Eastern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center: Retention Program

Posted on Categories Engagement, Recruitment and Retention

At a Glance

The leadership team at Eastern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center recognized the need to support incoming students of the Career and Technology Center. The Retention Program has provided keys to supporting at-risk students in their selected CTE programs.


The administrative team at Eastern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center (EWCTC) believes that the more they know about incoming students and their potential barriers to learning, the more they can do to help overcome challenges that may impede the students’ chance to receive a high-quality education at EWCTC. Prior to using Retention Teams to support incoming students, it was a challenge for teachers and staff to make sure they were identifying and attending to the particular needs of the students.

The sending schools were already aware of students who participated in the Student Assistance Program, but that information did not necessarily transfer to EWCTC with the student and only surfaced when the student experienced a problem. This is an initiative to exchange information, which is shared with teachers (when applicable), to assist students in dealing with the barriers to learning.


  1. Increase retention, completion, and graduation rates for at-risk students.
  2. Improve attendance and academic performance and reduce incidents of discipline for at-risk students.

Target Students

  1. Attendance:  Any incoming student who had truancy charges filed on them or demonstrated excessive absenteeism.
  2. Discipline:  Any incoming student who faced a major suspension (3 days OSS or more) or persistently violated school rules.
  3. Academics:  Any incoming student who failed a core subject.
  4. Non-Traditional:  Students in programs generally dominated by the opposite gender.


  1. EWCTC’s Principal and School Counselor will meet with a Principal and Counselor from each sending district.  Target students will be identified based on the above criteria.
  2. Targeted students will be assigned a mentor at the CTC.  Each mentor will be on a Retention Team and have a team leader who serves on the SAP Team.  Teams will meet on a weekly basis to:
  1. monitor attendance and discipline patterns along with academic performance.
  2. establish and maintain an open line of communication and positive rapport with parents.
  3. maintain an open line of communication with the administration and counselors from the home schools.
  4. discuss best practices to address needs and concerns in an effort to improve outcomes.
  1. Current students may be added to the program through the SAP team.
  2. Teachers may refer additional students through weekly meetings.


An unintended benefit of this approach to supporting students is the positive relationships that developed with the sending schools. In addition, the goal of students getting assistance in a timely fashion was achieved.


Eastern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center

Todd Weimer, Administrative Director