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      Albany Early College program under review at Albany State

      The program that encourages middle school students to graduate from high school and helps them prepare for college. Right now, Albany Early College is operated by the Dougherty County School system, but is housed in Andrews Hall on Albany State University's campus, which has been in use for the program in various ways since 2009. / File


      The future of Albany Early College ran by the Dougherty County School System at Albany State University's Andrews Hall is under review due to DCSS's plans for consolidation according to information released by ASU.

      The program that encourages middle school students to graduate from high school and helps them prepare for college. Right now, Albany Early College is operated by the Dougherty County School system, but is housed in Andrews Hall on Albany State University's campus, which has been in use for the program in various ways since 2009.

      "Recently, a meeting was held with Dougherty County Schools Interim Superintendent Butch Mosley and Dr. Freeman to explore the best long term options for Albany Early College's location," said ASU Vice President for Fiscal Affairs Larry Wakefield. "Subsequently, a tentative agreement was reached with Executive Director of Finance and Operations Ken Dyer about a financial settlement which was to have been considered by the board as part of the DCSS consolidation plan." During the discussions, President Freeman volunteered to meet with the DCSS board.

      The proposed new lease agreement allows the program to remain in its current location at no charge from April 1st â" June 30.

      Last year, a renovation project occurred to prepare the 3rd floor for use. Over the years, ASU has invested over $300,000 to build laboratories, a dining facility and classrooms for AEC's use. After the renovations were completed in 2012, AEC took over the entire building under a new lease agreement which required payment of $2,000 a month plus utility costs.

      "The University System of Georgia's Board of Regents has requested that all of its institutions review and inventory campus buildings to prioritize the use of classrooms, labs and staff offices. With DCSS's plans to consolidate and close schools, it is time to rethink how Andrews Hall is utilized," said ASU President Everette J. Freeman.

      The early college program was an initiative supported by the USG. Since that time, early college programs at Georgia Southwestern University and Valdosta State University have also relocated off campus to meet the system's space utilization request.

      "ASU remains committed to collaborating with DCSS to improve high school completion and expand college access for students in the Dougherty County Schools," Freeman added.

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