Richfield Reaper – CTE Article May 2018
When Richfield High School senior Cayden Acord walks across the stage later this month to accept his diploma, he’s going to be able to start working at his new job as an automotive technician in St. George.
Acord will be starting right out of high school with a career — although he doesn’t plan to stop.
“I’m going to study the medical field,” Acord said. Rather than working the grind of fast food, retail or call centers like many college students, Acord will be able to make good money while continuing his studies, said Dave Sorensen, a counselor at RHS.
“Cayden has been aggressive in exploring different career paths,” Sorensen said. He said by utilizing offerings at both the Sevier Career and Technical Education Center and Snow College Richfield, Acord has set himself up for success.
Sorensen said by utilizing CTE courses and enrolling in Snow College technical programs while still in high school, students can explore a wide variety of careers, but also pursue depth in them, like Acord.
“I’ve been in a lot of CTE classes … welding, engineering, robotics and machine tools,” Acord said. He said each class emphasized hands-on experiences.
“The biggest piece to me was the teachers,” Acord said. He said teachers at the CTE encouraged students to get their hands on things as much as possible.
“That’s what worked for me, working through my mind and my hands,” Acord said.
Learning through one’s hands became key for Anthony Madriz. When he started out at South Sevier High School as a sophomore, he had 1.7 of the required 32 credits needed for graduation. Things looked grim, but by mapping out a pathway to graduation that included CTE courses, he is now on track to have his diploma on schedule.
Madriz responded to the CTE courses, and enrolled in Snow’s welding program. Now with a certification under his belt, when Madriz graduates, he’ll hit the workforce as a skilled welder. Madriz also has a job lined up after graduation.
Buses take students from the South Sevier and North Sevier area each school day so students can take advantage of CTE and Snow College offerings in Richfield.
North Sevier students Noah Porter and Mitch Sorensen both earned their associate of applied science degrees in machine tool technology.
“I started going over there with my brother,” Porter said. He said soon he was enrolled at Snow, and now he’s planning to work in the field while studying how to be a gunsmith.
“I had no idea you could do the things you can do over there,” Sorensen said. He said the machine tools shop at the college is top of the line, and the instructors are flexible.
“There’s very little classroom time, it’s almost all in the shop,” Sorensen said. He said he plans to transfer down to Dixie State University and continue to study machine tool technology.
Sorensen said he also liked being able to earn college credits for much less money than it would have cost had he waited until after high school.
“We’ve had 20 to 30 other students catch the these guys’ excitement,” said Barry Smith, faculty advisor at NSHS. “They’ve become a pair of leaders for these kids.”
The ultimate goal of education is to prepare young people to be able to function as adults, said Cade Douglas, superintendent of Sevier School District. He said the district’s partnership with Snow College Richfield and the CTE center are opportunities to give students a jump-start on post-high education and job training.
“College is important, as long as you look at it as one, two, four or more,” Douglas said. He said technical training and certificates can be just as, if not more valuable, than a traditional four-year degree for many students.
“A lot of our students have no interest in a four-year degree,” Douglas said. “That doesn’t mean that we can’t still set them up for success.”
During the 2016-17 school year more than 1,400 students in Sevier School District were enrolled in at least one CTE class. Graduation rates for CTE students were higher, at 92.4 percent, as compared to the overall rate of 85 percent.
Snow College’s business and applied technology division offers more than 30 courses to high school students in the areas of allied health, construction technology, business, industrial technology, information technology, cosmetology and transportation technology.
“Our system is very flexible and Snow has been wonderful to work with us on an individual basis,” Douglas said.
For more information on the CTE program visit your High School Counselor or Sevier CTE Center
Administrator Jennifer Christensen (545-201-6120).
Salina Sun – CTE Article May 2018
Two exceptional North Sevier high school students, top of their class, smart, talented, close supportive families, could be anything they want in life- and they’ve got it! With hard work, dedication, and the flexibility of the CTE program of the Sevier School District and Snow College.
Noah Porter, son of Bobby and Jill Porter, Redmond, and Mitch Sorensen, son of Brady and Julie Sorensen, Aurora, graduated from North Sevier High School class of 2017 and also earned their Associate of Applied Science Degrees. Both have begun their careers and can use their education and skills as either a stepping-stone to further their education, like Mitch is planning to do, or make it their career path as Noah plans to do.
The two attended a career day at Snow College while sophomores at NSHS and saw a demonstration of several machine tools from the Industrial Technology Department at Snow College, and Mitch was hooked- he knew that’s what he wanted to do. The demonstration solidified Noah’s plans, as his older brother Mac was already enrolled in the program.
