Pike BOE approves new degree program

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Pike County Board of Education gave its approval for Pike County Superintendent Dr. Mark Bazzell to finalize the details concerning the addition of a third associate degree program in Pike County.

Bazzell said, with the board’s approval, he will move forward with plans for the Agriscience/Horticulture program at the Ag Academy at Goshen High School.

The Pike County School System has two associate degree programs in place, the Business and Finance Academy and the Aviation Academy both at Pike County High School.

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Bazzell said the Business and Finance Academy’s associate degree program is in collaboration with Enterprise State Community College. The Aviation Academy’s program is in collaboration with Troy University.

The Agriscience/Horticulture program will be in collaboration with Wallace College in Hanceville.

“A lot has to happen in the next month to get everything in place for the next school year,” Bazzell told the board members. “The associate degree program will be a 62 to 64 hour program, and it will be a three-year program for rising ninth-graders.”

Bazzell said the program will be different in that 48 of the required hours will be exclusively in agriculture. He is optimistic that Troy University will offer some of the required core academic class and, possibly, Enterprise State will do the same. Some of the courses offered at Wallace College should transfer directly to Auburn University.

Bazzell said his vision is for 35 to 40 percent of the system’s graduates to graduate with a two-year associate degree and for 50 percent of the students to graduate with core academic credits.

In new business, the board approved extending contacts for E-rate eligible services. The term of the contract for these services will begin July 1, 2015 and be contingent on the approval of e-rating funding.

The board gave its permission for the Goshen High Middle School Scholar’s Bowl team to attend the State Scholastic Challenge on Feb. 27 and 28 in Hoover. The board will pay for the school bus and gas.

Permission was granted for Aretha Jackson, Carolyn Wilson, Lucille Taylor, Virginia Rodgers, Sara Wilson, Kendra Harden, Karen Langston and Brooke Terry to attend the Alabama Nutrition Association’s meeting March 13 and 14. All expenses will be paid by the Child Nutrition Program.

Stephanie McCall’s request to attend the CASE Conference in Birmingham, Feb. 22-25 was granted by the board. Expenses will be paid through IDEA funds.

The board gave its permission for Pamela Franklin to attend the Alabama Community Education Association Annual Conference in Birmingham, March 17-20. Expenses will be paid by Federal Programs and Indian Education.

The board approved the “Gear Up” grant participation.

The board granted permission for Pike County High School Middle School Bowl Team to participate in the Regional Middle School Science Bowl competition in Mobile, March 6 and 7.

Approval was also given for the Goshen High School Band to attend the Panama City Beach Music Festival on May 8.

In personnel action, the board accepted the resignations of Carolyn Coleman, bus driver, effective March 1, 2015 and Jennifer Garrett, GHS bookkeeper, effective June 10, 2015.

FMLA was approved for Ashley Kilpatrick at Goshen Elementary School.

The board also approved volunteer status for Charles Sikes, Pike County High School baseball.