4 area career tech programs earn straight A’s from state

Four area school district programs earned straight A’s in the State of Ohio Department of Education’s first report card for career technical student outcomes.

The Centerville/Kettering/Oakwood Career-Technical Planning District, Mad River Local in Riverside, Miami Valley Career Technology Center in Clayton and the Lebanon-based Warren County Joint Vocational districts were among only 11 of Ohio’s more than 90 career-tech programs with that distinction for 2012-13.

Liz Jensen, career technology coordinator for Kettering Fairmont High School, said 800 students there are involved in some form of career tech training and 370 are in specialized two-year programs.

“It’s growing. Roughly 40 percent of our junior class is enrolled in one or more of our courses,” she said.

The number of top-rated programs in the Dayton area “is partially due to our relationship with Sinclair Community College. Our students can earn duel enrollment credit and every student who maintains certain requirements is eligible for a $3,000 scholarship to Sinclair. It’s a huge incentive as the cost of college keeps going up,” she said.

Craig Suttman, career education principal at Centerville, said 450 juniors and seniors there are in tech prep programs.

Jensen said 38 percent of kids in career tech now are also taking advanced placement or international baccalaureate courses. Sinclair has seen that a higher percentage of career tech graduates than others stay in college and finish.”

The Centerville/Fairmont/Oakwood program is officially listed as the Centerville City Career-Technical Planning District, but participants have petitioned the department of education to rename it Centerville-Kettering-Oakwood.

Students from those three schools can take classes at their home buildings or travel between the schools, because Kettering and Centerville offer some programs the others do not.

Fairmont’s specialized programs include: accounting, allied health, aerospace engineering, automotive technology, bio technology, construction trades, digital design, early childhood education, project lead-the-way engineering, interactive media, information technology and marketing.

Additional course offered at Centerville include: business tech prep, business administration and management tech prep, environmental management, exercise science, technical theater, hospitality management, tourism and restaurant management.