Florida expands career and technical programs for students

It has long been said that college is not for everyone. Many Florida school districts have made it clear that their goals are also to prepare students for careers and life, in addition to a college experience. State legislators have recently taken steps to ensure that vocational and technical programs receive the support they deserve. Florida now has three other laws aimed in this direction. Read on for the latest news on this story and more education news in Florida.

“There are no more bad doors. “ Governor Ron DeSantis traveled to Hillsborough Community College to sign bills that would establish reimbursement guarantees for certain apprenticeships, reimburse colleges and universities for more dual enrollment students, and provide more scholarships to students for college programs.

Hot topics

Critical breed theory: Federal education officials have criticized the state’s efforts to ban “critical race theory,” which most K-12 systems do not teach. Still, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said it should belong to local school districts of choose your program, Chalkbeat reports.

Choice of school: Florida lawmakers say they support the choice of school. They disturb advocates of choice when they cut off students’ access to virtual schools in counties other than where they live, Florida Politics reports.

Trial: Florida high school students will soon have to take a new civics exam. Questions about what the test will look like and how it will be used, Florida Phoenix reports.

Courtesy walks: Schools in Bay County are on the verge of banning bus rides for hundreds of students. The reason is not the lack of funding, the Panama City News Herald reports. It’s a lack of drivers.

School news

Lot for sale. The Orange County School District is once again trying to sell 94 acres of land at the gates of the oldest incorporated black municipality in the country, the Orlando Sentry reports.

Growth pays for itself. Orange County school impact fees rise, just not as originally planned, the Orlando Sentry reports.

Some school boards in Volusia County wanted to explore new options for their legal counsel. They’re done extend their current lawyer’s contract for three years, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

In memory. Manatee County School District renamed its headquarters after longtime educator and school board member Walter Miller, who passed away in 2019, the Bradenton’s Herald reports.

Don’t miss a story. Yesterday’s roundup is just a click away.

Before you leave … Some people say Ryan Reynolds is the only person who will trick them into intentionally clicking online video ads. Does he make you laugh too?

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CATEC and PVCC eye team up to make certain technical programs free | Education

Automotive technology instructor David Waynright, left, helps student Chuck Shifflett clean engine parts during an adult education class at the Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center. Automotive technology courses, among some other programs, would be free to eligible adults under a new state program, if offered by Piedmont Virginia Community College.


Virginia’s new tuition-free program to help qualified adults search for jobs in high-demand fields such as healthcare and manufacturing does not currently apply to programs at the Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center.

However, a partnership with Piedmont Virginia Community College could change that. If PVCC were to become the operator of CATEC’s adult programs that fall under the state’s G3 initiative, then enrolled students could be paid for their tuition, fees and books.

“I think we can do something great for the community,” PVCC President Frank Friedman told CATEC board members at a meeting last week. “… It’s a chance to really do something for people who want to participate in these programs but can’t afford it.” “

CATEC’s board of directors began discussing the possibility of a partnership with Piedmont at the meeting, and officials from both schools will consider whether this is feasible. The boards of both schools should sign any agreements. Classes would still take place at the CATEC facility.

“Nothing will happen unless we are all happy with the partnership and the arrangement,” Friedman said.

G3 stands for Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back. The program was created during the last session of the General Assembly to cover the cost of certain programs related to industries in demand: healthcare, information technology, manufacturing and skilled trades, early childhood education and safety. public. Students enrolled in a community college in Virginia who have a family income less than or equal to 400% of the federal poverty line are eligible.

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Interest in career, technical programs grow

HANCOCK COUNTY – More and more students are enrolling in vocational and technical education programs in the county’s four public school districts.

The annual school performance reports released last month reflect this trend among their multitudes of other data on enrollment, performance, disciplinary action and additional benchmarks for the 2019-20 school year.

But with a freeze in letter grades the state assigns to schools following a problematic new standardized test and the COVID-19 pandemic, education officials believe it will be some time before the reports do not give an accurate description of the performance of schools. Yet the performance reports, which can be viewed online, present a wealth of information. This story is based on an examination of some of the numbers.

A different path

In Greenfield-Central schools, 1,159 students were enrolled in vocational and technical programs last year, up from 870 the year before.

