Staff Photo: Erin Evans. Senior Camryn Bradley works the camera during the rehearsal for the news broadcast at the Rockdale Career Academy. He has been in the program for the past four years and plans to attend Georgia State University in the fall to study broadcasting.
CONYERS -- Another program at the Rockdale Career Academy has made Georgia history.
The Broadcast Video Production program at RCA is the first program of its kind in Georgia to receive industry certification by the New Media Education Foundation of Georgia.
"By creating a certification process for the broadcast video production programs, it is our intention to involve the media industry in Georgia and later other industry leaders across the country in defining skills students possess after completing a program such as (RCA's)," said Mike Nixon, executive director of NMEFGA in an e-mail.
It's the fifth program at RCA to be industry certified.
RCA's broadcast instructor James Dinsmoor, who has worked in the program at RCA since it opened in 2006, said he's been working toward industry certification for the past several years. About three years ago, he was part of a committee that wrote state curriculum standards for broadcast video production.
He said the NMEFGA is made up of industry professionals who have determined what skills students should have when they finish the program in order to be ready to enter the industry. With the industry certification, the RCA students will be considered employable or ready for post-secondary education once they complete the program.
"We are now recognized as delivering the content to students that is consistent with what employers in the industry deem necessary in this competitive industry," Dinsmoor said.
Some of the credit can be given to a $110,000 technology grant the program received two years ago, giving the school new, state of the art Apple computers and software and training for Dinsmoor, making it an Apple Certified Training Center. The school's computer lab also is the only Final Cut Pro 7 by Apple certification center in Georgia.
"RCA continues to be a model for others around the state," said Dr. Samuel King, superintendent of Rockdale County Public Schools. "We congratulate them on this accomplishment and greatly appreciate the administrators, faculty, staff, students and parents for their dedication to our mission of infinite learning opportunities for all students."
The students know they have something special, too.
"We have one of the best programs in the state with the best technology," said Shavonn Bennett, a senior in the program who wants to major in political science and minor in broadcasting when she attends college at either Georgia State University or the University of West Georgia.
The Georgia Department of Education certified the marketing education program at RCA in 2007 through the American Marketing Association; the engineering and technology education program in manufacturing in 2008 through the International Engineering and Technology Education Association; and the culinary arts and the early childhood education programs in 2009 through the American Culinary Federation and the Georgia Early Childhood Education Foundation, respectively.
"Every pathway for which we can have industry certification, we have it," said Gene Baker, assistant superintendent in the Office of School Improvement at RCPS.
RCA's culinary arts program also was a first in the state to be industry certified.
"We are extremely proud of our faculty and staff who work tirelessly to provide the very best opportunities for our students," said Dr. Miki Edwards, CEO of RCA.
Rockdale County High School's engineering and technology education program was certified through the IETEA in 2007, as was Heritage High School's engineering and technology education program in 2006.