CTE growth ‘shaping’ local youth
by KAYLA DARNLEY Banner Intern
Mar 04, 2014 | 699 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Career and Technical Education program at Cleveland City Schools is “shaping the future” of local youth. It is a growing program not only within the schools, but area workplaces as well.

According to the United States Department of Labor, 17 out of 20 top level jobs have a CTE foundation. At Cleveland High School, 14 teachers instruct 47 courses and at Cleveland Middle School, three teachers teach 11 courses. There are 17 teachers altogether: one with a doctorate, one with an education specialist degree, five with master’s degrees, five with bachelor’s, two with associate’s with industry certification and three industry certified. Overall, CTE students have a 95 percent graduation rate.

“We are truly blessed to have this level of education in our CTE program teachers, which I think complements our academic style, and our academic style complements our CTE style. It is truly a team effort,” CTE supervisor Renny Whittenbarger said.

“Reinforcing teachers to promote their own program, parent night, broadcasting — and mentioning to students the hands-on opportunity,” Whittenbarger said, commenting on ways students and parents learn about what is available through CTE programs.

Starting this year, Culinary Arts was shown to be an excellent program with two student winners at the state level. Health science state level competition begins next year at Cleveland Middle School. Civil/architecture engineering and engineering applications (Mechatronics) opportunities will begin in 2014-15.

With such growth, Whittenbarger is working to reconstruct an existing lab to better utilize the space.

“I think we have a good scope of CTE programs that reflect and represent multiple industries. I think it starts with taking notes, working on relationships with Lee University and Cleveland State and getting more integration into the academics to give our students a well-rounded education,” Whittenbarger said.

The Work-Based Learning program will start back up during the 2014-15 school year. This gives students more rounded opportunities through staying relevant and having the chance to work with local industries.

Changes are occurring at the state level for CTE. Phase I is the restructuring of CTE courses, taking away 67 courses that are not relevant and adding some courses that are. Phase II is the aligning of CTE standards to reflect Common Core. Phase III is the end-of-course testing for CTE.

Whittenbarger expressed appreciation to director of schools Martin Ringstaff, BOE members as well as CHS Principal Autumn O’Bryan and CMS Principal Mike Collier for their support. He also commended the teachers and students for their dedication.

“It does not happen by itself,” stated Richard Shaw, board member, regarding Whittenbarger’s work and dedication.

The CTE students created wooden pens that were given to each board member through Whittenbarger to show their appreciation. Ringstaff reported he is working with Lee University and Cleveland State to provide more dual enrollment and associate’s degrees for CTE students.

The Lip Dub video this year will be on April 11.