MSDE, Charles County show­case ca­reer and tech­nol­ogy ed­u­ca­tion

CCPS to in­tro­duce busi­ness, com­puter science pro­grams next school year

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­

Ca­reer and tech­ni­cal ed­u­ca­tion has changed dra­mat­i­cally from the days when it was called “vo­ca­tional” ed­u­ca­tion, Maryland and Charles County ed­u­ca­tion lead­ers said dur­ing a Ca­reer and Tech­nol­ogy Ed­u­ca­tion Show- case Nov. 16 at the Wal­dorf West Li­brary.

“We’ve evolved from what was once called ‘vo­ca­tional ed­uca- tion,’ which did pri­mar­ily fo­cus pri­mar­ily on pre­par­ing stu­dents for work im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing high school, to today, help­ing stu­dents to pre­pare for post-se­condary ed­u­ca­tion and very re­ward­ing ca­reers,” said Lynne Gilli, as­sis­tant state su­per­in­ten­dent in the Maryland State Department of Ed­u­ca­tion’s divi­sion of ca­reer and col­lege readi­ness. “Our stu­dents are earn­ing col­lege credit and in­dus­try-rec­og­nized cre­den­tials in our pro­grams today. They have real op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able to them when they grad­u­ate.”

In 1992, only 14 per­cent of Maryland CTE grad­u­ates were col­lege and ca­reer ready; now that num­ber is 61 per­cent, Gilli said.

“We have a na­tional rep­u­ta­tion in Maryland for high-qual­ity CTE, and peo­ple all across the

United States look to our work, just to see what it is we’re do­ing that makes our stu­dents so suc­cess­ful,” she said.

The Wal­dorf West Li­brary hosted MSDE and Charles County Pub­lic Schools of­fi­cials in a show­case of the CTE pro­grams avail­able in Charles County.

Gilli said the event is part of a se­ries be­ing held in each of Maryland’s school sys­tems to dis­play the pro­grams avail­able in Maryland.

Gilli her­self is a prod­uct of a CTE pro­gram, she said, hav­ing stud­ied cos­me­tol­ogy in high school and worked in her mother’s beauty sa­lon while at- tend­ing col­lege part-time and ma­jor­ing in ed­uca- tion.

Su­per­in­ten­dent Kim- berly Hill said Charles County was an “early adopter” of the im­por- tance and sig­nif­i­cance of ca­reer and tech­ni­cal ed­u­ca­tion.

“Ev­ery child in Charles County Pub­lic Schools needs a high school di­ploma — all 26,471 of them. Our goal is 100 per­cent will march across that stage with a di­ploma. But they also need skills, and the skills they can get in ca­reer and tech­nol­ogy ed­u­ca­tion help them as they move for­ward in life, and that is some­thing that will never change in this school sys­tem,” Hill said.

Charles County schools have CTE pro­grams in ed­u­ca­tion, fire and res­cue, en­gi­neer­ing and biomed­i­cal sci­ences, among oth­ers.

The school sys­tem also has a ca­reer re­search and devel­op­ment pro­gram, which al­lows stu­dents to gain skills re­lated to job searches, pro­fes­sional port­fo­lios and work ex- pe­ri­ence in a field of their choice.

“It al­lows the stu­dents to have on-the-job train­ing in a ca­reer they might be in­ter­ested in,” said school board mem­ber Bar­bara Palko. “They al­low the stu­dents to ex­plore them- selves to find out what ca- reers they might have an in­ter­est in.”

North Point High School also has a science, tech­nol­ogy and in­dus­try pro­gram, which in­cludes CTE pro­grams in culi­nary arts, au­to­mo­tive tech­nol­ogy, cy­ber­se­cu­rity, health pro­fes­sions and more. North Point’s pro­grams are open to any Charles County stu­dent through an ap­pli­ca­tion process, which opens Nov. 30. North Point held an open house for its pro­grams Wed­nes­day evening.

In ad­di­tion, the school sys­tem will be in­tro­duc- ing two new CTE pro­grams — in com­puter science and in busi­ness man­age­ment and fi­nance — be­gin­ning in the 201718 school year, said Traci Chap­pe­lear, CCPS co­or­di­na­tor for ca­reer and tech­nol­ogy ed­u­ca­tion.

Sev­eral past and cur- rent stu­dents spoke about their ex­pe­ri­ences in the school sys­tem’s CTE pro­grams.

Lisette LaFon­tant is a stu­dent in North Point High School’s Maryland Fire and Res­cue In­sti­tute, which is an eight-course se­quence in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Maryland Fire and Res­cue In­sti­tute.

“This is an amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity be­cause it al­lows stu­dents who are ded­i­cated to vol­un­teer ser­vice to com­plete years of train­ing in a cou­ple years, and it is in­te­grated into our school sched­ules, so we do not have to worry about not hav­ing enough time,” LaFon­tant said.

Ri­ley Jed­lowski is a se­nior in St. Charles High School’s Pro­ject Lead the Way Path­way to En­gi­neer­ing pro­gram.

“I’ve learned proper brain­storm­ing and prob­lem solv­ing skills that have shaped me into who I am today,” Jed­lowski said.

Stu­dent school board mem­ber Da’Juon Wash­ing­ton is in North Point’s Teacher Acad­emy of Maryland. The pro­gram in­cludes a sec­tion on stu­dent teach­ing.

“I never had the op­por­tu­nity to work with chil­dren be­fore, and that is one rea­son why this pro­gram is near and dear to me,” Wash­ing­ton said.

Chap­pe­lear said there will be ad­di­tional events for par­ents, stu­dents and the community to ex­plore the county’s CTE pro­grams, wit­ness demon­stra­tions, re­ceive in­for­ma­tion and speak with cur­rent stu­dents and teach­ers, at 6 p.m. on Jan. 12 at the Po­tomac Li­brary; Jan. 19 at the La Plata Li­brary; Feb. 2 at the P.D. Brown Li­brary; and Feb. 9 at the Wal­dorf West Li­brary.


Ash­ley Breads, a stu­dent at Thomas Stone High School, dis­cusses her ex­pe­ri­ences in the Pro­ject Lead the Way Biomed­i­cal Sci­ences pro­gram dur­ing a Ca­reer and Tech­nol­ogy Ed­u­ca­tion show­case at Wal­dorf West Li­brary on Nov. 16.

North Point High School stu­dent Lisette LaFon­tant dis­cusses her ex­pe­ri­ences in the school’s Maryland Fire and Res­cue In­sti­tute pro­gram dur­ing a Ca­reer and Tech­nol­ogy Ed­u­ca­tion show­case at the Wal­dorf West Li­brary Nov. 16.


Lynne Gilli, as­sis­tant state su­per­in­ten­dent, divi­sion of ca­reer and col­lege readi­ness for the Maryland State Department of Ed­u­ca­tion dis­cusses the his­tory of ca­reer and tech­nol­ogy ed­u­ca­tion in Maryland dur­ing a CTE show­case at the Wal­dorf West Li­brary Nov. 16.

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