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High school courses ready students for immediate employment

Posted by: tdt -

By Robin Scott

Dalhart Independent School District Vocational Coordinator Jennifer Read spoke at Wednesday’s School Board meeting, on April 22nd.  The topic centered around career and technical education (CTE) available for students.  Mrs. Read spoke about the upcoming courses that will help ready students for entering the work force after high school.

    CTE is designed to allow students to take specific classes that lead to certifications that place them in a ready for hire position.  Mrs. Read noted, “Not all students desire to attend a four-year college program.  By taking one of the CTE courses in high school a student may discover that they enjoy something different, something that they can choose to do after high school.” 

    A course already in place this year is OSHA, which is an online course and is self-paced.  Completion of the course allows the students to obtain their OSHA certification and the school pays it for.  Many careers require OSHA certification and high school students completing it beforegraduation will have that step finished, making them more marketable to potential employers.

    Several new courses are scheduled for the 2009/2010 school year.   Welding is one, and the school already has all of the equipment necessary for the course to begin.  Students will earn their American Welding Society Certificate.  Mrs. Read stated, “They will be able to present their certificate and get a job right out of high school.”

    Another course is Pharmacology, an independent study-on-computer and self-paced class that will provide students an opportunity to earn their Pharmacy Technician Certification Board.  The cost of $250.00 per student is currently in discussion to determine how the cost will be paid.  

    Ag-Mechanics and Small Engine Services will be a two-semester pair of courses beginning in 2009/2010.  The first semester will teach basic electric wiring skills, basic plumbing skills, basic concrete construction skills, and basic carpentry skills. The goal is for the students to build a project that will show the community what they have learned, as well as the value of their skills.  The second semester will teach the students to work on small gasoline engines and learn basic automotive maintenance.  Mrs.

Read reported, “The automotive departments in Dalhart have already offered to donate the engines necessary for the course and have shown a great amount of interest. We hope to have some sort of certification in the future courses beyond this coming school year for this two-part class.”  

    Another highly anticipated course is Medical Terminology and 15 students are enrolled for the fall class.  Mrs. Read stated, “This class will teach the language of medicine, advances in education in health care, and will help to successfully secure employment.”

    The fall schedule will include International Cuisine.  The new high school has a very well-equipped and modern kitchen lab.  Apparel, a sewing class that used to be a part of a home economics curriculum in the past, will be available as well as Personal and Family Development courses.

    Current CTE classes include Criminal Justice, Criminal Investigations, Multiple Occupational Career Training (MOCT) more commonly known as the job program where students must bring their pay stubs in each week and participate in mock interviews, resume preparation and critique and how to properly dress for an interview and work. Agriculture 101 and 102, Animal Science, Career Connections, which is open to freshmen, Child Development, Food and Nutrition, Computer,  (basic computer education) BCIS I & II, Digital Graphics Applications (DGA) and Anatomy and Physiology (A&P), and HSTE I, II & III, and students will be a certified EMT at the end of the three course study.

    The school has a career technology department and Mrs. Read encourages members in the community to stop in and visit and see what is available.