OUR VIEW: Career center helping ignite path for students

Published 11:30 am Tuesday, February 15, 2022

When you think of the Troup County Career Center, you probably have an idea in mind of what you’d seen if you went inside. For the most part, the students inside are behind on their classes, working through their “last chance” to earn their high school diploma.

There’s a negative connotation associated with it that is harmful, unneeded and doesn’t reflect reality. Yes, it’s true that the students there are behind. Yes, it’s true that some of them probably are behind due to their own shortcomings — either not studying or not taking school seriously enough.

But that’s not always the case. Nor does it really matter.

Students need to have a way to get caught up and to earn that all-important high school diploma that sets the stage for the rest of their life.

Students who don’t earn their high school diploma have a much harder time finding jobs, making a good salary and supporting a family. And really, at the end of the day, isn’t that what school is about? We’re preparing students to be productive citizens of society. And if a 15-year-old or 16-year-old gets behind, they should have a path to get caught up if they work extremely hard to do so.

The career center is providing that path, and it’s already seen dozens upon dozens of students graduate.

Undoubtedly some of those students would’ve quit school or fallen further behind. Instead, they are high school graduates.

Through a partnership with West Georgia Tech, students who know what they want to do for a living can jump right into preparing for a job, rather than staying in only traditional high school classes.

They can earn a high school diploma plus two certificates by the time they graduate, putting them on the track to be successful in that field.

Superintendent Brian Shumate has the slogan “A place for every kid.”

It’s a focus that TCSS has systemwide, trying to ensure every single student has a way to success.

It’s clear the Troup County Career Center is reigniting paths for students.