September 17, 2015
Students at Wakulla High School, Wakulla Middle School, and Riversprings Middle School in grades 8 through 12 combined to earn a total of almost 400 industry certifications accepted as the industry standards in their fields during the 2014-2015 school year.
Of the Wakulla High School Class of 2015, nearly half of the 250 graduates earned one or more industry certification reflected on their diplomas with a “Merit” designation.
Earning industry certifications means that students could walk into a job interview today, even while still in high school, with a portfolio of their work and an official certificate showing they passed the current standards in a specific area such as Microsoft Office Specialist, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), and many more.
“I was hired to work in the Emergency Room at Capital Regional Medical Center as soon as I passed my CNA,” stated one graduate of the WHS Medical Academy. “It was great to get experience in the field I wanted to go into, plus I am making more than I would have at a minimum wage job as I work my way through college.”
In addition, students who complete a Program of Study of three or more Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses in the same area may qualify for Florida Bright Futures Gold Seal Scholarships and possibly earn college credits towards that program should they choose to study that area after high school.
Impressive numbers from 2014-2015 include the WHS Medical Academy, with 63 undergraduate students earning their First Responder credential and 23 graduating also with their state board Certified Nursing Assistant license.
In the Engineering Academy, 43 students earned the Autodesk Inventor software certification, where they work on high level designing and problem solving using math and computer skills.
In business programs, over 200 students in grades 8 through 12 earned industry certifications that will help them in almost any field they choose to go into. Of these, 103 students earned the Microsoft Office Specialist certification of passing several different Microsoft tests in areas such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel.
In the WHS Digital Design program, 36 students earned Adobe Illustrator, 14 earned Adobe InDesign, and 51 earned Adobe Photoshop certification. In the Web Development program, 35 earned Adobe Dreamweaver and 3 earned Adobe Flash certification. In TV Production, 5 earned the Premier Pro certification. Six students earned ServSafe Food Manager certification in the Culinary Operations program.
In the relatively new program through a partnership Superintendent Bobby Pearce forged with Lively Technical Center, 11 students earned certifications in Automotive Technology. Welding, another Lively program he started at WHS, just completed its first year and students are earning hours toward certificate programs for welding jobs in the high wage/high demand category.
“Our students can use these industry certifications they earn in high school to finish training after high school, go right into jobs highly trained, and/or continue working in that field as they earn certificates and degrees,” notes Superintendent Pearce. “There is no down side to earning one or more industry certification while they are still in high school at no cost to the student or parent. It can only help prepare them better for whatever lies ahead.”
For more information, contact WHS Career Specialist Sarabeth Jones at 926-2221 or District CTE Director Katherine Spivey at 926-0065.