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FCCTC adds child development classes

The goal of the Franklin County Career Tech Center is to train students for the workforce and allow pathways for students to explore interests. This year, students at Belgreen High School will have another avenue to explore as the school and the career tech center partner with Northwest-Shoals Community College to offer dual-enrollment courses in child development.

The course will be offered this fall for juniors at Belgreen. Students who take three specific child development courses and clock 120 hours of training will meet the requirements for a child development associate credential and be eligible to work as Pre-K auxiliary teachers.

“We are going to start this with our juniors this year, and I hope it will create a pipeline of college- and/or career-ready students interested in child development,” said Belgreen High School Principal Derek Ergle.

Belgreen is the first school in the Franklin County Schools system to offer dual-enrollment child development courses, but FCS Superintendent Greg Hamilton said he wants to see this option expand to students in all Franklin County Schools.

Hamilton said the plan is to offer this dual-enrollment option to all students in Franklin County beginning next year.

“As big as Pre-K is becoming across the state, this would be a benefit to our system,” Hamilton said.

He said he hopes offering child development courses at the high school level will foster interest in students wanting to become teachers.

“We are so excited to offer child development course offerings at Belgreen this fall,” said NW-SCC associate dean of instructional programs Timmy James. “This program can help students on their career pathway at an early age and build our workforce with highly-qualified students. It is a win-win for our community and local business and industry.”