With more enrollment, Sampson County Schools is continuing to see success with its Career and Technical Education (CTE) program.
Ginger Stone, CTE director, presented an update to Board of Education during a Tuesday meeting. Plan for the 2017-2018 school year were also presented. For the 2016-17 period, more than 3,970 students were enrolled in the program at middle and high school levels. Last school period, the reported amount was more than 3,700.
The areas of study include agriculture; business; career development; health occupations; marketing; technology; trade and industrial education; and family and consumer science.
For Sampson Schools, the largest area of enrollment is family and consumer science at 1,084, followed by agriculture education at 1,002. Third is business education at 934.
According to the mission, the purpose of the program is to empower all students to become successful citizens, workers and leaders in a global economy.
“The local plan is how we as Sampson County is going to move towards that mission,” Stone said.
At the middle school level, Stone reported that middle school students are starting sixth- and seventh-grade students with computer skills and applications. In the eight grade, students begin a career development plan which continues through high school.
A variety of classes are offered at the high school level as well. Board Vice Chair Kim Schmidlin brought up jobs in the computer industry such as coding (computer programming) and web design and questioned if job ready programs were available at the high school.
Stone said coding is not available, but experience gained through multimedia page design. Game work classes are also available. She said the programming aspect may be picked up in the future.
“We tried it once before, but we didn’t have any of our teachers want to pick it up and go with it,” she said. “That’s been several years ago, so we’re starting that conservation again. I’m hoping that we’re going to get to that.”
Stone added that such skills is a big push, with legislation behind it.
Trade and Industrial education was also discussed by the board. It’s available at two schools in the district. Lakewood High School has carpentry and Midway High School offers automotive. Students from other schools are able to participate in the program.
“We don’t have students who take advantage of that, but that is available to them,” she said.
One the reasons is scheduling and transportation. Board member Mary Brown and others mentioned a need for transportation funding, for students to take advantage of technical programs offered at other schools.
“When it comes down to it, transportation is an issue,” Stone said.
Board member Tim Register believes it’s more of a scheduling issue because of time constraints. He suggested if Sampson Community College offered dual enrollment courses for the trades. Stone said auto mechanics is not offered, but welding is offered at the college.
“There, the transportation will not be quite as bad because it’s centrally located,” Register said.
During the presentation, Stone went over the evaluation, which is yearlong process with teacher involvement. She said it’s also used as a document to hold educators accountable for CTE education. An advisory committee meets quarterly to provide input.
“As an example, one of the areas where are employers are saying they really need students or individuals in is welding,” she said.
A pathway was developed to educate students in the field.
Other CTE experiences include internships, apprenticeships and job shadowing. Stone said several of the advisory members are working to add more opportunities for students. Career fairs and student organizations are available for students.
Expanded course offerings are offered at Sampson Community College (SCC) through the Career and College Promise Program. According to the plan, SCS has an articulation agreement with SCC, which allows students who complete courses for college and high school credit.
The Board of Education is set to approve the 2017-2018 CTE plan during its next board meeting, scheduled for Monday, May 22 in the Central Office building, 437 Rowan Road, Clinton. After approval by the Sampson County Schools Board of Education, plans must be submitted to the Department of Public Instruction for local students.