"My experience helped me find out more about who I am." "I really enjoy this different hands-on way of learning. We're shown a skill and we practice until we get it right - we're always striving for excellence." - Massillon CTE students
Six Career Technical Education (CTE) centers in Stark County are providing students with a rigorous and relevant education pathway leading to a marketable career. Massillon City Schools' program at Washington High School is a model of the power of CTE with 70% of sophomores, juniors and seniors participating and posting a graduation rate of 95.7% in 2016.
Massillon's CTE program is one of 91 in Ohio. Students who choose CTE at Washington High School have 14 workforce development pathways to consider - from construction to cosmetology to media arts and communication. All pathways offer student co-curricular organizations providing dynamic opportunities to engage in the work of the chosen field.
Jamey Palma, Massillon CTE Director, cites the accomplishments of his students in state and national competitions of five CTE student organizations. "These opportunities provide our students with tremendous life experiences." Over 70 Massillon CTE students qualified and competed at the state level in 2016, and 15 advanced to the national level which allows an in-depth look at the competitive nature of the career field. "We took 16 kids to California, and 14 of them had never been on a plane. Our visit to Great Lakes Science Center was a first for most students."
Palma is generous with praise for all aspects of the CTE work attributing success to the collaboration among the six Stark career technical centers, the guidance of the school counselors in helping students select a pathway, and the skills and talents of the teachers. The vital work of the business advisory council is key to the successful field placement of 128 CTE seniors in shadowing, internships and co-op employment.
Junior high school involvement in CTE began last school year with the introduction of three pathways: carpentry skills, construction technology and exercise science and athletic training. Six semester-long courses are offered to 7th and 8th grade students. This year 250 students (50%) are enrolled in one of the three pathways and taking advantage of the chance to develop a valuable understanding of a future life of work.