Working with school counselor Barry Smith, the two, among others, began their journey through the Career and Technology program and now, right out of high school, both have jobs that pay $25/hour. Mitch plans to use a scholarship he’s earned with stellar grades from Snow College to continue his education at Dixie, while working part time making $25/hour… rather than minimum wage as most poor college kids do. Noah is currently employed thanks to his Associate of Applied Science, as a gunsmith, just what he’s always wanted to do.
“What’s impressive to me is the knowledge these students have gained in their professions,” said Cade Douglas, Superintendent of Sevier Schools. “The comfort level at which they’re speaking about the things they’ve learned- that’s what gets you a job.”
Now, compare these two success stories with another CTE pathway completer: Two years ago South Sevier High School’s sophomore Anthony Madriz had a tough start to high school, beginning his sophomore year with only 1.7 credits- rather than the 7-10 he should’ve had- he was at least a full year behind. To some, that would be a quick road to failure, a reason to quit. But, working with his school counselor and through the local CTE program, Madriz has graduated not only with his high school diploma, but also with his welding certificate, and is now successfully employed, making $25/hour with the potential for immediate growth.
“What’s neat about the CTE program is all students can get involved in something they’ll be successful with,” said Douglas. “Motivation is all about success and choice. Anthony is a great example of this; with the flexibility of the CTE program he was able to learn and succeed. Sure, it took work and dedication on his part, but he worked with his school counselor to map out what needed to happen and he did it. When he found something he was successful at, it motivated him to do his best.”
Douglas said there is a big push in recent years for all high school graduates to attend college, but he said that doesn’t necessarily mean the traditional four-year college to become a teacher or doctor or something like that- rather he said college is 1,2, 4 or more years, and that’s where the CTE program comes in.
“There’s this national trend that everyone need to go to college, but college means additional training beyond high school to obtain a one-year certificate, a two-year associate or technical degree or a four-year bachelor’s degree, or more (a graduate or professional degree),” said Douglas. “60% of new jobs will require more than a high school diploma by the year 2020 and we need to get our students ready. But, many students have no interest in a four-year college, they want to work with their hands. The world needs all sorts of variety, and that’s where the CTE program comes in.”
Career and Technical Education pathways provide students access to high-quality rigorous career- focused programs that result in attainment of credentials with labor market value. The school district has 1,406 students enrolled and 92.4% of students who are CTE concentrators (those who have completed 1.5 credits in a specific program), are graduates, compared to Sevier School District’s graduation rate of 85%. Classes range from cosmetology to nursing, pharmacy technicians to welders and ag mechanics to outdoor leadership and entrepreneurship and business marketing.
One more student whose life has been enhanced by the CTE program, Richfield High School Senior Caydan Acord. Not a fan of traditional high school English and Math classes, Acord started taking classes through the CTE program his sophomore year and has successfully studied Robotics, Engineering, Machine Tools, Computer Coding, Welding and Medical fields, all of which gave him not only high school AND college credit, but also an introduction to a wide variety of career possibilities.
“I thought I wanted to go into engineering, but after taking a couple of classes at Snow I decided that isn’t what I wanted to do, so I kept trying classes until I found out what I think I’d like to make a career of,” said Acord. “A lot of students just take electives at their high school just to fill credits to graduate, but I was able to do some exploring, while getting college credits, and I was also able to experience what college is really like. I wanted to drop out of school because I wasn’t doing very well and I didn’t like it, but my counselor kept finding different classes and suggesting I try different things and he kept me going. The teachers in the CTE program really give you a lot of hands on learning time, and for me, learning like that is so much easier.”
Four different students, four varying stories, but all success stories due to the CTE program.
“I want to celebrate what these students have accomplished,” said Douglas. “They have done some amazing things through the CTE program. I also want parents and students to know of the countless opportunities that are available through our programs- which can be started right now, while they’re in high school. Utah’s Governor Gary Herbert has named 2018 the year of Technical Education with his focus on key initiatives to make technical education programs more accessible to students and our CTE program is a big part of that.”
In Sevier District, 900 CTE skill certificates have been awarded and 109 students received an annual CTE scholarship and tuition award to a Utah public college or university. In addition, 374 students are members of a Career and Technical Student Organization, and 36 industry- recognized certifications have been earned through the Microsoft Image Academy and Certiport partnership.
CTE career pathways with the highest completer rates within Sevier District include protective services, agricultural systems technology, food production and processing systems, design technology, cabinetmaking/millwork, animal systems, entrepreneurship and management, and family and human services. The top two earned industry certifications are Principles of Engineering and Introduction to Engineering Design.
For more information on the CTE program visit your High School Counselor or Sevier CTE Center Administrator Jennifer Christensen (545-201-6120).