with leadership from the University of West Georgia (UWG), West Georgia Technical College (WGTC), local school boards, the chamber of commerce, non-profits, the business community and community leaders to prepare students for life beyond the classroom. And they’re doing it together.

The structure of the CCEC invites the participation of a broad range of stakeholders from the business community, non-profit sector, government agencies and concerned citizens to create opportunities for students from preschool all the way to graduate programs. The goal of the collaborative is simple: work together to ensure that every child in Carroll County has the resources and opportunities to prepare them to enroll in higher education, enlist in the military, or find meaningful employment within four years of high school graduation.

The CCEC initiative is still in the early stages – formally launching in 2015 and becoming operational in 2017 – but school officials have already seen many positive results. Harvard University’s Pathways to Prosperity project has called the initiative one of the most innovative efforts in the country.

Both Carroll County and Carrolton City schools have seen an increase in high school graduation rates in 2017. Since the CCEC’s launch, the number of students participating in dual-enrollment courses held at local high schools offered by WGTC or on-campus courses at UWG has also significantly increased. In 2014, there were 37 students in the dual-enrollment program with the University of West Georgia. Today, there are over 700. The number of students in the dual-enrollment program at West Georgia Technical College has also increased.

By opening the lines of communication and removing scheduling and financial barriers, for example, it is now easier for high school students to participate in dual-enrollment programs.

-by Scotty Brewington, Contributing Writer, Marketjet LLC for the Spark Campaign, an initiative of the Georgia School Boards Assocation. To read the full story of the CCEC in Carroll County and more about the great things happening in Georgia's public schools please visit http://sparkgaedu.org/innovative-education-initiative-redefines-teamwork...