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School is back in session across Cobb County, which means there is no better time to talk about the impact of education at all levels of our community. With more than 200 educational institutions in Cobb County – public and private K-12 schools, technical colleges, and universities – it’s without question that this sector is a critical segment of our county’s development and success.

From kindergarten through senior year of high school, our Cobb County School District (CCSD) and Marietta City Schools (MCS) are exceptional. As the second largest school district in the state of Georgia, CCSD has more than 110 schools serving more than 100,000 students. With nearly 18,000 employees, CCSD is also the county’s largest employer. MCS, which became one of Georgia’s first charter systems in 2008, is comprised of 12 schools and has been raising the bar for success since its inception in 1892. In addition, there are nearly 100 private schools located in Cobb County serving nearly 15,000 students.

The faculty and students in our county are outstanding as evidenced by the many accolades CCSD has earned over the years, including No. 1 in the metro Atlanta area on 2022 Georgia milestones, above-average scores on ACTs and SATs, and more than $100 million awarded in scholarships to the 2021 class alone. High school students in Cobb also have access to the seven magnet programs offering advanced studies in subjects such as science, technology, engineering, math, and performing arts, to name a few. As one of the owners of an engineering firm headquartered in Cobb County, I am especially appreciative of these programs, which are a critical asset to building and sustaining our industry’s talent pipeline.

This year, CCSD also launched a new program to recruit and retain top-tier educators for our district – Georgia’s BEST (Building Educator Success Together). The program, in partnership with the University of West Georgia, allows Cobb educators to apply for the opportunity to pursue a master’s degree through a doctorate degree at no tuition cost, which will allow the district to build upon the 65 percent of CCSD teachers who already have an advanced degree. This is an historic partnership that emphasizes Cobb’s desire to continue to have the highest-qualified educators for our county’s K-12 students.

Students have an increasing number of opportunities to better prepare themselves to enter the workforce in Cobb. In recent years, two new facilities have opened: the Marietta College and Career Academy and the Cobb Innovation and Technology Academy (CITA). With more than 15 different pathways at each institution, students have the opportunity to earn certifications and credits towards their future careers in state-of-the-art facilities. As students move into post-secondary education and begin to choose a career path, Chattahoochee Technical College (Chattahoochee Tech) offers degrees and certificates in over 50 different fields. With enrollment at more than 14,000 students, the college is also home to the Superior Plumbing Veterans Education Career Transition Resource (VECTR) Center, which provides employment training and support to students who are veterans as they transition from military to civilian life.

Those seeking a four-year degree also have fantastic options in Cobb County, such as Georgia Highlands College (GHC), Life University (Life U), and Kennesaw State University (KSU). GHC, known as the state of Georgia’s most affordable four-year degree, serves more than 6,000 students. With available degrees such as nursing, dental hygiene, healthcare management, logistics, and supply chain management, GHC has a regional economic impact of nearly $180 million.

To read the rest of this article, view it on the Cobb Business Journal‘s website here.