Hands-On Learning

Hands-On Learning

Career and Technical Education programs pave paths for students


When entering high school, I knew there were some programs that were offered and had heard “CTE” used a few times but I wasn’t sure what it meant or just how many programs Deer Valley Unified School District (DVUSD) has to offer. I had the opportunity to speak with Ms. Jayme Fitzpatrick, the Career and Technical Education Manager for DVUSD. The insight I got blew me away and goes to show just how far DVUSD goes to enhance and enrich their students’ learning.

CTE, or Career and Technical Education, programs have been offered since the opening of Deer Valley High School over 35 years ago, and CTE as a whole has been a federally funded education program in Arizona for more than a hundred years. Although the program has changed a good amount since then, the driving force has remained the same: preparing students for the real world in fields that they have an interest in to keep them engaged and a step ahead when it comes time to graduate.

They offer a head start for career pathways such as technology, human services, business management, arts, health services, and so much more by training students in that area in their classes so they pursue that career with confidence as they are leaving high school. Each of these pathways has numerous classes available on campus that allows students to dive deeper into anything they may be interested in, from journalism to the culinary world to nursing.

For example, the Barry Goldwater High School culinary program recently opened a new full-service restaurant facility owned and operated by the students called AVENUE 27. These classes that students have the option of taking as an elective keep them engaged and give them something extra to look forward to in the school day. Allowing students to learn about subjects of their choosing and getting real experience with hands-on learning keeps students motivated to continue learning.

These classes not only have major effects on the students in school by providing motivation and engagement, but have long term applications as well. Fitzpatrick says, “Students completing CTE programs have multiple pathways to post-secondary success including entry directly into the job market, community college programs to earn AA degrees or additional industry certificates, trade schools, or four-year universities and beyond. Employers and educational institutions recognize the benefits of CTE programs and often offer qualified students scholarships and preferred employment.”

This means the work the students are putting into these high school classes can facilitate them obtaining certification in that field, which allows them to work jobs that can lead to long term careers. Fitzpatrick also said, “CTE students develop technical skills to succeed in the career field they are studying. In addition, they gain employability skills such as communication, financial management, collaboration, innovation, ethics and much more.”

All in all, there are so many CTE options throughout DVUSD and the results of taking these classes are long-lasting and will continue to provide amazing opportunities to students in 85085 and beyond that could not be found elsewhere. To learn more about these programs and all of the classes offered, visit dvusd.org/cte.  

Jadyn Fisher is a freshman at Sandra Day O’Connor High School. She is an active part of her school and community and looks forward to bringing awareness to community education programs.

© 2018 85085 Magazine. A Division of Strickbine Publishing Inc.

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