Dozens of eighth grade students from North Bend Middle School participated in career technical education programs that highlight specific career pathways into construction, graphic arts and technology.
(TNS) — With the popularity of career technical education programs growing nationwide, educators across the country are taking notice and offering courses to students younger than ever before.
This past year, dozens of eighth grade students from North Bend Middle School were given the opportunity to participate in a number of introductory courses aimed at showcasing a variety of skill-based careers.
According to North Bend High School Principal Darrell Johnston, the courses, which were all modified specifically to fit the middle schoolers, included topics that aligned with the high school’s CTE program highlighting specific career pathways into construction, graphic arts and technology.
“We converted our woodshop classroom and set up stations to provide students with room to build their models,” said Johnston. “The eighth graders got a taste of wood works, framing and working with power tools.”
The construction trade course featured a number of hands-on activities and tasks to help keep students engaged and connected, said Johnston. Middle school students exposed to CTE programs early on are more likely to continue the training into their high school careers giving them a head start and advantage that others may not have, he added.
“Students become concentrators who don’t just do that trade for one year, but for multiple years,” said Johnston. “Those students that have that kind of focus have greater economic mobility as they exit high school and are also more likely to successfully complete high school on time.”
For the next school year, Johnston said the students will be able to participate in new courses that explore manufacturing jobs in particular those that deal with metals.
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