CTAE – Career Technical and Agriculture Education Getting Effingham Students on Track for the Future

Career Technical and Agriculture, Education (CTAE), (formerly known as Vocational Education) is offered in Effingham County Schools to give our youth the opportunity to be highly skilled when they are out of school and entering into the work force.
CTAE courses will get our students on the fast track to their future. Whatever their plans may be after high school, CTAE courses and career pathways will give them a head start in many technical and professional careers.
Students participating in CTAE will attend project-based classes that give them hands-on experience in their chosen field.  This will enable them to learn whether they like doing the work in their chosen path and challenge them to gain skills they can use wherever life takes them. They will learn how to take these skills and apply them to real life.
As students complete the steps in working toward their goals, they will find that they are no longer wondering what they will do after graduation. They will know what they want to do and where they are going, and they will have the education and plan to take them there.
Effingham County School’s CTAE program offers career-related educational areas – called Program Concentrations and related Pathways. The Program Concentrations and Pathways gives students insights into the possible occupations in each program.
Todd Wall is the CTAE District Coordinator. His job is to provide expertise and leadership in the operational management and support of the program to enhance student achievement at the middle and high school levels. He also has the task of developing the system CTAE instructional budget and ensure the timely and appropriate expenditure of local, state, and federal grants and funds, all while supervising and supporting all CTAE instructors and assisting in implementing curriculum and instruction across all CTAE pathways.
Sounds like a big job?  Not to Wall, who has 17 years in Career Technical Agriculture Education.  Wall came to Effingham County three years ago as the CTAE Supervisor for the 2015-16 school year for Effingham County High School. Now, he is serving his second year as CTAE District Coordinator.
Currently, there are approximately 2100 students in the high schools and 1100 middle school students in the CTAE program throughout the Effingham County School System. To be in this program, all students must complete three elective units in a coherent sequence in Career Technical and Agricultural Education, Modern Foreign Language or Fine Arts.
The Career Pathways currently being offered in our school system are Logistics, Intro to Digital Technology, Work-Based Learning, Computer Science, Automotive Service Technology, Engineering and Technology, Healthcare Science, Culinary Arts, Agriculture, Early Childhood Education, Audio/Video Technology, Business, JROTC, Public Safety and Forensic Science. In this program, students must complete three levels/classes of instruction, plus a 4th level in some areas.
When asked about new things for the new school term, Mr. Wall shares, “Project Lead the Way… we started PLTW at Effingham College and Career Academy two years ago and we are now in our third year. As of 2018-19 school year, we starting to implement PLTW in the middle and elementary schools.”
He adds, “We piloted Computer Science at ECCA last year and this year we are in full implementation.”
Project Lead the Way provides transformative learning experiences for PreK-12 students and teachers. It creates an engaging, hands-on classroom environment and empowers students to develop in-demand knowledge and skills they need to thrive. PLTW also provides teachers with the training, resources and support they need to engage students in real-world learning.
Work-Based Learning placements represent the pinnacle of the Career-Related Education experience. To qualify for a WBL placement, a student must be in grades 11 or 12 and at least 16 years old. Students must also have a defined Career Pathway in order to participate in a Work-Based Learning placement.
This is especially important for successful completion of a student’s pathway in that their job placement is directly related to the curriculum of the pathway classes they have completed or in which they are concurrently enrolled. There are several opportunities for students to participate in work-based learning. These opportunities include employability skill development, Cooperative Education, Internship, Youth Apprenticeship, and Clinical Experiences.
“We have a very strong Work-Based Learning program in Effingham County.  Our WBL coordinators, Ms. Sherry Duff at ECHS and Ms. Sherry Baggot at SEHS, do an outstanding job of placing our students each year.  This year we will have over 140 students placed in different career related jobs, internships, apprenticeships and clinical experiences throughout our area,” says Wall.  “Students are prepared and have the opportunity to enter directly into the workforce or continue their education in a post-secondary option or both.”

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