BUCKHANNON — As students continue to return to in-person instruction, Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School is working to further develop the Career and Technical Education opportunities offered to local students.
Previously, B-UMS had two career-based courses—Technology Education and Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS). This year, four new teachers began a Career Exploration program. Jordyn Peters, Erika Jeran, Kayce Wooten and Taylor Nichols started the program as part of the school’s shift to becoming an “Empowerment Academy School,” which focuses on students being exposed to life skills in an academic setting.
B-UMS teacher Jordyn Peters explained, “As Career Exploration teachers, we each four teach an introduction to four career clusters a piece. This allows students to have a better understanding, and exposure to what they may be interested in doing in their high school career, or beyond that, with their futures. We hope to connect with the high school and tech center to create a good transition for students.”
With four teachers instructing four career clusters, students now have access to education, resources and connections surrounding 16 different clusters. These career clusters include: Agriculture, Architecture & Construction, Arts, Business Management & Administration, Finance, Health Science, Hospitality & Tourism, Human Services, Information Technology, Law & Public Safety/Corrections, Manufacturing, Marketing, STEM, and Transportation/Distribution.
These innovative educators have also been focusing on preparing students for their future by teaching life skills and topics such as resume building, completing job applications, and mastering interview skills to ensure students have the necessary tools for entering the workforce.
In addition, Librarian Johnette Radabaugh entirely revamped the B-UMS library into an IDEA Lab, in which she consistently provides virtual resources for students, as well as ideas and in-depth plans with digital media for students.
The Career Exploration teachers at the middle school also work to inform and prepare the students for CTE opportunities at the high school, as well as opportunities offered through Fred W. Eberle Technical Center. Career cluster studies at B-UMS will go hand-in-hand with advancing through CTE classes in high school and beyond.
Peters added, “We have just now started to be able to do projects with our students, and they seem to be responsive to exploring career areas so far with their transition in to in-person learning. We are excited and have big plans for next year when more normalcy comes!”