It's been a year since the Traverse Bay Area ISD's career center launched a pilot program in drafting and design, and by all accounts, it's been a success.
The Traverse Bay Area Career-Tech Center
partnered with Ferris State University
to develop the program online, and allow students to earn four credits at Ferris State through dual enrollment at the ISD, at no cost.
The whole idea behind the program is to help area high school students get ready for college and develop marketable skills for a future career. The center piloted the program in the fall of 2010 and 22 students were enrolled. They completed the course, which was an introduction to engineering graphics and solid modeling, as applicable to careers in architecture, engineering and manufacturing, at the same time as meeting their high school graduation requirements.
One of them was Joshua Cartwright, a recently graduated senior from Traverse City Central High School. It paid off for him right away, as he landed a full-time job with a local machine shop that produces precision machined parts, and is going to NMC in the fall while continuing to work.
Course instructor Michael George says the pilot program is really taking off, and the online structure has been a success for students so far, a tribute to their dedication and motivation.
"It takes strong self-directed and self-disciplined learners to be successful in an online course," says George.
More than 70 students are enrolled in the course for the 2011-2012 school year so far, so the program shows every sign of continuing to enrich Traverse Bay area students' futures.
The Career-Tech Center also offers 21 no-cost career and technical education programs to high school juniors and seniors in the five-county Grand Traverse region.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Michael George, Traverse Bay Area Career-Tech Center