WEST JEFFERSON — The Career and Technical Education classes offered for Ashe County Middle School and Ashe County High School students continue to see a lot of growth and improvement across the curriculum.
CTE Director Joallen Lowder shared a presentation to the Ashe County School Board last week that was originally presented to the regional directors and state representatives in April on the current status and successes of the Ashe County CTE program.
The presentation highlighted what all the CTE program does and how the program is monitored throughout the school year.
The program consists of agricultural education, business and marketing, family and consumer sciences, health sciences, technology education and trade and industrial education classes. Those classes involved everything from automotive service and welding classes to drafting, principles of engineering, biomedical technology and early childhood education.
“Engineering is a big push right now at the state level and in our area,” said Lowder. “We’re also expanding the foods program. Hospitality and tourism in the county is growing, the food industry is growing so we’re focusing on that.”
During the 2010-2011 school year, the CTE Department brought in an independent consultant to review the classes in the Ashe County school system. Once that report was completed, the CTE Department took the advice to heart and used the suggestions to help improve the program.
In the 2014-15 school year, a total of 1,861 students combined between the middle school and high school were enrolled in CTE programs.
The program has shown to be very successful, particularly for graduates. According to the presentation, about 92 percent of CTE concentrators were either employed, serving in the military or were enrolled in college.
Looking ahead to the 2016-17 school year, the current CTE budget expects to receive $50,994.10 from state funds, $48,959.68 from federal funds as well as a $5,000 contribution from the county.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062.