HSWCHS Receives Arkansas CTE Funds

HSWCHS Receives Arkansas CTE Funds
Posted on 10/07/2018
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Career and Technical Education (CTE) is a national initiative that requires states to offer courses that prepare students to be job ready, via whatever path they choose after graduation. CTE changes the educational focus toward providing more career-based electives and opportunities in high school so that students are more likely to not only graduate, but to have as many options as possible as they become adults and make decisions about their future. CTE courses create a bridge between academics and career paths by directly connecting student learners through experiences like apprenticeships, internships, hands-on training and demonstrations, service projects, and other personal interaction with employers. Find an overview of how CTE is being implemented across the U.S., here.

States have different requirements for CTE courses. In Arkansas, schools are required to teach 9th-12th grade students at least nine units (or 6-8 week courses of study) of CTE, and must represent three of 16 established occupational areas (also called career clusters). Learn more about CTE requirements for the state of Arkansas, here.

Through of a series of curriculum changes, grants, and visionary leadership, HSSD is proudly offering world class CTE opportunities through full Career Academies. Most recently, a grant from the Arkansas Department of Career Education is continuing to evolve and add to the CTE offerings of HSSD. HSWCHS offers full Career Academies in (currently) three areas of study including: Liberal Studies (which includes International Baccalaureate Programme opportunities), Business and Industrial Technologies, and Education and Healthcare. Within these three academies are 22 unique pathways that students choose from, which determine the theme that their high school courses are based around. Various electives and required courses are tied to each pathway, some of which are taught at HSWCHS and others that are taught at National Park College, at industry specific sites, vocational institutions, medical facilities, and other professional or academic sites based on the pathway.

Career Academies are different from stand alone CTE courses because of the following three differences: 1) they allow students to experience career themes in a smaller, more focused learning environment, 2) receive college-prep or career-prep sequential curriculum within a career theme so that they are receiving core educational courses within a career path of their choosing, and 3) benefit from a Career Academy team that forges partnerships within the community to allow for apprenticeships, internships, hands-on training and demonstrations, service projects, and other personal interaction with employers. Learn more about Career Academies, which are growing faster in Arkansas, California, and Florida due to grants like the one HSSD has just received, here.

The Arkansas CTE grant received by HSSD will help to continue expanding offerings of pathways within our three current academies through additional certification and training for staff members and closer partnership through site visits and collaboration with National Career Academy Coalition Model Academies (which include Arkansas schools in Jonesboro and Mountain Home). Grants like this ensure that HSSD students experience the highest level of career-ready education available. Learn more about our HSWCHS, here.

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