Career and Tech Ed offers diverse paths

Antonio Johnson uses an electrical training aid to build basic circuits.

On Dec. 2, sophomores at Heights High explored the 14 Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs offered to juniors and seniors. The all-day fair featured displays and demonstrations by students currently in the programs. In the spring, sophomores can select one of the two-year CTE programs during the school’s scheduling process.

CTE programs offer “college and career readiness,” providing students with practical experience that many college-bound students lack. Traditional college-bound students can enroll in a CTE program to earn a certification that will qualify them for an above-minimum-wage job in their area of interest while they attend college.

Some CTE students enroll in the program because they have a passion for a particular field but do not want to attend a four-year college. Armed with certifications, they qualify for higher-paying, higher-skill jobs. Many of these students often pursue further certificates or training in a two-year college or industry-sponsored program after leaving Heights High. Some also enroll in a four-year college after earning additional certifications and working for a few years in their field.

Antonio Johnson is studying automotive technology in the CTE program. “I’ve always been interested in cars and I especially like the problem-solving aspect,” he said. “It’s a little bit like being a detective, using deductive reasoning to figure out what’s going on.” Johnson has earned the Automotive Service Excellence General Maintenance certificate and expects to have the Electrical and Brakes and Steering certificates by the time he graduates. After graduation, he plans to attend the Tri-C Automotive Technology program.

Tristan Wilson (Clinical Health Careers) plans to earn the Nurse Aid Certificate (STNA) this spring and, because demand is high, expects to get a job this summer. She is especially interested in psychiatric nursing and plans to attend college to earn an undergraduate degree in a related medical field. “I really enjoy the labs and learning about diseases and disorders,” said Wilson. “I also like going to McGregor and getting hands-on experience at the nursing home.” 

Charlie Adams (Computer Networking Technology) expects to earn the Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician certificate this spring. “This program has been great because we can work at our own pace,” he said. “I like the field trips because we get to see many of the jobs that are available.” Adams, a National Merit Scholar semifinalist, plans to attend college in the fall, to study computer science or physics.

“To be career-ready in our ever-changing global economy requires knowledge of skills, adaptability and a commitment to lifelong learning,” said Brad Callender, CTE director. “The CTE programs offer an excellent place for students to begin that process.” 

More information is available at

Joy Henderson

Joy Henderson is the parent/community liaison for Heights High.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 11:38 AM, 01.03.2017