While academic debates still persist regarding whether today’s student requires more hands-on training or academic rigor to succeed as an adult, such discussions miss a key point.
“There is a real career to be had in the trades that is quite lucrative with the right education,” said Karen Machado, principal at Manchester School of Technology (MST).
In promoting the viability of Career and Technical Education (CTE) in the state, barriers extend beyond academic circles.
“There are programs where you can earn a degree to become a teacher, business manager, engineer and more, but many parents and students still do not realize that,” she said. “There is also a great salary with these jobs and many opportunities for female students, too.”
Recently featured in The Hechinger Report, MST has distinguished itself in recent years for its emphasis on creating opportunities for CTE and academic teachers to actively collaborate in educating students. As one example, Machado cited a Biology class in which a group of students had previously failed one or two times.
“They needed to experience Biology in a different manner,” she said.
At MST, this “different manner” led to a collaboration between their Horticulture teacher, who had expressed an interest in team teaching an Ecology course, and Biology teacher. The Horticulture teacher conducted the hands-on experiences outside while the Biology teacher conducted in-class direct instruction and experiments.
“Nearly all students will successfully finish this course,” said Machado. “The same was the case for our Manufacturing teacher teaching Physical Science with a Geometry teacher. Adding that relevance piece makes all the difference in the world when teaching students.”
The need for such collaborative teaching methods does not just represent best practice in the industry; rather, it addresses real needs in industry today, as she cited CTE as an important player in the state’s economic development.
“Now more than ever, businesses have a desperate need to fill these positions with the best experienced employees,” she said. “CTE will help to keep these young talented minds in the state of New Hampshire. This is so true now with the low unemployment rates. We need to keep our talent in state.”
In discussing how CTE works, Machado said it is important to note how it has changed through the years. She described it, as do most professionals in the CTE industry, as relating to “career pathways,” which are not necessarily straight or even linear.
“In our school, students who are motivated create their own pathway,” she said. “The beauty of students being at MST full-time is that they find the way to take two or three CTE programs. Sometimes, students take courses on VLACS in the summer to make room in their schedule for the needed time for CTE. Some students take architectural engineering and then go into carpentry.”
She said she has even had a student who completed two years of carpentry and then went into the Firefighter Program in the first semester and completed the EMT program in the second semester as a senior.
“One problem that has come up is that students are wanting to take a 5th year of high school to take more CTE programs,” she said. “They are truly seeing the benefit of becoming educated in high school instead of paying for it later.”
This article represents the first of several articles that will take a deeper look at MST and the larger context in which their programs have been developed to better meet the needs of students and industry.
Students in Great Bay Community College’s hospitality management program will work side-by-side with wine professionals at Wine Expo NH, a festive wine-and-food event on May 2nd at Portsmouth Harbor Events Center in the Portwalk. This walk-around grand tasting will raise money for student scholarships.
Wine Expo NH will showcase hundreds of wines will all wines available to order at 15% off for 6 or more bottles. Seacoast chefs will be offering a New England cheese station, charcuterie station, dim sum station, pasta station, passed hors d’ouevres and more. The Zach Lange Trio will play also.
“I can’t say enough about what a high-quality and fun event this is and how much the students’ enthusiasm adds to it,” said event planner Michele Duval. “With hospitality such a large part of downtown Portsmouth’s economy, we are really lucky to have Great Bay Community College in our midst. Event sponsor Horizon Beverage is proud to support their efforts with student scholarship monies from this event.”
Dawn Comito, program coordinator of Great Bay’s Hospitality Management program, said the opportunity for students to learn from industry professionals is valuable because it offers real-world, practical experience.
The students who are primarily involved in the Wine Expo are taking a hospitality marketing and sales class. The expo is a perfect example of how a New England spirits, wine and beer distributor like Horizon builds long term business relationships, Comito said. “Food and beverage is such an important segment of the hospitality industry. By actively participating in this expo our students not only gain some hands-on experience in proper pouring and tasting techniques, but they’ll also have the opportunity to begin building their own professional network with others in the industry. They’re also learning how to apply many of the marketing and sales strategies they’ve been studying all semester by experiencing things like personal selling and branding in action,” she said.
Rachel Robillard, who will graduate from Great Bay’s Hospitality Management program next spring with an associate degree, said she and her classmates are “extremely excited” about Wine Expo NH. “My role will mainly be working alongside wine representatives in both serving wine and explaining variations in the different wines,” she said. “I’m excited to gain hands-on experience in serving wine to guests, and I am excited to meet all of the wine representatives and network with all of the other hospitality professionals.”
The NH Department of Education Bureau of Career Development is happy to announce that pre-registration for the NH-CTE Summer Conference 2018 is now open. All of NH’s CTE community is invited to attend August 14th-16th at Plymouth State University. The cost of the conference is FREE! When you click on the pre-registration link you will receive details about this year’s conference strands and format. A good deal of cluster/program time planned, as well as, an exhibition of student work and a vendor fair. If you and/or your students would like to be part of the exhibition of NH-CTE work please sign-up here.
Speak to your administration in order to discuss potential support for transportation and housing costs should you choose to stay in Plymouth overnight. For conference questions please contact Courtney Ritchings. If you would like to invite students to join us and have their work included in the exhibition, please review the attached document and reach out to Jennifer Kiley. We look forward to seeing everyone in Plymouth this August!
The Video and Broadcasting Program of study at Nashua Technology Center of Nashua South High School received the prestigious Excellence in Action Award from Advance CTE. The award honors innovative and effective Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs across the nation. The Video & Broadcasting program of study exemplifies excellence in providing relevant work-based learning opportunities through sustained partnerships with education, community and industry leaders; integrates rigorous academics; meets college and career readiness standards, and has demonstrated substantial evidence of student success and achievement. Full Article