Spotlight on education: Claiborne County career and technical education

Published 1:49 pm Thursday, October 26, 2017

Career and Technical Education (CTE) is a massive enterprise in the United States. Hundreds of Claiborne County students get their start each year in exciting and rewarding CTE courses. Secondary Career and Technical Education can be the first step in a pathway toward a rewarding career and a lifetime of opportunities, whether students plan to further their education in community colleges, technical schools, or four-year colleges or universities.

The mission of Career and Technical Education is to help empower students for effective participation in a global society. CTE programs are designed to contribute to the broad academic achievement of all students by showing the relevance of academic content through real world application. CTE programs also develop a student’s ability to work independently, understand the importance of team work, think creatively, and solve problems through the use of technology.

The Claiborne County School System carries on this tradition by offering many exciting programs of study at both Claiborne High School and Cumberland Gap High School. Our students excel in hands-on experience working both inside and outside of the classroom in everything from cabinet making , building storage sheds, gazebos, welding, plumbing, wiring, block and brick laying, to forensics, participating in mock trials, working crime scenes, emergency services, and CPR certifications, to name a few. Our students are learning trades to help guide them into careers for which they aspire. Many of our former students got their start in our high school Career and Technical Education Programs and now have active careers in these fields.

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Another aspect of CTE is the national Career & Technical Student Organizations (CTSO). These organizations are specifically for students enrolled in CTE Programs. These organizations engage students through a focus on CTE application activities such as developing and practicing leadership roles and applying specific occupational and academic content knowledge as an integral part of the instructional program.

For each CTSO, there is a local, state, and national component. Students are eligible to participate in the CTSO in their comprehensive or vocational school as long as they meet eligibility requirements. In some cases, a CTSO may continue into post-secondary programs and opportunities.

Claiborne County CTE students also participate and compete on regional, state, and national levels within their programs to demonstrate the skills involved within that program. Claiborne County students continue to excel in this area as well, placing first in several areas at the regional and state levels. Only first place winners move on to the national competitions. Claiborne County CTE has been competing in national competitions every year for the past several years. Recently, students in our Agriculture Program, SkillsUSA Cosmetology, and Family Consumer Science participated in these competitions, winning at the state level. These students continued competing at the national level representing the State of Tennessee and placing first and second in the nation. Our students and teachers put in an extraordinary amount of time and effort to be able to achieve these goals and are to be commended.

The Tennessee Department of Education CTE Division provides students pathways to success by organizing Career Clusters into 16 broad categories that encompass virtually all occupations. Between Claiborne High School and Cumberland Gap High School, the Claiborne County School District offers a variety of programs of study that fall under these career clusters.

Under the Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resource Cluster, Veterinary and Animal Science, Agricultural Engineering and Applied Technologies, and Horticulture Science Programs of Study are offered. Some courses include: Agriculture Mechanics; Plant and Soil Science; Leadership; Large and Small Animal Science; Power and Equipment; Landscaping; Plant Science; Hydroculture; and Greenhouse.

Under the Health Science Cluster, Emergency Services and Therapeutic Services Programs of Study are offered. Some courses include: Health Science Education; Emergency Medical Services; Medical Terminology; Medical Terms; Medical Therapeutics; and Clinical Internship. Our Claiborne County CTE department has recently been awarded a grant that will supply a full-sized Ambulance Simulator to each of our schools’ Health Science Programs.

Under the Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics Career Cluster, the Automotive Collision Repair Program of Study is offered. Structural and Non-Structural Repair and Small Block Valve courses are provided.

Under the Human Services Career Cluster, Social Health Services, Dietetics and Nutrition, and Cosmetology Programs of Study are offered. Some courses include: Family Studies; Lifespan Development; Nutrition; Chemistry of Cosmetology; Nail Technology; and Design of Cosmetology.

Under the Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security Career Cluster, the Law Enforcement Services Program of Study is offered. Some courses include Principles of Law and Criminal Justice I, II, and III.

Under the Architecture and Construction Career Cluster we offer Residential Commercial Construction (Carpentry) and Structural Systems (Masonry) Programs of Study. Under the Business, Management and Administration Career Cluster, we offer the Office Management Program of Study, which includes courses such as Digital Media. Under the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Career Cluster, the Engineering by Design Program of Study is offered. This includes courses such as Technological Design and Advanced Design Applications. Students are able work with designing and building projects including working robots.

Through the CTE Program, the Claiborne County School District provides students the opportunity to learn a wide variety of skills that make them competitive in the workforce. Dual Credit and Industry Certification opportunities also provide a pathway for Claiborne County students to graduate prepared for a career. We recognize and admire the dedication of teachers and the determination and ambition of our students willing to pursue success.

Bob Oakes is the CTE director for the Claiborne County School System.