The Transylvania Times -

CTE Students Surpass Peers - Brevard, NC

 

May 22, 2017



Students in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes in the Transylvania County school system are performing better than their peers in the region and state.

“We’ve done very well compared to the other systems in the state,” said Arleca Chapman, director of CTE and student services.

In addition to scoring higher than their peers on standardized tests, Chapman said students in the CTE program have been successful in regional, state and national competitions. Students will be going to Anaheim, Calif. this month for national competition and one group was the national first place winner of the RUBE Goldberg award.

In addition to competitions, CTE students also work in the community, such as providing labor for some of the Habitat for Humanity homes built in Rosman.

“We have a great group of kids,” said Chapman. “They work hard. They want what is better for the program. They are willing to put in the effort. We should support them in any way we can.”

CTE classes are comprised of seven program areas: agriculture, business finance/information technology, marketing and entrepreneurship, family and consumer science, health science, technology engineering and design, and trade and industrial education.

Chapman reported that 98 percent of the students who are “concentrators” in CTE program graduate from the local high schools.

There also were 453 credentials earned by those taking CTE classes. Those credentials range from certified nursing assistant to NC private pesticide applicator to Microsoft Office Specialist.

She said there are seven students who have taken and passed all of the Adobe Illustrator and Premiere courses offered.

“There are colleges that don’t offer Adobe,” she said.

Chapman said the credentials are evidence that students have passed certain specific courses and they can enhance a student’s resumé.

“The point of a credential is for a student to leave Transylvania County Schools with an edge, with a skill that is marketable, that makes him competitive in a global environment,” said Chapman.

She said many CTE students are still academically prepared to attend college, but they are also given skills that can be used for high-wage, highly-skill jobs.

Chapman said the school system could expand its offerings, but that it is difficult to keep programs when the funding is being decreased.

Chapman said the technology engineering and design program is growing rapidly. There is now a full-time instructor, as well as high-tech equipment including a CNC plasma cutter and CNC router.

Chapman said the CTE program has numerous partners, such as Blue Ridge Community College, the North Carolina State University Extension Office and Transylvania Regional Hospital.

Chapman listed several future goals that would enhance the CTE programs. They include expanding the farm at Rosman High, renovating the commercial kitchens at Rosman and Brevard high schools, renovating the greenhouses at the two high schools, and purchasing two commercial vehicles so that CTE teachers can transport livestock, materials and finished products instead of having to use their own vehicles.

Chapman said funding from the state for CTE teachers and instructional supplied have decreased and she has not received any allocation for next year from the federal government.

School board member Betty Scruggs McGaha asked why health science was not listed in regard to future expansion.

“That’s the number one area for jobs and it just continues to grow,” said McGaha.

Chapman said she would like to add another staff person who focuses solely on nursing fundamentals, but that her expansion list focused on programs and equipment, not personnel.

“At this point in time I can’t commit to another person,” said Chapman.

Chapman said that as they lose CTE teachers either through retirement or attrition, they will be looking at each program area and adjust the programs to the job market.

“We’ll be watching very carefully those job trends,” said Chapman.

Personnel Report

McGaha requested, and the board approved, removing the personnel report from the consent agenda. The board then voted 4-1, with McGaha cast the dissenting vote, to approve the personnel report.

The personnel report contained the resignation/ termination of three licensed personnel, the approved employment of three licensed personnel, the approved renewal of contracts for nine administrators, and the approval of dozens of teachers who have probationary contracts.

Senate Budget

School board member Marty Griffiin said board members should review a copy of the state Senate’s budet.

“The pay recommendations for teachers is scary,” said Griffin. “No increase for starting teachers. No increase for any teachers that have taught for 25 or more years.

Griffin also said that for new teachers there are no retirement plans and no health care when teachers retire.

“It’s scary what they have in their budget,” said Griffin. “I hope it’s not going to make it. If you’ve not read a horror story recently, you need to sit down and read the Senate’s budget.”

Kiviniemi said the budget is just the latest decision from the state Senate that is making “North Carolina not a desirable destination for prospective teachers.”

“I think that’s only going to get worse in the future unless we have some significant change in the 2018 mid-term elections,” said Kiviniemi.

 
 

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