69 ARRAN RD, CRAWFORDVILLE, FL 32327 - PHONE: 850-926-0065 - FAX: 850-926-0123


Wakulla School District Career and Technical Courses Give Students Advantage

Wakulla School District Career and Technical Courses Give Students Advantage
July 7, 2015
Students can graduate from Wakulla High School with the skills needed to step right into a career and/or pursue further schooling in a specific field.  New and ongoing Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses all lead to industry certifications that students can earn at no cost to them.  
These CTE 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.   
Two new CTE programs for the 2015-2016 school year offered at Wakulla High School are Business Management and Administration; and Medical Administrative Specialist.  Both of these areas are in high demand statewide and nationally as possible career paths.
In addition, Superintendent Robert Pearce initiated Welding and Automotive Technology programs in the past few years through a dual enrollment partnership with Lively Technical Center.  Wakulla High School students can earn industry certification hours that then articulate into programs at Lively. Both programs are at no cost to the student while he or she is enrolled at WHS.
“I am a big proponent of public education as a means to an end – our job is to prepare our children for life after high school,” states Superintendent Pearce.  “CTE programs give them real world experiences and skills they can use to start careers or further their formal education.”
For the fourth year, Riversprings Middle School and Wakulla Middle School technology teachers are teaching a high school credit CTE course.  The course is called Computing for College and Careers.  It is the first course in a series that articulates to several programs at WHS should students choose to continue in the areas of Digital Design; Web Design; Business Management and Administration; Medical Administrative Specialist; or Accounting.  It also meets students’ Wakulla County vocational credit requirement for high school graduation.
Many students work in the CTE areas they were trained in right out of high school. Some use this immediate employment to follow that career path or use the jobs 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 (CNA) certificate can find work right away. 
In the Engineering Academy, students can earn Tallahassee Community College dual enrollment credits that lead to certificates in areas of Manufacturing Engineering before they even graduate from high school.   They can also earn industry certification in Autodesk Inventor and other software design areas.
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, such as Aviation Maintenance Technology. 
Students who complete a program or who are close to completing one can also work in that area while in high school and get paid for their On the Job Training (OJT) experience.
There are also opportunities to earn a Florida Bright Futures Vocational Gold Seal Scholarship and local scholarships that can help pay for further training in the specified field of study.
CTE courses are open to all students in general education and in exceptional education classes.  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 some students with disabilities. They also have OJT work experience opportunities.
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.
For more information about career opportunities, contact WHS Career Specialist Sarabeth Jones at 926-2221.  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 Special Programs and District Assessment; 504 compliance – Tanya English, Executive Director of Exceptional Student Education and Student Services; and high school and postsecondary CTE courses –Katherine Spivey, District CTE Director and Sunny Chancy, Director of Instructional Services.