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4 Great Reasons to Start a Career – in High School - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

4 Great Reasons to Start a Career – in High School

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Math, Science, English and history are all typical high school courses. But what if you could also learn how to manage a restaurant? Get certified in cyber security? Or build skills every business manager must master?

Colorado Springs School District 11 offers students enrolled in the Career and Technical Education program exciting new ways to receive technical skills and hands-on work experience inside the classroom, as they learn their core academics.

“Our Career Pathways program connects students with the technical skills, academic knowledge and industry connections they need to progress in careers that are forecast to be in high demand, with good salaries,” says D-11's Career and Technical Director Daniel Hoff. “The focus is on career pathways. Our CTE students can proceed to a chosen career, two-year technical school, community college or apprenticeship program, or head off to a four-year college with some credits already in hand. Either way, they are set up for success.”

Here's how D-11 helps students get one step ahead of the game:

1. CTE helps guide students to smart career choices

The Career and Technical Education Career Pathways program at the Roy J. Wasson Academic Campus offers 13 career pathways. These broad “clusters” of related occupations mean students are exposed to many possible career options.  “We have business programs, auto programs, urban agriculture, hospitality tourism and management programs, and programs based on the industry demand of Colorado so our students can get jobs that help the economy right where they live,” Hoff says. “What our students learn is relevant and meaningful.”

2. Career training engages and motivates students

The targeted enrollment for any CTE class is 18 to 20 students. “Keeping these classes small allows teachers to manage their students' progress, productivity and form close relationships,” Hoff says. The intimate class size is essential to engage students and ensure they are able to manage their internships and academics. In fact, a significantly higher percentage of students involved in CTE programs graduate from high school: 90 percent compared to about 75 percent for the average freshman.

3. Internships are part of the training

Most students who are part of any of the career pathways at the Roy J. Wasson Academic Campus are given the chance to complete an internship as part of their credits.

“It's important for our students to see the link between what they learn in the classroom and what they need to succeed in the real world,” Hoff says. “Internships help them make that connection.” Time with industry mentorship provides the opportunity for them to forge relationships in the workplace and begin to grasp what working in their field will be like.

4. CTE students can get a head start on college credits

For the most part, students who are involved with the Career Pathways program are working towards industry certifications but they also have the opportunity to take courses at local community colleges and universities. “In some cases, students can receive college credit for college-level courses they take while they are enrolled here at the Roy J. Wasson Academic Campus. Our Career Pathways program provides valuable life skills while simultaneously helping them further their education,” he says.

D-11's Career and Technical Education program is open to all high school students. Contact your high school counselor to sign up for the program on a first-come, first-served basis

Did you know that Colorado School District 11 offers more choices for parents and students than any other school district in Colorado Springs? We prepare every student for a world yet to be imagined. Connect with us on Facebook #CSSD11 and Twitter @CSSD11 and visit our website.

This article was produced for and sponsored by Colorado Springs School District 11. It is not a product of or affiliated with KOAA News 5.

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