SHS Students Prepare to be Future Ready
Selah High School students are preparing to be future ready as the skills they gain in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Program prepare them for professional opportunities.
Career and Technical Education teaches specific career skills to students. In Washington, all districts provide career exploration, and classes align with industry and academic standards that provide 21st Century knowledge and skills. Courses target skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies, and career preparation.
Jeff Cochran, Assistant Principal and Director of Future Learning at Selah High School said CTE opportunities benefit students as they focus on professional readiness.
Cochran said the school is developing a set of Career Pathways that will provide students industry certifications while enrolled in classes. One example is the Early Childhood Education pathway, which leads to certification in Early Childhood Education. Once students complete the pathway they are prepared to work in a preschool program, potentially earning a higher wage. Cochran says by next year the school will have four pathways students can choose from to align their skills to careers. Further, Selah High School has been designated as a Project Lead the Way Engineering and Biomedical Science School, as it offers multiple courses in these fields that provide students with future ready skills. Additionally, the school is a recipient of $83,000 in grant funding to develop programs in non-traditional areas. With this, the school has secured zSpace machines to demonstrate equipment used in healthcare and engineering fields. The units are augmented and in virtual reality to provide students opportunities to work in three dimensions, applying skills learned in class. Also, Selah High School has been selected as a STEM Lighthouse School because of its engineering program. Selah is the only high school in the country with an automatic tooling Shopbot machine that is used in industries for which students are preparing. Further, Career and Technical classes introduce students to industry professions. This fall, some students have collaborated with professionals by participating in a TEALS (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools) computer science class, a partnership arranged with Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, where the course provides them with skills utilized in today's industries. Other students, in sports medicine courses, have facilitated the First Aid and CPR certification process by teaching lessons to their peers, to name a few examples.
Further, Selah's CTE Program provides students with competitive opportunities through Career and Technical Service Organizations (CTSO's), which are similar to clubs. By participating in a CTSO, students showcase the knowledge they have acquired by competing in local, state and national contests. This fall, Selah's FFA CTSO earned top honors in an apple evaluation contest, while FCCLA and the LifeSmarts Knowledge Bowl Team qualified for nationals.
As students gain the skills to be future work ready, Cochran said the school is wanting to partner with employers who want to provide internships, apprenticeships, and job shadows, to keep preparing students for their future.