School officials, students and business leaders joined Superintendent Jill Ackerman today in promoting the school district’s career and technical education programs, talking about new student expectations and urging more partnerships with business and industry.
The press conference was held in the school’s auto tech lab, which also operates as an auto garage open to the public. It is just one of many examples of how students get real-world experiences throughout the Career Tech offerings.
“Our programs aren’t in traditional classrooms,” Ackerman said. “They are in learning labs that often replicate a real-work environment. Like right here in auto tech.”
The district has 10 Career Tech programs and continues to look at business and industry to see what new programs should come in the future. Officials have also looked to business and industry to continue to improve the existing programs.
These dialogues have led to new expectations and guidelines for students. For the first time, Career Tech students received handbooks this year that include selection criteria and employability skills guidelines. There is an emphasis on making sure students have the work readiness skill employers expect such as communication, problem solving, teamwork and organization.
Ackerman urged business and industry to get involved with the program through presenting to students, apprenticeship programs and on-site student visits to business and industry.
“This really is a win-win opportunity,” she said. “You help us shape our program around what you need, and we produce your next generation of employees.”
Employers should call 419-996-3060 for information.
The district’s Career Tech program earned an A in Post-Program Outcomes on the recently released State Report Card. This measures the proportion of students that are employed, in an apprenticeship or enrolled in postsecondary education within six months after graduation.
The month of October will be dedicated to Career Tech, with pictures, information, stories and new promotional videos for each program being highlighted on the district’s web site and social media sites.
Below are the highlights of the district’s growing career tech offerings.
Automotive Technology – Students learn skills in alignment, brakes, diagnosing and troubleshooting problems, computerized diagnostic techniques, steering and suspension and much more. They work in an onsite automotive garage that is open to the public. Graduates find jobs as automotive and diagnostic technicians, parts department managers, services managers and service writers.
Biomedical Science – Students work with the same tools used by professionals in hospitals and labs. They engage in compelling hands-on activities and work together to find solutions to problems. Hands-on activities include dissecting a sheep heart, constructing body structures from clay, designing a prosthetic arm and determining the identity of a skeleton using forensic anthropology and DNA analysis.
Construction Trades – Students learn design, concrete and masonry and carpentry, including layout and measuring, walls, siding, roofing, rafters and stairs. Students get real-work experience, working on projects in the community. One project was the Cook Park bathroom. The program prepares students to become architects/engineers, carpenters, concrete and masonry workers, project managers and sales associates.
Early Childhood Education – Working in a WOCAP preschool housed at Lima Senior, students leave the program with the skills they need to pursue careers as preschool teachers, childcare providers and nannies. They get experiences creating lesson plans and hands-on activities for children. New, is the opportunity to work as a paraprofessional in the district while still enrolled in high school.
Engineering Technology — Students enrolled become computer technicians, computer aided design operators, engineering technicians, electrical and mechanical engineers. With Project Lead the Way curriculum, students use design development processes while enriching problem-solving skills. They create and analyze models using specialized computer software.
Graphic Communications – Work of these students is highly visible in the school and community. While operating as a design and print shop, students develop skills in digital graphic imaging, print manufacturing processes, screen printing and Desktop design and publishing. Graduates become graphic designers, print production workers, online graphic designers and technical solution specialists.
Hospitality and Food Service Management – Students in this program operate the Spartan Inn, a restaurant that is open to the public two days a week. Learning everything from cooking and food safety to management and budgeting, students leave prepared to become banquet managers, caterers, chefs, food presentation designers, kitchen managers and nutrition assistants.
Marketing Education (DECA) – Through classroom work, projects, competitions and running a Spirt Store, students learn about advertising, communication, management principles and techniques, economics, display merchandising, human relations and marketing research. Graduates become account representatives, market researchers, marketing specialists, product managers and promotion coordinators.
Patient Care Technology – Students learn First Aid, CPR, medical terminology, nutrition, infection control, basic health care, anatomy, EKG, catherization and respiratory therapy. Graduates become patient care technicians, clinical coordinators, medical office supervisors, patient care assistants and monitor technicians. Students earn training hours for various programs and get a head start toward a nursing degree.
Welding and Metal Fabrication — Students learn various kinds of welding and cutting, aluminum MIG, reading and drawing blueprints, press brake operations, metal shear and metal roller, diesel drive, Spot and Oxy-fuel
brazing. They build the buggies taken to the NASA Rover Challenge each year. After graduation, they work as boiler makers, fabricators, iron workers, pipefitters, welders and welding inspectors.
Learn more about the Lima City Schools’ Career Tech program at www.limacityschools.org. Go to the “Academics” tab. Look for additional information on the district’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. To talk to someone about the program, call 419-996-3060.