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By Max Erikson

GHS students make the most of CTE


February 21, 2018

Max Erikson

February is National Career and Technical Education (CTE) month, and Goldendale High School (GHS) students are learning job skills and gaining experience that will prepare them for college and career ready jobs in high-demand career fields.

The CTE program offers students opportunities to receive education outside of traditional school curriculums. Programs range from science and technology, engineering and agriculture. There is also options for manufacturing, construction, business management, and information technology. CTE classes are designed to blend technical knowledge and skills with traditional academics that apply to the 21st century workplace.

CTE Director Rebecca Bare says that many of the classes that are offered can be used as college credits for students who chose to attend college at Yakima Community College and Walla Walla Community College.

"Right now a student can earn up to nine college credits in the CTE program," Bare says. "We hope to expand the program in future and get that number up to 15 credits."

Metal fabrication teacher Josh Krieg says he sees students engage with their education in a way that they might not have in a more traditional school environment.

"What I see kids liking the most is the hands-on experience they are getting," Krieg says. "I think they see it as being applicable to their future careers."

According to Bare, one-third of GHS students participate in at least one CTE program, and she hopes in the future to upgrade the facilities with current technology and increased participation in the CTE program.

"Our goal is to make high-schoolers more work ready when they graduate," Bare says, "or have them on a path to college in a field of study that they are already advancing in."

For CTE student Cameron Kenny the program has given him a sense of direction for his future and he plans to go to trade school to become a diesel mechanic.

"It definitely has helped me narrow down what I want to do in future," Kenny says. "It has taught me work skills that I can take with me when I graduate."

Junior Gabe Wadsack, who recently won a robotics competition with teammates Kenny and Dianna Toledo, says that the CTE program has given him a lot of skills that translates into resume building experience.

"I have learned so much and have gotten to be a part of so many different groups and clubs," Wadsack says. "From robotronics, to the use of lasers, woodworking, these things make for a great resume builder."

Toledo, also a junior, says the CTE program is much different than regular school, and it has given her a chance to take on more leadership roles.

"It has definitely gotten me interested and involved with school," Toledo says. "It has given me a sense of direction and more confidence in my abilities."

The CTE program encompasses 94 percent of high school students nationwide and offers clear pathways to industry certifications, postsecondary certificates, and college degrees. It educates students through 16 career clusters and over 79 career pathways.

According to the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE) high school students involved with CTE graduate at higher rates and are more likely to go on to post-secondary education. It also minimizes the risk of students dropping out of school which is around 7000 per day nationally. The graduation rate for students who participate in CTE classes is 93 percent.

"We want kids walking out of school with college credits and career skills," Bare says. "We want to continue to upgrade our facilities and make our students ready for the workforce."


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