BDS and FSU PC partner to build career paths for students

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 10:25 PM CST
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A kid’s time at school is about preparing them for the real world, setting them up for a successful career. Now, a new partnership between Bay District Schools and Florida State University Panama City aims to jump start local students into an emerging career path.

“In helping to enhance the preparation of students in the area of technology and cybersecurity here in Bay County,” Florida State University Panama City Dean Randy Hanna said.

Preparing students by teaming up to offer the ASCENT program.

“It stands for ‘Advancing Science and Career Education and Technology,” said Hanna.

Hanna said the university received a grant worth $23 million from Triumph Gulf Coast over a six year period.

“They asked us to focus on technology and cybersecurity throughout Northwest Florida and there’s really no place better to start than in the K-12 school system,” said Hanna.

District School Board Chairman Pamm Chapman said students can get CTE industry certifications through this program.

“It kind of helps them go into the engineering field and of course we have plenty of need for that in our community,” said Chapman.

A need that keeps the students and money in the area.

“The fact that they get to stay here right around the corner just to go to FSU PC and do this is such a win,” said Chapman.

Especially when they can win over students.

“The excitement that you see in the student’s eyes when they realize that they understand science and they understand technology and they know that they can do great things,” said Hanna.

Paving the way for a brighter future for the kids and community.

Hanna said they’ll work with the district to provide summer camps, after school programs, and supplemental instruction. The ASCENT program will start this summer and last over the next six years.

To find out more information about the ASCENT project, click here.

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