Tallahassee Community College (TCC) recently announced the formation of the Tallahassee Collegiate Academy (TCA), a tuition-free STEM charter high school that will open in August.
The Florida Department of Education approved TCC in January as the first college charter school authorizer under an initiative supported by Gov. Ron DeSantis aimed at boosting workforce programs called “Building Florida’s Future.”
“We are so grateful that Governor Ron DeSantis named us one of five colleges in the state of Florida to stand up a public charter high school that would allow students to earn both a high school diploma and an Associate in Science degree in a STEM field at the same time,” said Dr. Jim Murdaugh, president of TCC. “Our successful track record in career and technical education brought us this opportunity and we are thrilled to make this announcement.”
The TCA Board of Governors is chaired by the school’s founder, Karen Moore, founder and CEO of Moore, a marketing and communication agency. Additional board members include Kim Kelling, Director of Content and Community Partnerships at WFSU Public Media; Randy Pople, Chief Operating Officer at Pople Investment Management; David Clark, Founder and CEO of Allegiant Strategies Group; and Sean Pittman, Senior Partner and CEO of Pittman Law Group.
“Tallahassee Collegiate Academy is a game-changer, offering a first-of-its-kind educational experience for students,” said Moore. “There is no other place in the community that can offer the resources that we provide. TCA graduates will have a high school diploma as well as an Associate of Science degree in a STEM field, and zero debt. Our students will be ready to go directly into the workforce where they will be qualified for in-demand, high-paying jobs, or they can choose to continue their education.”
Current A.S. degree options include Cyber Security, Computer Programming and Web Development, Engineering Technology, Dental Hygiene, Nursing (R.N.), Building Automation Systems, and Video Game Design.
The school will be located on the campus of TCC and is accepting applications from rising ninth- and tenth-grade students in Leon, Gadsden, and Wakulla counties for the 2023-24 academic year.
“We all know that students learn best when they are supported with three things: high expectations, quality teaching, and real-world engagement,” said Jessica Chapman, Director of Charter Schools at TCC. “TCA offers a powerful curriculum that will benefit both students and their future employers. The project-based and place-based educational experiences that they have in store will move students to a level of expert thinking required for many STEM degrees. The high-expectations and high-support model that already exists here at TCC will be followed at this school. TCA will provide strong rigor and real care at the same time in a safe, welcoming environment that is appropriate for high school students. We should all be encouraged by the choice that TCA offers students and families, not only in Leon but in Gadsden and Wakulla counties as well.”