EPHS: CTE Update

4.12.2019 | Career Technical Education in Estes Park Schools

CTE: Career Technical Education

CTE programs are exploratory in nature, focused on connection to career possibilities and assist students to obtain connection to self, while experiencing an all encompassing ‘wheel’ of career cluster exposure.

CTE provides students of all ages with the academic and technical skills, knowledge and training necessary to succeed in future careers and to become lifelong learners. This important education aspect gives students a head start on preparing for college and careers.

Estes Park High School CTE Building & Greenhouse Update

Work has begun on the new Career and Technical Education (CTE) building at Estes Park High School after months of planning. Slated to open in fall 2019, the CTE building will house one classroom, lab space, a greenhouse, a shop with welding space, and a wood shop.

“I'm really looking forward to having a facility where we can provide students with some hands-on experience in working with power tools and learning shop skills, like welding and metal fabrication. I'm also really excited about the project-based learning opportunities that students will have in the greenhouse, such as planting and gardening skills and alternative forms of agriculture, like aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (growing plants without soil),” Duane Loyd, agriculture teacher at EPHS, said. “Students can then combine the two operations to demonstrate a small-scale model of sustainable agriculture, which is so important to our world.”

The CTE building underscores the EPHS commitment to career-technical education and career exploration, but it isn’t the only way the district is showing its dedication to its students’ futures.

How is CTE being used in Estes Park Schools?

Four students from EPHS have been utilizing the CTE offerings at EPHS this year to further their interests in different fields. They travel to Front Range Community College each day, taking courses in welding, mechanics, and criminal justice.

Junior DJ Phillips (pictured right), who takes welding at FRCC, said this program is a good way for him to get ahead in his chosen field. He anticipates having 3 certificates in welding/welding safety by the end of the school year. Next year, he will continue his program, taking more in-depth welding courses that will allow him to specialize in other types of welding, such as TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding.

Junior Ashton Long has also been taking courses at FRCC this school year. His certifications will be in auto mechanics. He shares Phillips’ enthusiasm for the programs, noting that the hands-on nature of the courses are what help make the classes so enjoyable and useful.

Career readiness is a major focus for Estes Park High School, which is currently in its first year with the CareerWise Modern Youth Apprenticeship program.

CareerWise Youth Apprenticeship Program

CareerWise is a student-centered, business-driven program creating apprenticeship opportunities for high school youth in communities across Colorado. Modern youth apprenticeships not only offer students a path to career readiness, but also creates an additional talent pipeline for employer partners.

Local business partners include the Estes Park School District, Good Samaritan, The Stanley Hotel, and Bank of Colorado, offering apprenticeships in fields like IT, financial services, hospitality, healthcare and business operations. In order to participate as a CareerWise employer partner, local businesses must commit to financially support a high school student in pursuing an industry recognized credential or taking college coursework related to the field.

“This is truly a win-win for our community. Estes youth can build their resumes, gain valuable workplace experience, and work debt-free toward their degree,” Maren Bosley, the CareerWise coordinator at EPHS, said. “Local businesses can train, hire, and retain talent without such significant spending on recruitment. This is educating for a 21st century economy.”

In the coming school year, EPHS will add a counseling position to allow deeper work to take place on assisting students with choices about colleges and careers. This work is shared by the Estes Valley Library, which will co-sponsor with the school district monthly college and career readiness programs for students and parents.

“We know that students need help in making choices about what comes next for them,” Scott said. “Adding this counseling position will improve our ability to meet the needs of our students.”