By Johnny Jackson
While the front hallways of Henry County High School are void of foot traffic this week -- as students indulge in their spring break vacation away from school -- other Henry County residents are filling the school's back hallways.
Several residents began taking business management classes Monday, at the Academy for Advanced Studies, located on the Henry County High School campus in McDonough.
The classes are part of the Griffin Technical College course offerings at the academy, which is a consortium of area higher-education institutions that offer dual/joint-enrollment and satellite-campus courses to Henry County residents.
"Griffin Technical College is pleased to announce the offering of business management program courses at the Henry County Academy for Advanced Studies," said Griffin Tech Spokeswoman Anna Taylor.
Taylor said the course offerings will enable students to complete certificates from the business management program geared to small-business management, and human resource management.
"It is our first time in Henry County and we plan to build a large enrollment," said Bill Walden, the business management program coordinator at Griffin Tech. "We are very supportive of those in the community who are seeking technical training for the citizens of Henry County. It is an honor to begin this endeavor with credit courses in the Business Management program."
Walden believes offering the business management courses at the academy will give greater access to Henry County residents who have tended to overwhelm the 14-year-old program.
Griffin Tech reported last winter that Henry County had its largest single-county representation, with an enrollment at 26.3 percent of the Griffin Tech student body. Henry County residents, Walden added, make up about a third of the nearly 300 students taking business management classes on Griffin Tech's main campus.
Walden, a 28-year McDonough resident, said he plans to cut down on commuting himself. He lives about five minutes away from the academy, compared to the 45-minute drive away from Griffin Tech's main campus.
"We also like the idea of what the academy is trying to do to really promote the idea of joint enrollment for a seamless education," Walden said. He said 20 students have enrolled in the program's spring quarter at the academy, and represent a mix of recent high school graduates and non-traditional students in Henry County.
The program currently offers five classes at the academy, four days a week, Monday through Thursday. The classes include business ethics, leadership, organizational behavior, employment law, and the principals of management.
"We are ready to begin the process of expanding our credit offerings to Henry County," said Brent Mayes, Griffin Tech's vice president for academic affairs. "Our actions now are to help achieve such a great vision of quality technical education offerings for the residents in Henry County."
The 10-week spring quarter ends in June, when Griffin Tech administrators will be accepting applications for the program's summer quarter, which begins July 12. Current and prospective students can learn more about the program, and its local course offerings, by visiting the Griffin Tech web site.
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