Navigating the Real World
West-MEC gives options to the ambitious
By Jadyn Fisher
High school is a time for rapid change and growth.
Most students can agree on two things: it can be difficult to navigate everything offered in schools and it can be scary being thrown into the “real-world” after high school and college.
Students are pushed toward a four-year degree that may have once been a dream. After graduation and the bills roll in, things may have changed. Trade or technical schools like West-MEC give students a chance to explore other options.
In the 1990s, the idea was to build a facility that students could use to hone skills that may be too costly to study at other schools. It has since evolved into what we have today: four campuses Valleywide offering amazing opportunities.
Aimed toward mostly junior and senior high school students, these facilities offer 25 programs in architecture, health sciences, technology, manufacturing, human services, transportation, engineering and law/public safety.
The one- and two-year programs come as 2.5- or four-hour sessions during the school year. It offers dual-enrollment credits, depending on the program, so students receive college and high school credit, as well as certification hours. They can also take a test to be certified in their field of choice just out of high school.
The programs are rapidly expanding so they can be more difficult to get into. Grades, ECAP, attendance and discipline are all looked at when trying to choose the 25 to 50 students allowed in each program annually. The application process begins in October of the students’ sophomore/junior year (depending on the length of the program) and closes in January to ensure students are prepared for the upcoming year.
West-MEC Communications Specialist Kyle Backer recommends the program to, “anybody who wants to do something with their hands or try something out” or wants to “try something on before you really commit blood sweat and tears to it.”
Along with offering these programs to high school students, West-MEC also offers adult education and programs for the military.
Anyone who is interested should visit west-mec.edu. Open houses are offered in the fall.