At a Glance
In the Corry Area School District, the mission and needs of the Career & Technical Center (Corry CTEC) are comprehensively integrated into the school district’s overall scope of operation. Through this cohesive operational approach, administrators strive to eliminate the gaps between CTE and academic education in Corry.
Corry CTEC’s Supervisor of Vocational Education, Susan Bogert, is determined to increase community and stakeholder awareness of and appreciation for the value of CTE. Several initiatives and strategies are in place to set CTE in equal standing with the academic choices available in the Corry Area School District.
Located in the same building as Corry Area High School (6th-12th grade building), Corry CTEC is a comprehensive school that offers students academic and CTE courses. Thirty-five percent of students attend the CTC. The co-location of the CTC as the sending high school facilitates effective communication between CTE administrators and faculty and their colleagues at the high school. Due to the strong collaboration between faculty members, several practices have been implemented that help elevate the status of CTE and support student success. These include:
- Use of a district-wide (K-12) calendar that includes all CTE dates of importance.
- Sharing NOCTI data with high school administrators and faculty
- Communication between CTE and high school faculty.
- The recognition of CTE students’ accomplishments at school events, not separate CTC events, including the end of year awards assembly in which Skills certificates are handed out in front of the whole high school student body
- The contributions made by CTE students to the positive culture and learning environment at the high school. For example, carpentry students built bookshelves for classrooms. Healthcare and Cosmetology students provide services to Life Skills students.
- Creation of a district-wide video (in process) that promotes dual enrollment programs and all the CTE offerings as equal opportunities for Corry students.
- Making CTE a routine part of the discussion at all Corry Schools administrative meetings.
Such practices and opportunities strengthen the reputation of both the CTC and the high school and benefit students from both schools.
Educating non-CTE education stakeholders about the value of CTE is a major challenge to integrating CTE into the academic operations and elevating its status among stakeholders. To build a foundation of support and appreciation for CTE, Ms. Bogert recommends CTE leaders work strategically to incrementally improve communication with academic peers. To do this, she suggests CTE leaders:
- Meet with the School Board, JOC and Superintendents to begin the process of integrating CTE.
- Start opening lines of communication by providing tangible documents such as the annual District-wide Calendar and add all the CTE related dates and reminders.
- Attend faculty meetings of the academic staff and attend School Board Meetings. Be a visible presence in the sending school(s).
- Communicate regularly about the value of CTE. During CTE Month (February), Ms. Bogert sends out a “CTE Fact of the Day” email to CTE and academic staff.
The breadth and depth of the integration of the CTC into the District mindset helps to inform the greater Corry community about the value of CTE and the opportunities the CTC provides students.