The District’s junior high school rose from 0 to 190, which Superintendent Harold Olin attributed to a career class that eighth-graders take on college and technical programs offered by GC.

In high school, about 100 more students enrolled in vocational and technical programs. Principal Jason Cary told the Daily Reporter in an email that the school has made a concerted effort to develop such programming, recalling the aviation and HVAC offerings that have been added in recent years. The school also promotes programs at the Walker Career Center in Indianapolis.

“I think the move to graduation pathways has put more emphasis on this type of course,” Cary added, referring to the state’s change to graduation requirements a few years ago. years, which includes an on-the-job learning option.

The Southern Hancock School District had 721 students enrolled in vocational and technical programs in 2019-2020, up from 640 in 2018-2020.

Southern Hancock spokesperson Wes Anderson also attributed the increase to Graduation Pathways.

Southern Hancock has not only expanded its vocational and technical education offerings, Anderson said, but the state has also expanded what qualifies as vocational and technical education.

He added that the trend also represents a growing understanding of current workforce needs.

“Our workforce needs people to work in the trades, to work in some of these more practical technical positions,” he said. “We know our workforce needs it; our government tells us.

Eastern Hancock Schools saw the number of students enrolled in vocational and technical education increase from 267 to 324 in 2019-2020.

Adam Barton, director of Middle and High Schools at Eastern Hancock, said the district offers vocational courses and has students attending the New Castle Career Center.

He agreed that schools are responding to the changing needs of the workforce.

“Everyone has been pushing four-year colleges for years, but I think we know there are other options for other students and we would like to make sure they leave here with a few options,” Barton said.

Due to Graduation Pathways, Eastern Hancock is developing a series of courses in areas of study such as business, agriculture, and food science. Introductory courses are starting, Barton said, and the goal is to be able to offer several years of them in order to qualify as a graduation path.

Mt. Vernon’s vocational and technical programs grew to 814 students from 769 in the last year of reporting.

Jack Parker, superintendent of Mt. Vernon, told the Daily Reporter in an email that the district is constantly working to improve and expand such programs. A program that allows students to obtain a Certified Practical Nurse certification was recently added to high school.

Certifications and dual credit opportunities help prepare students for life after high school, whether they are attending college, receiving additional training, or entering the job market directly, he said.

“Currently the four schools in Hancock County send our students out of our county to five different vocational schools,” Parker said. “As many students would prefer not to have to travel outside of our county for these types of courses, we are constantly growing and working in partnership with other schools in the county to provide these opportunities for Hancock County students in our own buildings. “

Disciplinary trends

Suspension numbers improved at one of the county’s colleges for the 2019-2020 school year, and worsened at one of its high schools.

The number of suspended students at Mt. Vernon Middle School was in the hundreds from the 2016-2017 to 2018-2019 school year, before dropping to 64 for 2019-2020.

Parker said the decrease is likely due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the third quarter of last year to be completely virtual. He expects continuous improvement after the college spent a lot of time last year revising its discipline plan.

“This plan was implemented at the start of the 2020-21 school year and has already demonstrated the success of our faculty and staff working more effectively together to support students with behavioral issues,” Parker said. .

A life coach was also hired for the college earlier this year to interact directly with students and their families to gain support and serve as a liaison between parents, students and staff.

Greenfield-Central High School recorded 23 suspensions in 2016-17. This figure has increased over the years and stood at 60 in 2019-2020. Cary said he believed a factor contributing to this increase was the growing popularity of vaping among teens.

Difficult data

The AF accountability scores that the state assigns to schools for the 2019-2020 school year remain the same as the previous year due to the schools remaining under a ‘holdback’ agreement. Part of what determines these grades is the ILEARN exam, which most students failed when it was first administered in the spring of 2019. The state has passed a law to allow schools to avoid losing an alphabetical grade during two years.

The ILEARN scores as well as other standardized tests like ISTEP + and IREAD are not available for the 2019-2020 school year, because the COVID-19 pandemic forced their cancellation last spring.

These problems lead education officials to believe that it will be some time before annual reports give an accurate picture of school performance.

The school these factors have affected the most for Greenfield-Central is its junior high school, said Olin, the only “C” school in the district for the past four years.

“Not giving us the opportunity to get out of this C category hurt us the most on this site,” he said.

