TEEN provides additional choices
What used to be called vocational education in schools is now known as career pathways. Career pathways are designed to provide students with a smooth transition from school to the workplace.
Centre High School ag education instructor Mark Hager and Technology Excellence in Education Network Director Brandi Hendrix gave a presentation on career pathways Monday to the Centre USD 397 Board of Education. Hager is involved in developing career pathways in agriculture.
Hendrix said Kansas has 16 career clusters under which pathways can be developed. These include such subjects as agriculture, business, finance, architecture, information technology, and health science.
Each career pathway has three parts: introductory, technical, and application. The introductory part often begins at the eighth-grade level. Schools get extra funding for technical and application training. When a student successfully completes all three steps, the school receives $1,000 from the state.
Each pathway includes post-graduate work at technical schools, community colleges, or other educational institutions.
Hager gave an example of the ag mechanics pathway that is available at Centre High School. It includes an agreement with Manhattan Technical College for further training after high school to complete the pathway.
Students who are in a career pathway often can obtain internships in their field during summer months.
Hendrix said the TEEN connecting Hillsboro, Marion, Peabody-Burns, Centre, and Herington school districts is making it possible to provide more career pathways for students. A qualified teacher from one school can provide instruction for students in all five schools.
Hendrix said four career pathways are now available through TEEN, but by next fall, 20 pathways will be available. A training session for teachers on the network is planned for May 29 and 30.
Hager said he serves on a state committee that is working to develop more career pathways for Kansas students. He said three career pathways in agriculture are in place at Centre High School, and he hopes to expand the choices to six in the next few years.