County schools focus on CTE

Published 11:03 am Friday, February 23, 2024

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Each February, school divisions across the country celebrate National Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month. This is a time to recognize the accomplishments and importance of career and technical education for students at all levels.

The CTE programs provided by Charlotte County Public Schools continue to offer a diverse background for students as they prepare to enter the workforce or post-secondary educational programs. Within the schools, the program begins with Keyboarding and Career Investigations at Central Middle School. All students are required to take part in these foundational courses that prepare students for work with technology and introduce them to the 16 different Career Clusters represented by CTE. Additionally, students take part in the Go Tech program, a regional partnership that introduces students to technology utilized by high-demand industries in our area.

Once students advance to high school, they can participate in classes and/or dual-enrollment programs in 11 different Career Clusters. Randolph-Henry offers courses in Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources; Business Management and Administration; Finance; Information Technology; Health Science; Education and Training; Hospitality and Tourism; Arts/AV Technology and Communications; Architecture and Constructions; Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics; and Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security. The CTE program also includes courses through Jobs for Virginia Graduates (JVG), which help seniors prepare for transition to the workforce. 

“At Randolph-Henry High School, our CTE instructors are exceptional in fostering industry-specific skills, ensuring our students are well-prepared for the workforce, trade school, college, and beyond,” said Randolph-Henry Principal Erin Davis. “Recognizing the global demand for capable adults equipped with essential skills, our CTE department serves as a pivotal bridge, facilitating a seamless transition.”

In addition to courses offered at the high school, students can also participate in a variety of dual-enrollment programs outside of the school setting. Students can earn dual-enrollment certificates through Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) in Automotive, Nurse Aide, Welding, Electrical, HVAC and Cosmetology. They can also earn certificates in Cybersecurity and Energy and Power through the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center.

While participating in the various CTE programs offered by the school, students continue to gain valuable experience in a variety of ways. Within various classes, students have the opportunity to earn industry certifications and licenses that can be used for employment in the workforce. Last year, Randolph-Henry students earned more than 200 industry certifications and licenses. 

CTE classes are also supported by CTE Student Organizations, which provide students opportunities to gain leadership experience and enhanced knowledge in their chosen areas of study. Randolph-Henry has active Future Farmers of America (FFA), Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), and Health Occupations Student Association (HOSA) chapters, with students typically advancing to state and national competitions. 

Finally, as a culmination to the CTE experience, students are able to participate in internships during their senior year. These internships allow students the opportunity to gain practical experience in the workforce while using the skills that they have learned through CTE and other courses. These experiences also provide students an opportunity to make direct connections with the region’s workforce that may lead to productive employment partnerships for both the student and employer. Any businesses that are willing to host an intern are encouraged to contact Julianna Reeves, School Counselor, at Randolph-Henry High School at 434-542-4111.