News Release

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Zaundra Brown
Director of Public Relations and Information
404.297.9522, ext. 1757


GPTC Celebrates RCA Partnership at Ribbon Cutting
College President joins Lt. Governor, County Officials in Christening Expansion Project

Conyers, GA - December 13, 2012

RCA Partnership Ribbon Cutting
(l. to r.) Ribbon cutting ceremony at Rockdale Career Academy.  Dr. Miki Edwards, RCA President & CEO; Wales Barksdale, Chairman, RCPS Board of Education; Richard Autry, Superintendent, RCPS; Casey Cagle, Lt. Governor of Georgia; Karley Wilson, RCA Student; Dr. John Barge, State Schools Superintendent; Dr. Jabari Simama, GPTC President

The Rockdale Career Academy (RCA) opened its new 40,000 square-foot addition this week with the help and support of Georgia Piedmont Technical College's Dr. Jabari Simama; Georgia's Lt. Governor Casey Cagle; the Rockdale County Board of Education Chairman, Wales Barksdale; County School Superintendent, Richard Autry; Georgia State Superintendent of Schools, Dr. John Barge and Karley Wilson, RCA Student and State President of SkillsUSA. The Wednesday ribbon cutting ceremony officially unveiled the $4,165,900 project of renovations. The two-story addition to the existing campus will house public safety, healthcare sciences and broadcast video production.

Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) serves as a major partner with Rockdale County Public Schools in offering dual enrollment programs, so students within the county public school system can take college credit courses while still in high school. GPTC also offers adult education courses, college credit courses and very soon continuing education training at the Conyers based facility. The college has expanded its course offerings at RCA in recent years, providing programs in the areas of Public Safety, Digital Media Production, and Fire Science. Speaking at the ribbon cutting ceremony, GPTC president Dr. Jabari Simama shared the need for a renewed focus on reaching students early in their educational path. "I believe if we can start talking to young people in the fifth and sixth grades about their career pathways; there are 25 pathways at this great institution, there are 125 at my college. I believe if we can start talking to young people at an early age about planning their careers, and looking at pathways, we will not have 35% of our students drop out of high school."

Georgia's Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, who was one of the honored guests at the ceremony said "The one-size-fits-all model that we've been embarking upon for centuries is dead. What we celebrate today is a customized form of education that is relevant and that meets the needs of what the workforce is going to need for the future," said . Following the ribbon cutting, Dr. Edwards lead a guided tour of dignitaries through the new area, and gave an in-depth look at the new Public Safety Academy, a law and justice classroom and mock courtroom, a forensics and homeland security lab, a target simulation room and computer labs.

Rockdale Career Academy draws students from the county's three high schools, and offers them career and college training. GPTC has dual enrollment and credit programs in two other career academies: Newton College & Career Academy in Covington, and Decatur Career Academy in Decatur. The Rockdale Career Academy expansion will add to the schools existing 162,000 square foot building. "We look forward to this expansion an allowing this partnership (with GPTC) to grow as well," said Dr. Miki Edwards, RCA's President and CEO.Georgia Piedmont Technical College, a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, promotes a student-centered environment for lifelong learning and development, encompassing academic and technical education for employment in a global community. The college has nine centers of learning in DeKalb, Newton, Rockdale, and Morgan counties. Georgia Piedmont Technical College currently has more than 5,000 students enrolled in diploma or degree programs and more than 9,000 in adult education classes.  Academic and Technical programs at Georgia Piedmont Tech cover more than 120 different occupations. For more information, visit our website at

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About Georgia Piedmont Technical College
Established in 1961, Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) is one of the top technical colleges in Georgia. As a student-centered institution, GPTC prepares individuals with the skills necessary to succeed in a rapidly changing, global economy. In August 2016, Georgia Piedmont was ranked among the top ten technical colleges in terms of enrollment by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. GPTC’s graduation rate is more than 74.3 percent, and its graduates secure employment at a level resulting in a 98.7 percent placement rate. With nearly 4,000 students, Georgia Piedmont’s adult education program is among the largest in the state. The college has 12 learning centers in DeKalb, Newton, Rockdale and Morgan counties. As set forth in its student catalog, Georgia Piedmont Technical College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, sex, religion, disability, age, political affiliation or belief, genetic information, veteran status, or citizenship status (except in those special circumstances permitted or mandated by law). Contact Lisa Peters, the ADA Coordinator, at 404/297-9522, ext. 1154, or at the main DeKalb campus, 495 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021 Room A-170; or Dr. Debra Gordon, the Title IX Coordinator, at 404/297-9522, ext. 1176, or at the main DeKalb campus, 495 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021 Room A-103 for assistance. For more information about our graduation rates and other important program information, please visit our website at

A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.