About Macon State
By Sheron Smith
With the expected move of RESA to the Macon State campus by the end of the year, the College will have hit the trifecta of resources dedicated solely to the success of Central Georgia's school systems.
The Middle Georgia Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA) announced plans this past summer to accept President David A. Bell's invitation to relocate its headquarters to the campus of Macon State College. The move will centralize an abundance of resources to support and strengthen Central Georgia school systems.
RESA is a state Department of Education agency with 16 branches throughout Georgia that provides services to improve the effectiveness of local school systems. Middle Georgia RESA, currently located at the Peach County Board of Education offices in Fort Valley, serves the school systems in Bibb, Crawford, Houston, Jones, Monroe, Peach and Twiggs counties.
"RESA's relocation to Macon State will make the College unique in that it will be the only University System of Georgia institution that is headquarters to three entities that are vital to K-12 support," Bell said.
In addition to RESA, the other components are Macon State's Division of Education, which offers the bachelor of science in early childhood education to produce new teaching talent for the region's schools, and the Middle Georgia Educational Technology Training Center (ETTC), which provides technological training to K-12 educators and administrators for the purpose of improving student achievement. The Middle Georgia ETTC has been located on the Macon State campus since 1999.
RESA offices will be housed in the newly christened Education Building, formerly the Nursing Annex. The building is undergoing a major renovation and will also house the College's Division of Education, now located in the Jones Building.
"It's exciting to think of all the possibilities that can now happen by having RESA, the Educational Technology Training Center and a high-quality early childhood education degree all in the same place," said Dr. Martha Venn, the College's chair of the education division. "This exciting partnership means we can share expertise, training and materials to support each other's mission and work."
Carolyn Williams, Middle Georgia RESA's executive director, said the unique collaboration will allow for stronger strategic planning and help eliminate duplication of services. She said that certified educators who work for RESA will have the opportunity to plan and co-teach classes with Macon State's education faculty.
"Middle Georgia RESA will bring together its educational partners from the seven surrounding school systems - including local school superintendents, special education directors, curriculum directors, professional learning directors and human resource directors - at Macon State to act in an advisory capacity for the education degree program," Williams said. "This three-way collaboration between RESA, Macon State and the Educational Technology Training Center has enormous potential."
Superintendents of area school systems praised the upcoming move.
"It makes sense," said Scott Cowart, superintendent of Monroe County schools. "It will allow member school systems to access many of the resources they need to improve student achievement from one central location."
Sharon Patterson, superintendent of Bibb County schools, said, "We are delighted to learn of the anticipated relocation of the Middle Georgia Regional Education Service Agency to the campus of the Macon State College. The opportunities for leveraging the collective talents and resources of both organizations in a cost-effective manner are endless. We will work with both RESA and Macon State as a partner in ensuring the success of this initiative."