Anderson said Southern Hancock is still adjusting to the new ILEARN exam and that the pandemic has not helped matters.

“I think it will probably be 2023, 24 before we really have a firm grip on this – two or three years of good hard data for every child in our system who has been through this,” he said.

Barton, from Eastern Hancock, agreed.

“I think it will be a few years before things calm down and we understand again what our numbers really mean,” he said.

Parker said the information in annual performance reports is only part of the data Mt. Vernon uses to make adjustments and adapt to the needs of students and the community.

“While standardized assessment scores may help us make adjustments to our program, with changes in recent years to our standards, test delivery and the spring 2020 test skip, we are not relying on this data to help us. understand how our students are progressing in their learning, ”he said. “Our formative assessments as well as our joint end-of-unit tests can provide additional data that may be more valid and reliable.”

More online

The annual school performance reports for public schools and schools in Hancock County, as well as public schools in the state, can be read in their entirety at inview.doe.in.gov.

By the numbers

Number of students in vocational and technical programs


2018-2019: 870

2019-2020: 1,159

Southern Hancock

2018-2019: 640

2019-2020: 721

Oriental hancock

2018-2019: 267

2019-2020: 324

Mount Vernon

2018-2019: 769

2019-2020: 814

Source: Indiana Department of Education

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Westport asks for more technical high school programs

Jeffrey D. Wagner

WESTPORT – Prior to becoming Acting Principal of Westport Schools, Thomas Aubin worked for over 30 years at Diman, the Greater Fall River Technical and Vocational High School.

Now, it’s possible Westport Middle School / High School could get a taste of more technical learning, with potential for three technical programs at the District High School.

Aubin, Diman’s former superintendent, said last week that the district is applying to the state department of elementary and secondary education for three technical programs during the 2023 school year. The school committee recently agreed to form a subcommittee to review schedules.

The possible expansion of the program appears to come at the right time in the history of the school. The district will be opening a new school building from 5 to 12 this fall. Two years later, technical programs could be offered.

“We want to get into the pipeline before we announce what programs we hope to start. … We are currently in talks with post-secondary schools, as well as with businesses and other stakeholders to create advisory boards to start the process, ”Aubin said.

Kerri McKinnon, assistant superintendent and junior / high school principal, along with Laura Charette, assistant principal, will lead a subcommittee starting next month to review the schedule.

They will work with Nancy Tavares, member of the school committee.

They and school officials said last week that such programs and a schedule change would take time and planning.

Charette said that in this online learning environment, communicating with students about schedules and classes takes longer than usual.

Tavares said there is an “appetite” for technical programs, but that would alter graduation requirements and other related logistical issues.

Tavares said potential technical programs should be phased in.

“We understand that it takes a lot of work to make this happen,” said Antonio Viveiros, president of the school committee.

Aubin said it would take about a year for the programs to be approved at the state level.

School committee chair Antonio Viveiros and committee member Nancy Stanton-Cross told school officials the subcommittee should be small. They both said that small groups, especially in this online meeting environment, would be more productive.

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New PSC grant to provide scholarships for professional and technical programs

There are many more scholarships available to potential Pensacola State College students interested in vocational and technical education fields due to a grant of $ 726,388 that the College just received.

The Governor’s Emergency Education Fund (GEER) will provide $ 105,000 for CTE scholarships and approximately $ 500,000 for new state-of-the-art equipment that will strengthen a variety of PSC CTE programs that provide training and support. routes to industry accreditation in high demand. the fields.

The GEER fund is provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) and is, according to the grant statement, to help “Florida university system institutions and centers postsecondary techniques in their ability to enroll and complete students at a glance. Term accreditation and certificate programs, in demand for Workforce / Career and Technical Education (CTE).

