Written by Beth O'Donnell, Asst. Superintendent for Instruction Monday, 20 August 2012 16:25
Wakulla High School has several Career and Technical Education (CTE) opportunities for its students.These programs, formerly termed as Vocational, offer students the chance to learn many skills that can lead directly to employment after high school graduation; to certificate programs in postsecondary schools like Lively Technical Center; and/or on to college degrees.
For the first time, in the 2012-2013 school year both Riversprings Middle School and Wakulla Middle School technology teachers Scott Rossow and Jessica Mapes are teaching a high school credit CTE course. It is the first course in a series called Computing for College and Careers. It will articulate to several programs at WHS should students choose to continue in the areas of Digital Design, Web Design, or Accounting. It will also meet their vocational credit requirement for high school graduation.
Many students work in the areas they were trained in during high school or afterwards in order to work their way through college or other training programs after high school. They often can get higher paying jobs with high school training in a CTE area than if they had no training and were working for minimum wage.
For example, students who graduate from the WHS Medical Academy with their Certified Nursing Assistant certificate can find work right away. In the newly established Engineering Academy starting this year in 2012-2013, students will be able to earn college dual enrollment credits that lead to certificates in areas of manufacturing engineering before they even graduate from high school.
Other CTE programs of study include Culinary Operations, Accounting, Web Design, Digital Design, Carpentry, and TV Production. Students can also take other CTE classes at Lively Technical Center at no cost while in high school. Students who complete a program or who are close to completing one can also work in their area while in high school and get paid for their On the Job Training (OJT) experience.
Courses are open to all students in general education and in exceptional education classes who are seeking a standard diploma. There are no prerequisites to the initial CTE classes, and anyone may apply to the academies. The Engineering Academy does have a prerequisite of passing Algebra I in middle school. In addition, there are specialized career preparation programs for students with disabilities seeking a special diploma. They also have OJT work experience opportunities in which they are paid.
Schedule requests are made during the second semester of the school year with the help of a high school administrator or guidance counselor as they meet with students one on one. Parents are encouraged to be involved in the process. It is a good idea for students who are in attendance at WHS to take the time to learn about the programs they might be interested in for the next school year. Incoming 8th graders are given presentations, videos, visits, and a Curriculum Night to learn more about the programs before they enter the high school.
“We want all of our students prepared for careers and college so they can make informed decisions about their futures. With today’s advanced technology, all careers will need advanced reading and math skills,” stated Superintendent David Miller. “Our CTE programs are open to all students who want those opportunities before they get out of high school.”
For more information about career training, WHS Career Specialist Sarabeth Jones or WHS Assistant Principal Sunny Chancy can answer questions about the CTE programs at 926-7125. Administrators at the Wakulla County School District office at 926-0065 can answer questions about the following to ensure access and equity in CTE programs: Title IX – Sue Anderson, Director of Assessment and Special Programs; 504 compliance – Tanya English, Executive Director of Exceptional Student Education and Student Services; and high school and postsecondary CTE courses – Beth O’Donnell, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and District CTE Director.
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