Pike County Schools to expand academies, dual enrollment

Published 8:32 pm Thursday, October 31, 2019

Pending final approval on November 12, the Pike County Board of Education plans to unveil four new dual enrollment Associate Degree Academy programs for Pike County students.

In addition to eight existing programs, the system plans to add the Teacher Leaders Academy, Academy of Mechatronics, International Studies Academy, and Academy of Military Science.

The Teacher Leaders Academy will be offered in partnership with the Troy University School of Education and will allow students with an interest in becoming a professional educator to pursue a full complement of core academic courses along with foundational education courses, including courses specific to math and science education.

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The Academy of Mechatronics will be offered through a partnership with Enterprise State Community College. The technological and heavy industrial maintenance components of this program are designed specifically to meet the needs of emerging local business and industry.  Students will participate in hands-on labs at the ESCC Ozark Campus.  Both Associate Degree and Short-term Certificate tracks will be offered.

The system,  in cooperation with Troy University, is in the process of developing two additional academy programs. They are an International Studies Academy and the Academy of Military Science. These programs will be structured to satisfy the Associate of Science in General Education with select courses in areas such as foreign language, political science, religious studies, leadership development, and various military science courses.

“The goal is to develop programs for students which allow them to pursue careers that prepare them to compete in the 21st Century workplace, whether it be in the private or government sectors,” said Dr. Mark Bazzell, superintendent. “Pike County Schools are also working to provide a no cost study abroad component for all students participating in dual enrollment Associate Degree programs.

“We appreciate and value very much the relationships we have with both Troy University and Enterprise State. Through these partnerships, we are setting students on the path to high paying jobs and ultimately productive citizenship. The board remains committed to providing these programs at no cost to students, as the board has and will going forward continue to pay tuition, books, and other fees for Pike County students.”

Existing Academy programs include Health Information Technology, Business and Finance, Agriscience Technology, Paralegal Studies, Performing Arts/Theater, Exercise Science and Health, STEM, and First in Flight and Leadership. For the 2019-2020 school year, there are 88 students enrolled in one of these programs.

The school system also offers numerous no cost dual-enrollment short-term certificates, articulated college credit certificate programs, and business and industry credentials including Ap Development, IT Audit and Assurance, Airframe, EMS, and Licensed Patient Care Technician.  There are currently 29 students enrolled in short-term or industry certification programs.  These program offerings will also be expanding during the 20-21 school term to include Public Safety/Law Enforcement, Fire Science, Certified Nurse Assistant, EKG Technician, Aviation Maintenance, and Computer Science.   

Students and parents interested in these programs should call the Pike County Board of Education at 334-566-1850.