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“This is great for our students and prospective students,” said Deborah Hooks, CTE’s director of student resources, as well as the grant’s project director. “A lot of CTE programs are short-term programs where students are not eligible for Pell Grants. For our students, these funds can be very important, so it is huge for our college. “

The PSC CTE programs that will all be affected can all be completed in a year or less. These programs are:

  • Driving commercial vehicles
  • CNC machinist operator / programmer
  • CNC Composites Manufacturer / Programmer
  • Machinist / CNC Manufacturer
  • Electrocardiograph technology
  • Emergency medical technician
  • Engineering technology support specialist
  • Infant / Toddler Specialization
  • Mechanical designer and programmer
  • Medical assistance
  • Coder / biller of medical information
  • Auxiliary nurse
  • Paramedical
  • Phlebotomy
  • Practical nursing care
  • Preschool Specialization

Among the new equipment to be purchased with grant funds are two truck driving simulators, a hard shell chest compression system (paramedic and EMT), an advanced pediatric simulator (paramedic, EMT and LPN), an EKG machine ( EKG technology) and a fiber laser cutting machine that costs nearly $ 90,000 and will be used in a variety of manufacturing, programming and machinery courses.

“All of these programs are short programs that students can complete in a semester or two and get employment immediately,” said Debbie Douma, dean of federal grants and programs at the PSC. “This grant means more scholarships for students and advanced equipment that is the same as the equipment they will use in the workforce.”

For more information, including scholarship information, contact Deborah Hooks, CTE Program Director, at [email protected]

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Keller ISD strengthens investments in vocational and technical programs for students

The Keller Center for Advanced Learning supports more than 4,000 vocational and technical students. (Courtesy of Keller ISD)

The education landscape and the number of opportunities available to students continue to expand at Keller ISD, in large part due to the district’s investment in vocational and technical programs.

The Keller ISD Career & Technical Education department supports more than 10,500 CTE students across four high school campuses and the Keller Center for Advanced Learning. CTE students have access to 30 programs, ranging from business, engineering and cybersecurity to fashion design, animation and health sciences.

“CTE is growing,” said Felix Mira, chairman of CTE’s advisory board. “It used to be like a classroom down the hall… but the world of CTE is very different.”

For Keller ISD students, the CTE program consists of a 4-year sequence of related courses, which can lead to internship and learning opportunities. According to the district, students received more than 3,500 sectoral certifications in 2019.

The Keller ISD’s CTE department has also raised more than $ 70,000 for CTE scholarships over the past two years, Mira said. In addition to donations and on-the-job shadowing experience, business partners help KISD CTE students complete more than 1,100 mock interviews each year, Mira said.

“The only thing we know… we can’t do what we do in Keller ISD without our partnerships,” Mira said. “Having industry input is the most valuable thing we have, so we prepare students for what they’re going to step into … not [for] something that is obsolete.

The district has also started planning for the Center for Industrial Trades and Agroscience, which will house classrooms for teaching trades, such as agriculture; Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning; automotive and other services.

“We’re working right now to build this thing,” Mira said. “If you want to invest in the future, this is where you have to plug in. ”

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Coconino Community College to Offer New Professional and Technical Programs | Local

The program will not only become the state’s first, but also one of the few in western Canada.

“There are so few of them that we really have the opportunity to create a niche program that would attract people from all over the country,” Leum said.

The local technicians not only agreed to donate a retail space where the lessons could be given, but also offered to employ CCC students for on-the-job training.

As students complete the Marine Maintenance Certificate, they will earn several “stackable certificates” such as Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), United States Coast Guard, American Boat Certification. and Yacht Council, as well as apartment maintenance training for use on barges.

Cyber ​​security

The new cybersecurity curriculum, which will focus on penetration testing and incident response, will join four existing priorities within the Associate of Science degree in Computer Technology at CCC: IT Technician, IT Support, Graphic Design and Web and network administrator.

It will also serve as a bridging program to Northern Arizona University’s developing undergraduate and graduate programs in cybersecurity, for which the NAU is currently recruiting lecturers.

“Cyber ​​security is one of those areas of training where, as long as they have good and robust Internet connectivity, people can do a lot of their work from home and serve the world,” Jones said.

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Students Discover Professional and Technical Programs | New

ST. CROIX – Some junior high school students started learning about careers in technical fields early on at the annual career fair at the Sainte-Croix Career and Technical Education Center on Wednesday.

For more than three hours, students from public, private and parish schools had the chance to immerse themselves in an interactive learning experience which organizers said was a “critical” part of what CTEC has to offer.

“It’s essential for us to have this career fair – a lot of people don’t know what great programs we have,” said Cenita Heywood, chair of the student services department.

