Career and Technical Education in the Great Falls Public Schools Your Logo Here
Career and Technical Education courses provide academic and technical knowledge and skills to prepare for further education and careers in current or emerging employment sectors. These programs focus on career preparation, resource management, communication, technical skill development, applied academics, technological literacy, personal skills and leadership. One credit is required by the Montana Office of Public Instruction for graduation
There are some 45 high school and middle school teachers teaching 50 courses these four general disciplines :
Family and Consumer Science,
Health Science (Med Prep)
Cascade County is at full employment with a 3.8 percent unemployment rate
There are critical shortages of workers in the skilled trades (carpenters, plumbers, welders, electricians), hospitality workers, and health care workers
Many of these jobs pay better
than those requiring a college
By the numbers: who’s enrolled
Students enrolled in Career and Technical Education classes:
Great Falls High School: 1,296
C.M. Russell High School: 1,353
Paris Gibson Learning Center: 187
Great Falls Middle Schools: all students
A credit of career and technical education is a graduation requirement.
Health Careers Fair Construction Trades Fair
High school houses
Two houses are under construction by Great Falls High and CMR students in partnership with NeighborWorks
Interior Design class students help plan furnishings, and a landscape class at CMR helps with outside design.
DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) stores for students at CMR and GFHS
■ Great Falls High School shop students sell storage units they build in class.
■ North Middle School students have begun a business with a laser engraver.
Paris Gibson Education Center businesses
A number of businesses at Paris Gibson Education Center: “Sew What” (formerly Avant Gear), “The Company” that runs a school café and catering business, “Lynx Grafix” that does T-shirt and mug design, and “Paris Gibson Designs,” that does business cards, calendars, photos and even Web pages.
“ The Company” coffee shop and catering business at Paris Gibson Education Center Making a quilt for the Paris Gibson Education Center “Sew What” sewing business.
Meeting new needs
The Auto Tech Center opened in the fall 2006 at Paris Gibson Education Center to train technicians. A prerequisite class has been started for Paris Gibson students.
Partnership with five auto dealerships that put up $15,000 each to fund center: Bison, Bennett, City, Taylor Brothers, and Lithia
‘ Company’: a new teaching method “ Company,” a new business education teaching method, has been implemented at Great Falls High as “Bison Business” and CMR as “Rustlers, Inc.” It creates a real-life work environment for students who earn certificates of competency. Classrooms are organized as a business office and students may earn more than a single credit during a term. There are seminars on “Motivational Mondays “and students dress for professional points on “Dress Up Wednesdays.”
Beyond the classroom
There more than 600 Job Shadows volunteers. Some 325 juniors took a job shadow last year
Many students earn credits by taking Work Experience courses and working part-time .
Beyond the district
Students are enrolled in dual credit courses at MSU-Great Falls College of Technology in auto body repair and EMT (first responders) basic. More dual credit courses are in the planning
Med Prep students train at Benefis with nurses to qualify as Certified Nursing Assistants.
Tech Prep credits provide college credit for 20 high school courses, giving students advanced placement in programs leading to a certificate or associate degree for the following CTE courses:
■ Accounting, Computer Literacy, Info Processing
■ Human Body Systems and Functions 2
■ Textiles and Apparel 1 and 2
■ Developing Child 1 and Child Related Career 2
■ Industrial Tech courses (Welding 1 & 2) Architectural Drafting 3-4, Mechanical Drafting 3-4, Automotive Tech 3-4, Power Tech 1, CISCO 1-4, DC Electricity 1 and Residential Electricity 2, DC Electricity 1 & Applied Electronics, Metals & Manufacturing 2.
Little known facts
■ Enrollment is high. Approximately half of the high school graduates are Vocational Concentrators by taking three CTE credits or more before they graduate.
Post-secondary credit which saves time and money for students is available through Tech Prep and Dual Enrollment opportunities.
Work Experience allows students to receive credit while working for wages on a job.
Career and Technical Education has strong partnerships with the local business community and uses Advisory Boards for all four content areas.
Additional funding comes from a state allocation and from a Carl Perkins federal grant.
Career and Technical Organizations:
Business Professionals of America (BPA),
Association of Marketing Students (DECA),
Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA)
Industrial Technology Students (SKILLS USA/VICA)
These organizations enhance education with a co-curricular option that motivates students through competitive events with an emphasis on leadership, citizenship and specific skills. GFPS also requires all Middle School students to take a quarter (each year) in Industrial Technology and Family and Consumer Science. These courses familiarize students with woods, technology, home maintenance, textiles, foods and personal/family issues. These curricula provide an introduction to the high school courses.
The RoboRustlers team from C.M. Russell High School works on the robot they took to Denver for a regional competition. From left are mentor Cory Koterba, Birgit Bjelkengren, Hunter Neutzling and mentor Mark O'Connell. (Photo courtesy of Jodi Koterba).
Students from the Interior Design class help with the high school houses
Field trips include local eateries to find out how they cater to clients
A Robotics competition has been added
Career classes include: Hospitality, Tourism and Recreation class, entrepreneurship class, consumer mechanics class, applied physics class, and landscape design class.
Paris Gibson students were offered a wildfire fighting training course by the Forest Service.
We’re constantly looking for new ideas
For example we’re studying a pre-engineering program that reaches into the Middle Schools to meet a national need for engineers
Ready to work certification
A Career Center?
More partnerships with the community, the “Kalispell model”
Volunteerism through AmeriCorps for high school house students
How you can help
Volunteer to be a Career Presenter at Career Fairs
Volunteer for a job shadow
We’re looking for sponsors for various events and programs. An example is the Auto Tech Center that is still looking for sponsorship for its work bays or for a large board table for our new “Company” project
Talk up Career and Technical Education
Veterinarian Kelly Manzer volunteered her time to present to the 8 th Grade Career Fair in 2006.