What is the true purpose of high school? This is a question asked by students every day across our country, and the answer is simple: preparation for the future. In an era where millions of Americans are living in poverty and/or unemployed and only 40 out of every 100 Ohioans attending college graduate within eight years, students need pathways that will lead them to lifelong careers. This beneficial pathway system exists for students in the Miami Valley through the 70 career-technical centers across the area. Career technical education (CTE) provides students with job skills, internships, resume-building contests and, thanks to our local powerful partnership with Sinclair Community College, dual-enrollment credits and scholarships. This beneficial relationship scaffolds CTE students to college, allows them to graduate with a certificate or degree faster, and makes post-secondary education less expensive for all.
The benefits to students from the CTE-Sinclair partnership are multiple:
1. Students are instilled with the importance of post-secondary training. More than 4,500 CTE students in the area are given Sinclair tours yearly, where they learn about the degree and certificate programs available in their career programs of choice. The daunting admissions process is also explained and simplified for students, which is imperative to many, particularly those who are first-generation college attendees.
2. CTE students are able to graduate from college faster than many of their peers due to the Sinclair dual- enrollment credits earned while in high school. These transcripted credits, which can be used at Sinclair or transferred to other colleges, put students on the fast track to graduation by allowing them to begin their mandatory coursework in high school. The students in the Centerville-Kettering-Oakwood Career Tech Compact’s class of 2015 earned more than 3,000 semester hours of college credit, and this number swells to more than 13,500 semester hours for all CTE students in the area.
3. College affordability is still a huge obstacle for many students and the $3,000 Sinclair scholarship available to CTE students helps to overcome this hurdle. Earned by meeting GPA and other academic requirements, 369 students in the Centerville-Kettering-Oakwood class of 2015 were among the more than 3,000 CTE students to earn the award across the Miami Valley.
The CTE-Sinclair relationship is an amazing benefit to area students that should serve as a model of partnership for the betterment of students. It is a powerful union that has benefitted thousands of students across our area and, for the sake of my three young children and the scores of others in our area, one that I hope will continue to grow and flourish into the future.
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