SYLACAUGA, Ala.- Throughout the month of February, Alabama high schools are celebrating the success of Career and Technical Education (CTE). Sylacauga City Schools (SCS) has a CTE program that has become a hallmark of excellence around the state. The school system continues to excel with programs in grades 3-12 to include college dual enrollment opportunities in technical fields. The goal at SCS is that every student graduates with the skills and abilities necessary to enter college, career training, and/or the workforce immediately after high school. Career Tech is not a separate component of the school system, but rather integrated into the framework of every component of the district to prepare young people to become productive citizens.

Over half of the students in SCS participate in career tech courses each week, and last year, SCS graduates earned college credit and industry credentials in record numbers. Programs are offered in business, computer science, audio visual technology, health science, human services, pre-engineering, machining, and industrial electronics that lead directly to the current and future workforce needs in the Sylacauga area. Through state grants, opportunities are provided for all students to earn certifications in Adobe and Microsoft software applications, National Health Association technical skills, and ServSafe Food Handler skills.

Over the course of the next three years, SCS will see the first cohort complete the Child Development Associate certification program and obtain licenses to work nationwide in a preschool setting.  In addition to early childhood development, the newest programs are in healthcare and technology. This school year the district introduced Medical Detectives and Computer Science at Nichols-Lawson Middle School to complete those pathways from third grade to Sylacauga High School. For school year 2018-2019, the district will double the instructional capacity in health science, add the Certified Nursing Assistant program, and continue to leverage the existing partnership with Central Alabama Community College for healthcare courses. Additionally, a new team in audio/visual technology is being built at SHS by joining the business journalism teacher with the photography teacher to create a multi-media production pathway to explore all forms of marketing communications.

The school has award-winning student organizations with FBLA, HOSA, and FCCLA, along with dedicated teachers who help prepare students with the knowledge and skills they need for success. Community partnerships and support received from local entities further strengthen and expand CTE opportunities for students. These combined efforts are training the future workforce of the community with a high standard of excellence. Career and technical education is no longer about learning a trade, it is about mastering skills for career success. Sylacauga City Schools is proud to be a leader in the education of its CTE students.

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