Three Career and Technical Education programs receive state approval
Administrators, trustees, staff and students assembled at the Mount Vernon Board of Education on Tuesday, December 5, 2023, for the announcement of three more Career and Technical Education (CTE) program approvals at Mount Vernon High School. The school will now offer students a total of seven approved CTE graduation pathways.
CTE programs at MVHS that have been recently approved by New York State include computer systems networking and troubleshooting, barbering and cosmetology. While barbering and cosmetology courses were already available at MVHS, giving students the ability to receive certain apprenticeship licenses and certifications, they are now state certified as CTE graduation pathways. Previously approved programs include culinary arts, automotive technology, graphic arts design and nursing assistant programs.
Students who complete one of the newly approved CTE programs will receive six college credits, with the ability to forgo one of the two New York State Education Department required Social Studies Regents exams – a major obstacle for many students, and in particular, students with disabilities, Director of CTE Brian Simmons said. Not only this, but students are now given the opportunity to explore various career paths and earn hands-on experience in the industry they would like to pursue before they even graduate.
CTE is an education pathway that provides students with the academic, technical and real-world knowledge, skills and experience they need to be prepared for various career options. CTE gives students training and skills in many different types of careers in high growth industries such as science and technology, healthcare and business management.
“CTE is rigorously academic, and it prepares you not just for a job, but for a variety of options in life,” said Mr. Simmons. “Post secondary options, career options in building upon a lifestyle that is going to support yourself, your family and your community.”
Most school districts in New York, especially Westchester, do not have the facilities and program approval to run these various courses. Mr. Simmons explained that it is rare for districts to have the capacity to provide these CTE classes, but Mount Vernon does. As CTE expands, the District is also working to expand its programs to Rebecca Turner Academy students who will be transported to MVHS. Two students from RTA enrolled in CTE classes were present for the announcement of the new programs, which bring more opportunities to RTA students.
“I own a barbershop, I teach barbering for other schools as well,” said Ricardo Boreland, barbering teacher at MVHS. “So, what I’m doing with my students is just getting them practical experience. We're taking everything New York State wants as a barber and we're putting it in our classrooms, everything they need to know to pass the test.”
Due to articulation agreements from 2024-2029 with the State University of New York Westchester Community College and The College of Westchester, the school is able to provide six college credits for program completion.
“Being in the barbering class helped me with my job working in a barber shop by giving me the skills and a lot of practice cutting, either a mannequin or an actual person.” said Mekhi Torres, a senior at MVHS. “I mostly cut people’s hair. I feel like that skill helps me and the fact that I go home and cut my family members’ hair, now my family doesn’t even go to the barbershop. Also, I plan on going to college, and cutting hair will be really good there too. It also helps because it does give me credit towards college.”
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