In June, Region 14 Applied Technology Center (ATC) and Conval High School in Peterborough will host AMPED on Algebra, a workshop for teachers that underscores an important concept behind Career and Technical Education (CTE) itself.
“It is important that CTE instructors demonstrate to students that the competencies we are teaching represent the knowledge and skills they will need to be successful in their careers and college,” said Region 14 ATC Director Jen Kiley.
In speaking about the upcoming AMPED on Algebra workshop, Kiley said it is important that CTE programs formally include core academics.
“We help make clear to students that they will need those math and ELA skills to be successful as well,” she added.
For Kiley, her interest in AMPED on Algebra is matched by another program, Geometry in Construction, both of which are designed by Contextual Learning.
“Both programs present mathematical concepts in a hands-on way that is connected to high interest career paths for students,” she explained. “They recognize the fact that students learn math and English skills as part of many career and technical education programs.”
She said the curriculum in both programs make it clear that CTE and academic competencies are addressed at the same time.
“I personally attended the June 2019 Geometry in Construction workshop in St. Albans, VT last year and was blown away by how much I learned as an adult,” she said . “It was especially interesting, because I identify as someone who is not great at math or building.”
Kiley said she has no doubt that students will find the same success as she did.
“Many high schools are dealing with issues regarding pass/fail rates in traditional academics, and this could be a way to help address those concerns,” she added.
In looking across Region 14 ATC as a whole, Kiley said different CTE instructors already include cross-curricular lessons and units in their programs. June’s workshop, she explained, would extend what their teachers are already doing.
“By allowing students to access disciplines they may find challenging through the CTE programs where they’ve already found success or feel comfortable, we are providing more opportunities for positive student outcomes,” she said.
As far as Kiley is concerned, the importance of AMPED on Algebra and similarly designed educational programs cannot be overemphasized.
“Very few people have careers solely in math or English, but all careers include elements from these two disciplines,” she said. “By ‘crosswalking’ academics with CTE, we are answering the ever-present student questions of ‘Why do I need to know this? and ‘When will I need this in my life?’”
The “beauty of CTE,” she went on to add, is students are not left asking these questions because “it’s completely transparent what they are learning and why.”
“Students need math and ELA skills to be career ready too, and this AMPED on Algebra is one tangible opportunity to show them why,”
To learn more about AMPED on Alegbra,or sign up for the workshop, which takes place June 22 to June 25 at Conval High School, click https://contextuallc.com/amped/new-hampshire.