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GCCISD Expanding CTE Programs Next Fall

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Career and Technical Education Programs Expanding Next Fall

By Beth Dombrowa
Educational opportunities for current eighth graders within Goose Creek CISD will further expand beginning in the 2017-2018 school year with the opening of the John M. Stuart Career Tech High School, an application-based, blended-model high school that will combine rigorous Career and Technical (CTE) coursework and core curriculum classes on a single campus.

Initially, the school will open with 4 Academies – or “schools within a school” – in the following areas: Construction and Manufacturing, Culinary Arts, Conservation and Ecology, and Automotive. Only incoming freshmen will be eligible to apply to attend Stuart Career Tech High School in the fall of 2017. Additional grade levels will be added over the next three years.

“Students who apply and are accepted to Stuart Career Tech High School will receive hands-on, project-based instruction in their area of interest. The goal is for the students to earn certifications that will apply credit toward their college degree or a job immediately following high school graduation,” said Renea Dillon, GCCISD Director of CTE. Dillon is also principal of the current Stuart Career Center, which is the campus that is being repurposed as a full technical high school.

In the first year, Dillon expects to accept approximately 120 students who will be freshmen in the 2017-2018 school year. In addition to the courses required for graduation, such as English and math, students may take Wildlife, Fisheries and Ecology Management if they are in the Environmental Conservation Academy, or Principles of Manufacturing if they are accepted into the Construction and Manufacturing Academy.

“The course selection will allow students to gain relevant, career-related experience, earn dual-credit, and participate in internships while preparing them for a successful career in their chosen pathway,” Dillon said. “These newest Academies have been developed through feedback from our business and industry partners, who have indicated these are some of the high-wage jobs of the future.”

While students will be able to earn their graduation requirements for Fine Arts and Physical Education through individual courses at Stuart Career Tech High School, the school will not offer sports teams or Fine Arts programs. Bus transportation will be available to and from school for all students who attend Stuart Career Tech High School, regardless of where they are zoned.

The four new Academies at Stuart Career Tech High School complement existing Academies in Goose Creek CISD, which opened three years ago and have continued to grow through the addition of interested students, new courses and interest from business and industry partners. Goose Creek Memorial is home to the district’s Global Business Academy, while Sterling and Lee house the Health Science and STEM Academies, respectively. Across the nation, the popularity of Academies focused around high-demand jobs in their geographical area is growing with school districts.

Currently, students who attend Lee, Sterling or Goose Creek Memorial who want to take electives offered at the Stuart Career Center (Audio-Video Production, Collision Repair, Culinary Arts, Automotive Technology, Environmental Science, Computer Maintenance, Meat Processing and Construction) are transported to the campus for those specialized classes. Even when the campus becomes a fully functioning high school, students who wish to remain with their home campus will still be able to take those electives at Stuart Career Tech High School. The advantage to participating in the academies over taking courses as electives is the integration of career-based activities into the core academics, students being taught by a small team of teachers who are able to focus more on individual student need, and the additional career- and college-based activities focused on the career academy theme.

Applications for the Academies at Stuart Career Tech High School, as well as the Academies at Sterling, Lee and Goose Creek Memorial, will soon be made available to eighth graders in GCCISD. Once students have applied and been accepted, their admission renews annually.


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