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New Dramatic Writing course will prepare students for careers in Georgia's growing entertainment industry



As a Testament to the State’s Leading and Sustaining Entertainment Industry, Leadership has Come Together To Ensure Students Are Properly Prepared For Jobs in Content Creation


May 21, 2018 – The Georgia Department of Education, Georgia Film Academy, Technical College System of Georgia, University System of Georgia and Fayette County Public Schools collaborated to create a new English Language Arts course in dramatic writing for Georgia high school students that focuses on digital art content creation. This is the first arts-integrated course that also counts as a fourth English Language Arts unit for high school graduation, and counts as an English unit for USG admission purposes. Based on the recommendation of State School Superintendent Richard Woods, the State Board of Education approved the course on May 3.


In 2017, the film and television industry was responsible for $9.5 billion in economic impact to the state. High school students with aspirations of becoming tomorrow’s Emmy and Oscar winning writers, can now begin their preparation when this program rolls out statewide as early as this August for the upcoming academic 2018/19 school year.


“This brand-new course in dramatic writing, developed in partnership with the film and television industry, is a great example of the direction we’re moving here in Georgia,” Superintendent Woods said. “We’re working in collaboration with higher education, business leaders, and communities to prepare students for future employment and respond directly to industry needs.”


“Georgia is moving like no other state to support the creative industries,” said Jeff Stepakoff, Executive Director for the Georgia Film Academy. “No other state has invested in creating the infrastructure for content producers.”  Stepakoff, himself has “written by” or “story by” credits on thirty-seven television episodes, has written for fifteen different series, and has been a writer and/or writer-producer on eight primetime or first-run cable staffs and is credited on more than two hundred episodes of popular television including The Wonder Years, Major Dad and Dawson’s Creek, where he also served as Co-Executive Producer. 


As Georgia paves the path for the creative industries to take hold, GaDOE, TCSG, USG and their partners are revising the state’s educational system to prepare students to be successful in learning, leading, and life. This dramatic writing course joins a growing catalog of Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) pathways that respond directly to business and industry needs for the future. 


About the Georgia Department of Education

Led by State School Superintendent Richard Woods, the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) is the state agency serving Georgia’s K-12 public school districts, schools, and students. GaDOE’s strategic plan emphasizes transforming the agency into one that provides meaningful support to schools and districts, with an emphasis on child-focused, classroom-centered education policy. GaDOE staff work to ensure that the nearly 1.8 million students in Georgia’s public schools receive a holistic education that focuses on the whole child, and graduate ready to learn, ready to live, and ready to lead.


About The Georgia Film Academy

The Georgia Film Academy is a collaborative effort of the University System of Georgia and Technical College System of Georgia supporting workforce needs of the film and digital entertainment industries. The academy will certify workforce ready employees in needed areas, connect students and prospective employees with employers, and offer a unique capstone experience for top students that will provide them a path to employment in Georgia.


About the Technical College System of Georgia

The 22 colleges of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) are Georgia’s top resource for skilled workers. TCSG offers world-class training in 600 associate degree, diploma and certificate programs to students who are trained on state-of-the-art equipment by instructors who are experts in their fields. The system also houses Georgia’s Office of Adult Education, which promotes and provides adult literacy and education programs, including the GED testing program, throughout the state. In addition, TCSG partners with companies through Quick Start, the nation’s top customized workforce training program, and through its individual colleges, to work with local industry to provide workforce and training solutions. For more information, visit


About the University System of Georgia

The University System of Georgia (USG) is a part of the community in each of Georgia’s 159 counties and provides services across the state. The USG is composed of 26 higher education institutions including four research universities, four comprehensive universities, nine state universities and nine state colleges. It also includes the Georgia Public Library Service, which encompasses approximately 389 facilities within the 61 library systems throughout the State of Georgia. Additionally, the USG includes the Georgia Archives which identifies, collects, manages, preserves and provides access to records and information about Georgia.


About Fayette County Public Schools

Fayette County Public Schools is located 30 minutes south of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, serving over 20,000 students and their families residing in the communities of Brooks, Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone, and Woosley. The school system’s mission is to forge and equip a community of learners who confidently face challenges, embrace opportunities, and positively impact our world. The school system has 26 traditional schools, one non-traditional high school, an alternative education program, an adult community program, and a Center for Innovation.


For more information, contact:


Maggie Gallant




Meghan Frick

Georgia Department of Education