2018 May 16: Check out CTE Certifications

The Rockdale ISD continues to improve the offerings and opportunities for our students in our Career and Technical Education classes, and this week Mrs. Britina Pesak has more information regarding our CTE program and certifications available to our students.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) has been the part of school that connects students to the changing needs of our industrialized world for over 75 years. It continues to prepare students for the high skill, high demand, and high wage jobs of our future, including many that do not not exist with technologies that have yet to be invented. CTE does this by developing the problem-solving and applied thinking skills of students through experiential learning. In order to confirm that students are meeting rigorous standards, we develop connections between businesses and higher education institutions. Through these partnerships, we determine the most applicable industry-based certification that will ensure our students are career-ready in that particular line of work.

The benefits of industry-recognized credentials for students include: finding skilled employment, the potential for increased wages, and the step toward higher certifications/degrees. The benefits for the employer include: a higher skilled workforce, and often a safer workforce, which can save money!

Both the federal and state legislatures know the importance of building our skilled workforce, and have made it a priority by including it as a part of school accountability. Federally, certifications are a part of the Carl D. Perkins Grant that schools receive to use for CTE programs. This money is a relatively small amount compared to the amount received from the state. From the state, industry-based certifications are a significant part of the piece that defines what makes a student College, Career, and Military Ready (CCMR).

According to the Texas Education Agency (TEA), students can earn the distinction of CCMR in a number of ways including obtaining a state-, nationally-, or internationally-recognized certification that is vetted by the Texas Workforce Commission. These certifications represent a culmination of knowledge and skills achieved through the completion of a program of study in CTE. To be valid, they must also seamlessly transfer to postsecondary institutions or industry, and be valuable to industry in obtaining entry-level, high-wage jobs with growth potential.

Rockdale High School currently certifies students in NCCER Core, NCCER Carpentry Level 1, and NCCER Welding Level 1 through our Architecture & Construction and Manufacturing career clusters. Through our Business Management & Administration career cluster, students have the opportunity to become Microsoft Office specialists in Word and Excel. The Health Science career cluster certifies students as Certified Clinical Medical Assistants (CCMA) upon completion of clinicals. In the 2018-2019 school year, we anticipate adding the following certifications in their respective career clusters (in parentheses): Texas State Floral Association Level 1 (Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources), Adobe Certified Associate (Arts, Audio-Visual Technology & Communications), Certified Pharmacy Technician (Health Sciences), CompTIA A+ (Information Technology).

It is never too early to prepare students for the workforce. Whether a student is going to four years of college, or directly to the workforce, employability skills and technical skills are useful in the present and long term.

Please contact me, Britina Pesak, Director of CTE (Career and Technical Education) at bpesak@rockdaleisd.net or 512-430-6027 if you would like to find out more about any of our CTE programs!