Picking a path is hard for anyone, especially when you are a student in school. Our community has heard numerous times about all of the pathway opportunities in our high schools. There may be a hesitation from some parents and guardians about their freshman in high school not being ready to choose what they are going to do for the rest of their life, but that is not the purpose of pathways. Shelby County CTE Month are opportunities to explore.
We say pathways, but they are formally known as part of Career and Technical Education (CTE), which are rigorous and relevant classes that prepare students for careers and help expose them to find their passion.
For the month of February, Shelby County Public Schools will be celebrating Career and Technical Education month! This is a month that we will celebrate our instructors, students, and pathways with you! As you learn about CTE, we hope you will be as excited about our pathways as we are. The recurring theme from adults is, “I wish they would have had this when I was in school.”
Career and Technical Education pathways are not new. The emphasis towards every student having exposure to a pathway, and the variety offered, is what is making the difference. Students who are actively a part of a pathway are more engaged at school, and perform better academically. Students are learning trades that will help them in the workplace. And practical skills that they will carry for the rest of their lives. Our students in Culinary may not grow up and be a chef at a restaurant, but they will be fully prepared when making meals in their own household. Our students in the Diesel pathway may not end up turning wrenches at a mechanical shop, but they will be able to change the oil on their own truck or farm equipment.
Throughout three different campuses, Martha Layne Collins, Shelby County High School, and our Area Technology Center, students have the choice between 17 different programs: Agriculture, Automotive, Biomed, Business, Construction, Culinary, Diesel, Early Childhood, Engineering, Health Sciences, Industrial Maintenance, Information Technology, Media Arts, Machine Tool, Law Enforcement, Teaching and Learning, and Welding.
Start as Freshman
These pathway courses start during their freshman or sophomore year. Many students start making this decision as an 8th grader. Our school district has worked hard to push into the middle schools so students can learn about these opportunities as early as possible. We even have high school ambassadors from our pathways that go into the middle schools and spend time in our 8th grade classrooms. When a student enters a pathway, they may determine that is not where their passion lies. Discovering what I am not passionate about is just as important as finding out what I am passionate about. Students can change their pathway and explore another interest.
The best part, when thinking about our pathways, is that we are helping to prepare the future of Shelby County. These students will one day be our parents, our teachers, our employees, our government officials. What is done in our school system and classrooms will have an impact on what will be seen in our community for years to come. I hope, as a part of Shelby County, this makes you excited, because it does us!
We invite you to be a part of the pathways with us! We want the community to be a part of our schools, and schools a part of our community. This reciprocal relationship is what we envision for a successful future. Our pathways are the perfect place for this to naturally happen. Join us for the month of February as you learn more about CTE. See where you can become involved, whether that may be as an informed parent or a new SCPS volunteer. We are on an adventure in Shelby County with inspired learning, leading, and living, and we are in this together.
Source: Shelby County CTE Month
Picking a Path with Career and Technical Education – By SHELBY COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS