Training today’s youth for the needs of tomorrow
By Jennifer Fredrick
MHS Career and Technical Education Coordinator
Since 1996, the School District of Marshfield has organized the School-to-Career Council, which in August 2016 transitioned into the newly formed Career and Technical Education (CTE) Advisory Committee. The advisory committee is directed toward achieving closer cooperation among businesses, industry, and the school district to prepare students for 21st century jobs. The involvement of members from a cross section of business and industry and educators from all levels is very important to the effective operation of the CTE program.
The CTE Advisory Committee’s mission is “to use community resources to create opportunities and information for the improvement of lifelong learning and economic self-sufficiency of all individuals in central Wisconsin.”
At the Aug. 25 meeting of the CTE Advisory Committee, one of the agenda items was a presentation by Derek Heikkinen, business services director with the North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board.
Heikkinen’s presentation “Workforce Challenges in North Central Wisconsin” provided insightful information about the area’s aging population, education attainment, and migration patterns. In addition to learning about the challenges, CTE Advisory Committee members, including Marshfield Middle School (MMS) and Marshfield High School (MHS) teachers, shared ideas about how to attract talent to our area and current CTE offerings in the school district to better prepare students for the world of work.
Career and Technical Education in the school district provides:
—Academic and technical skills that promote lifelong learning in a global society. MHS offers advanced standing and transcripted credit courses; field trips to CareerView and program showcase events at Mid-State Technical College; industry-validated programs that allow students to gain a certificate for the work they do in the classroom and on the job, which will enhance their career portfolio; and innovative, hands-on learning experiences at such locations as the Human Services Academy in the Tiny Tigers Intergenerational Center.
—Work-based learning that enhances business and education partnerships and provides students with opportunities to reinforce skills and behaviors to be effective in the workforce. MHS provides students the opportunity to participate in Health Career Connections; capstones; co-ops; internships in agriculture, business and information technology, family and consumer sciences, and technology and engineering; Future Teacher Internship; and youth apprenticeship.
—Career and technical student organizations supporting skills such as communication, critical thinking, problem solving, entrepreneurship, and leadership.
—College and career readiness through quality work-based learning programs, relevant academic skills, and the employability skills and workforce behaviors necessary for post-secondary success and careers. The School District of Marshfield provides opportunities such as High Schooler for a Day for all sixth-grade students, MMS Reality Store, Heavy Metal Tour, MHS Xtreme Xploration, career exploration field trips in all CTE areas, and the Pathway Partners Mentoring Program.
To view Heikkinen’s presentation, visit marshfieldschools.org/Page/295. If you have questions about Career and Technical Education in the School District of Marshfield, please contact Jennifer Fredrick, Career and Technical Education coordinator, at [email protected].