DECATUR, GA – Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) Commissioner Avery D. Niles held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to officially open the Muscogee Education Transition Center (ETC) in Columbus, Georgia. The new facility is designed to give youth re‐entering society and still under DJJ supervision a setting where they can complete their secondary education.

“This ETC will provide youth with a tremendous opportunity to continue their education by earning course credits towards a high school diploma or GED,” said Commissioner Niles. "Education is key to a successful future; that’s why DJJ continues to look for avenues to keep Georgia students in the classroom."

In 2015, the Department of Juvenile Justice developed the ETC concept through its’ Georgia Preparatory Academy, which is accredited as the state’s 181st school system. ETCs are aligned with Georgia’s vision to reduce juvenile recidivism. Muscogee now joins Macon‐Bibb, Chatham, and Richmond counties with ETC locations.

“This is an awesome opportunity for families in the Columbus area,” said Dr. Jean Ferguson Lee, Associate School Superintendent of the Georgia Preparatory Academy. “Classroom innovations like DJJ’s Education Transition Centers help meet the academic needs of expelled Georgia students in achieving their educational goals.”

The Muscogee ETC will begin classes on June 17, which is the start of the Georgia Preparatory Academy school year.