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CTE in Action: CTE at GHS
Gateways High School is poised to implement its career learning grant to expand programs for its students!
With robust career technical education (CTE) classes continuing to thrive in Springfield's comprehensive high schools, a $30,000 state grant is allowing Gateways High, with its unique demographic of students, to develop its own Career Learning and Readiness program.
Students who come to Gateways having faced challenges in more traditional high school settings get the "gift of time" to complete diploma requirements.
"As a school, we are literally these students last and best hope for a high school education," says Principal Paul Weill.
Students and their families have made it clear through surveys and discussion groups that getting a good job is their biggest reason to complete high school. Through college and career planning, boosting work readiness skills and providing transition service with students, staff have been hard at work helping these students complete high school with the skills they need to be successful in the world beyond school.
"The opportunity to apply for these funds made sense as a way to support a greater and more systematic approach to career readiness that will enliven our curriculum and further engage our students," says Weill.
The grant funds have given the small Gateways staff the time needed to develop a curriculum framework. Staff reviewed local employment data to identify areas in which job opportunities are projected to be available, arriving at the following career pathways for GHS students: Healthcare, Trades/Manufacturing, Business and Natural Resources.
"We want to develop a growth mindset and work-readiness attitudes in our students," says Weill. "We also need to build connections with our local community college, trade schools and employers."
Weill says students will receive “Work Ready” certificates after completion of classes specific to a chosen pathway. These certificates will be included with the diploma upon graduation and can be used by students when applying for jobs to demonstrate qualifications and competencies.
The school is also in the process of identifying internships that align with each pathway to provide students with valuable experiences in their chosen field. Industry certifications and competencies will be embedded into curriculum wherever possible. New curriculum rolls out this spring with a class in career learning.