Chief’s Diploma Program Prepares for Its First Class

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COVINGTON, GA (November 13, 2018) - The Dr. Annise Mabry Foundation proudly announces the launch of the Chief’s Diploma Program (CDP), starting November 24, 2018. With underwriting by a team of philanthropic angel investors, the program brings together educators, police departments, and city officials throughout Macon County to help adult learners earn their high school diplomas.

Each of the county’s four police departments will nominate five adult learners from their communities to participate in CDP’s inaugural year. CDP officials will create individual learning plans for each student, drawn from Dr. Mabry’s successful Tiers Free Academy model. Academic mentors will coach the students throughout the program.

“I developed Tiers Free Academy as a framework for homeschooling students who weren’t thriving in traditional schools,” notes Dr. Mabry. “But it’s perfect for adult learners. It’s self-paced, which gives adults the freedom they need to organize their days, and it’s mastery-based, which ensures that their diplomas mean what they say. Those diplomas are much more valuable than a GED.”

The numbers bear her out. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, high school graduates earn upwards of $1,600 a month more on average than GED holders. They’re far more likely to attend college, and to stick with it past their first semesters. The military also prefers a diploma: the military-service dropout rate for GED holders is nearly twice that of high school graduates.

Those figures are especially significant in Macon County, whose high school graduation rate is lower than both Georgia’s and the country’s overall. A workforce with more diploma holders is simply more competitive. And that means a stronger local economy, with all the associated benefits.

Those benefits aren’t lost on county police. When Marshallville Police Chief Ronald Jackson saw how successful Tiers Free Academy had become, he saw an opportunity to extend his own Cops in Community program. He and Dr. Mabry began a conversation that quickly led to a draft version of the CDP.

Chief Eric Finch Sr. of the Montezuma Police Department and Chief Rachael Hart of the Oglethorpe Police Department immediately recognized the potential life changing potential that this program could have in their communities.

"The impact of this program for the City of Oglethorpe will transform our community for generations,” says Oglethorpe Police Chief Rachael Hart. “A partnership with Dr. Mabry simply made good community sense."

To attend the Chief’s Diploma Program Information Session, please register with the following police departments: Marshallville Police Department, Montezuma Police Department, Oglethorpe Police Department, or Ideal Police Department. To learn more about how Macon County stands to benefit from the Chief’s Diploma Program, or for more information about Tiers Free Academy, please contact Dr. Annise Mabry at, or at 650-741-5019.

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Dr. Annise Mabry

About author: Sumanta Dutta

The Dr. Annise Mabry Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization specializing in community development. The Foundation provides support in the areas of community development projects, alternative diploma programs, and educational safe spaces for K-12 students. Its founder and director, Dr. Annise Mabry, is an educator and the author of Educational Disobedience.


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