BUCKHANNON — CTE stands for Career and Technical Education. Buckhannon-Upshur High School (B-UHS) currently provides seven “clusters” of CTE education to students in an effort to help prepare them for the workforce.
Brandon Williams is an educator and administrator at B-UHS. Williams recently spoke about the CTE programs at the last Board of Education meeting, Tuesday, March 8. The seven “clusters” offered include Hospitality and Tourism, Education, Agriculture, Business, Technology, and Finance and Management.
Williams provided The Record Delta with a brief interview on Thursday, March 17 to further understand how CTE works and the impact it has on the students and their community.
“We want to provide workers for our economy and our community. The CTE programs offer hands-on learning in a simulated workplace. We analyze the workforce in Upshur County and look at the need it has and our hope is to build and sustain programs that provide that within the community,” said Williams.
Williams also noted that B-UHS is actively working with local businesses, such as Highland Nursery, to aide in the CTE programs. “We want to expand our footprint and be more visible,” said Williams. He went on to add that, in addition to CTE programs, B-UHS works diligently on partnerships with other education providers, such as Wesleyan, that would allow for more opportunities with AP or dual credit courses within the high school.
Furthermore, Williams noted that the overall goal for CTE is preparing students for the workforce. Students in CTE programs at B-UHS have also participated in state contests. Williams spoke of two seniors, Asher Davis and Noah Nichols, who competed at the state contest for the Business Program. In addition, junior Jadyn Reed had been recognized as the Educator Rising. Williams stated that B-UHS took home five silver medals during state competition and will be moving on to compete in the national competition.
Information obtained from ed.gov showed that, “CTE can offer career exploration and career-building activities in the classroom as well as hands-on learning experiences outside the classroom. Almost all public-school districts (98%) offered CTE programs to high school students during the 2016–17 school year, but the activities offered in these CTE programs varied by district. Among districts that offered CTE programs, the most common CTE activity or feature was work-based learning opportunities, such as on-the-job training, internships, practicums, clinical experiences, or cooperative education (77%); followed by CTE courses that earned both high school and postsecondary credits, sometimes referred to as ‘dual credit’ or ‘concurrent credit’ (73%); mentoring by local employers (65%); and student-run enterprises or services (55%).” Additionally, ed.gov stated that high school students who participated in CTE programs were employed full-time, at higher rates, eight years after their expected high school graduation compared non-participants.