Tour of PRC’s Career and Technical Education program offers insight

Published 7:00 am Friday, November 16, 2018


Representatives of local businesses, health care providers and other employers were treated to a breakfast and a tour provided by students of Pearl River Central High School’s Career and Technical Education program.

CTE Director Kelli Beech said the event was an opportunity for potential employers to not only see the kinds of programs offered at the school and determine if they can employ students upon completion of the programs, but also allow those representatives to share ideas about programs and education opportunities that would lead to more students finding local jobs.

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After being served a breakfast cooked by students in the culinary arts program, the tour took the attendees through the various programs offered at PRC’s CTE.

The culinary arts program provides students with an opportunity to learn about food safety, sanitation, sauces, kitchen prep and how to cook complex meals.

The center also offers an agriculture, mechanic and welding class that can provide students with a welding certification that can help students get a job right out of high school, or can be used to further their education. Seth McCraney, the course instructor, said that 64 students signed up for the class this year. The two-year program also includes diesel mechanics, hydraulics and how to operate a plasma cutter.

In the health science class, students can learn about the various careers in the healthcare field, including nursing, sports medicine and anesthesiology. Jennifer Spence said she introduces the students to the various fields so they can find the one they are most interested in to help fast track their path to a career.

Students interested in becoming a teacher can take a class at the CTE as well. In the course, students learn about the equipment used in a classroom, how to create a lesson plan and even engage in mentorships in a classroom within a grade of their choice so they can knowledgably choose their career path. William Carey offers a $10,000 scholarship to students who have completed two years of that program, Beech said.

Early childhood education allow students interested in the field to get hands on experience by assisting in the care of the District’s Little Devils, a preschool for children of District employees and children in the community. Beech said there are 12 children aged between 3 to 4 that the students work with in that class.

There’s also an information technology course where students can learn about computers, servers and computer networking. Students who complete the first year of the course receive a CompTia certification. Beech said that last year the course was ranked first in the state due to its 100 percent passing rate. The first year certification can be a direct path to employment after high school and is accepted nationwide, Beech said. A second year certification called Microsoft technology associate is also offered.

Beech said that scholarships are offered through Pearl River Community College for students who complete two years of any CTE program. Students with an A grade point average can receive a full scholarship, while students with a B GPA can receive a half scholarship. Those scholarships can be used to attend academic or CTE courses at PRCC.