Fulton Institute of Technology Overview
The Fulton County School System is launching a new initiative aimed at integrating science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Opening in August 2009 at two locations, the Fulton Institute of Technology will be a technical high school that fuses practical and virtual learning opportunities to create a technology-rich learning environment. The first program offered will be the CISCO Networking Academy.
Statement of Need
The global demand for highly skilled technology workers continues to grow. Fulton County Schools is committed to ensuring that all students prosper in a 21st century economy. The district recognizes the need for strong workforce development programming with pathways to success in high tech and high wage jobs. The Fulton Institute of Technology will be the cornerstone of the district’s career and technical education offerings.
The Fulton County School System (FCSS) is one of the oldest and largest school districts in Georgia. FCSS has over 88,000 students in 94 schools that span over 70 miles from the southern end in the City of Chattahoochee Hills to the northernmost tip in Johns Creek. The district is highly diverse with a racial composition of 42% Black, 36% White, 10% Hispanic, 8% Asian and 4% Multi-racial. Systemwide 40% of students are eligible for the free or reduced meal program.
Overview of Initiative
The Fulton Institute of Technology (FIT) will initially offer 40 juniors and seniors the opportunity to participate in the CISCO Networking Academy, an innovative education initiative that develops information and communication technology (ICT) skills. The academy will provide online courses, interactive tools, and lab activities to prepare students for ICT and networking careers in virtually every type of industry. The program will be offered in South Fulton at the Instructional Technology Center (former Westlake High School) and in North Fulton at the Milton Center (former Milton High School). The curriculum will include Information Technology Essentials and CISCO Discovery and will prepare students for jobs in networking and information technology. Students can earn college credit and industry certifications.
By the end of the four-year phase-in, FIT will be a credential-granting high school. Future career pathway proposals include Food Science and Restaurant Management, Energy Systems, Advanced Transportation Technology, Flight Operations, Radiology, Digital Design, Fire Science, Manufacturing Technology, Biotechnology and Advanced Communications.
The 2009-2010 school year will provide baseline data for the initiative. Metrics will include the percentage of participating students earning college credit and industry certifications. Student surveys will also be conducted to assess the percentage of students enrolling in technical colleges and universities, joining the workforce, etc.
Sources of Funding
The Fulton Institute of Technology is expected to cost approximately $100K in Year 1 and will include expenses such as the CISCO curriculum, teacher stipends, computer lab upgrades, etc. The district will fund 80% of the budget. The remaining 20% of the budget will be funded through external partnerships and foundation grants.
Business and industry experts will play a critical role in the implementation and expansion of the Fulton Institute of Technology. Specifically, the district will need partners to:
· Provide financial support
· Provide mentoring, job shadowing, and internship opportunities for students and teachers
· Participate in advisory council meetings
· Serve on Industry Certification teams
· Serve as guest speakers in classes
· Review curriculum and offering suggestions for enhancements
· Sponsor students’ participation in competitive events
· Evaluate current programs and offering suggestion for future offerings
The overarching goal of FIT is to prepare students with the skills and knowledge to be productive contributors in the global workforce.