The Barron Perspective

CTE Courses Help Students Find Passions, Develop Skills


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by Mark Vallaro

Basic Foods students enjoy the waffles they cooked for the class. Basic Foods was one of the first CTE courses.

In an effort to help students explore their interests and learn life lessons, Woodbridge High School has implemented Career Technical Education (CTE) courses into students’ schedules.

CTE courses are divided into three categories: technology, family sciences, and industrial art. Course titles include “Advancing with Apple R” and “Basic Foods S”, each teaching life skills to students. For example, “Basic Foods S” is designed to establish a firm platform of culinary skills and an understanding of foods.

The courses hope to “prepare students for post-secondary education and/or careers that they may have in their future,” said guidance counselor Ms. Ferrara. If a student has an idea of what they want to pursue as a career, guidance counselors recommend students to take a related course.

Currently, only freshmen and juniors are required to take a CTE course: College/Career Readiness/Google Docs for freshmen, and Financial Literacy for juniors. However, it is possible that a life skill course will be required of all students each year at some point in the future, as the requirements can be changed by the Board of Education.

Ms. Ferrara has seen “really good feedback from this freshman class” regarding the College/Career Readiness,/Google Docs course this year. So far, students and faculty alike have responded positively to the inclusion of CTE courses to the curriculum.

Despite the benefits, it is not a yearly requirement, which Vice Principal Mr. Connelly said allows students the “freedom and independence to choose what their credits are going to be over the course of their four years here.” This allows the flexibility for students to also challenge themselves academically in rigorous courses, such as those at the AP level.

AP courses try to prepare students academically for college and CTE courses are for “all aspects of career and college readiness,” said Mr. Kane, the head of the Guidance Department.

For now, the Guidance Department is satisfied with the enrollment in CTE courses, including two of the newest, Advancing with Apple R and Principles of Marketing, which have been very popular with students and have had a good start, according to Mr. Kane.

However, the administration is not complacent and is working to further prepare students for college and careers. They are even considering Naviance, a program designed to implement the interests of students in their studies, according to Mr. Connelly.

For now, the success of CTE courses is something for the administration to be proud of as they look forward to expanding the program in the future.

A full list of courses can be found on course offering sheets, which are available on the school’s website under the Guidance tab, or in the Guidance Office.

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CTE Courses Help Students Find Passions, Develop Skills