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School Spotlight: CEC's Dental Assisting Program

“If 80% of the workforce of tomorrow is going to need some kind of technical training, we need more students on a technical path of learning, that’s what career academies, like CEC, accomplish.…A College and Career academy is a partnership between the high school as well as the technical college and the business community and all three players have to be at the table, focused on the need of that individual student.  This is about bringing relevance to education.”  -Georgia Lieutenant Governor, Casey Cagle

The Central Educational Center (CEC) is providing students with real-world experiences while simultaneously helping the community gain access to health care.

CEC, a charter school in Coweta County, is a unique partnership, a “joint venture” among business and industry, the Coweta County School System, and West Georgia Technical College. It bridges academics with technical training in order to prepare students for post-secondary careers and designs its curriculum around the needs and expectations of businesses.

One notable example is its partnership with West Georgia Technical College and the Coweta Dental Samaritan Clinic. High school students interested in a career in the dental field can take college-level classes in dental assisting and receive quality hands-on training with a certified instructor. 

Students also volunteer at the Coweta Dental Samaritan Clinic. The clinic opens three times a month and provides qualifying individuals with free dental care. During its hours of operation, advanced students gain authentic training by assisting dentists and providing necessary dental care to those in need. 

Once students complete the program, they receive an expanded functions certificate which signifies a heightened level of training. Not only does this make them more marketable, it allows them to make more money than dental assistants who lack the credential. 

Watch the video below to learn more about the program and its impact.