The CETC, she said, is a “nurturing school,” with students transported by bus from other high schools to campus or on foot from the nearby high school of the Sainte-Croix educational complex. Wednesday’s fair was open to eighth, ninth and tenth graders.

On Wednesday, students walked through the classrooms where they heard presentations from instructors as well as current students from the Career and Technical Education Center.

In a welding class, prospective students wore face shields as they watched welders work on their class projects.

Dozens of students gathered in a large room that houses the agriculture program where they discovered various career paths.

While the career fair served to educate potential students about the school, current students had the chance to hone their presentation skills as teachers took a step back.

Eighteen students enrolled at CTEC Aviation Academy showed job fair attendees how to use a flight simulator to practice take-off and landing at Sainte-Croix. They also learned about aircraft aerodynamics and basic engine and flight safety.

Academy instructor Ira Williams showed confidence in his students and their presentation as he waited outside his classroom as they took on the role of instructors.

According to Williams, the academy prepares students to become licensed pilots by the time they graduate.

Heywood said it is quite common for CETC students to start their careers immediately after completing one of CETC’s 15 programs.

“A student who graduated from the Millwright program once worked at Limetree at just 19,” Heywood said. “We always talk about college, but if they can’t go to college, they’re already prepared for a career right after high school. “

Heywood said more than 800 students attended the career fair this year. The fair, now in its 20th year, typically accommodates over 2,000 students, but the school has decided to limit the fair to students in grades 8-10 to provide a more “intimate” experience.

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Jeff Tate, District 33 Senate Candidate: Focus on Professional and Technical Programs | Opinion

Editor’s Note: The League of East Central Mississippi Voters posed the following education question to Senate District 33 candidates, Bubby Johnston and Jeff Tate.

Mississippi legislative action supported charter schools and vouchers as a way to improve traditional public schools. Our state faces education problems at all levels: PEER report reveals problems with the voucher program; Mississippi Department of Education reports poor ratings for charter schools; and public schools face budget and teacher shortages. Ninety percent of Mississippi children attend public schools. What legislative actions will you support, especially for the 90 percent of children who attend public schools?

Jeff Tate: Public education is one of our region’s most vital assets, and it is changing. We need to think outside the box when we talk about solutions to the growing concern for public education. We must use all possible means to strengthen our public education system.

First, we need to offer competitive compensation to teachers based on the salaries of teachers in other states. If we want the best and the brightest to educate the next generation, we need to inspire highly qualified people to teach our children. Not only can we incentivize teachers by increasing salaries, but we can also offer increased social benefits. State benefits are the primary reason for employing many teachers in Mississippi.

As education as a whole changes in this generation and university student debt becomes a growing concern, we need to start offering different options for students. Recently, Mississippi lawmakers changed the graduation requirements for the class of 2022. Classes of 2022 and beyond will have the option of receiving a traditional degree with the choice of academic approval, approval. professional and technical, or distinguished endorsement. For professional and technical approval, students must complete a sequential four-course program of study in an area of ​​their choice. I would like to give more choice to these students.

Currently, schools in District 33 can only offer a certain number of vocational and technical courses on campus. Many students are transported for miles on a daily basis to an institution offering other programs, and only 2 students per school can participate in each program.

I want our students to have more options. I would like the Lauderdale County School District to receive its own CTE center where students have many opportunities.

Not only do we need to focus on improving our career and technical programs, but we also need to focus on our students who are going to college. Currently, there are a few dual enrollment courses available to students on campus with a few additional options available for students who have their own transportation to the community college. I will support any legislation that brings more options for dual enrollment courses.

Along with our education system, our economy is also changing. Students must be ready for college or a career when they graduate.

Other states, such as Texas and Florida, have set up college high schools where students can earn an AA degree while still in high school. Increased opportunities at the high school level will prepare students for the next level, save them money in the long run, and allow them to reinvest in the economy after graduation instead of paying off high student loans.

We will create more jobs, lower the cost of post-secondary students, and increase tax revenues by implementing these changes.

As a result, more money will finance education, and a cycle of increasing tax revenues and increased funds for education will continue.

As a natural result of our workforce development plan in secondary and post-secondary schools, our region will be increasingly adapted to new industries.

We must always focus on increasing revenue, because increasing tax revenue will always benefit the education system. In the legislature, I will fight to bring back jobs in industry and small businesses in our region.

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