Heartland Career Center Happenings

Preparing Students for Career Opportunities

Heartland Career Center is in full swing with its students and staff working hard to prepare our students for great career opportunities. Whether that means preparing for a job upon graduation or continuing their education toward a career goal, each of our students are immersed in an environment that is providing marketable career ready skills.

One of the most required soft skills necessary to be career ready is attendance. To reinforce this highly sought attribute, we recognize each nine week’s students who have perfect attendance. On Monday, November 5th we had the opportunity to honor 178 students who had perfect attendance during the first nine weeks. Each of the students who had perfect attendance were provided with pancakes that were made by the Heartland Career Center Culinary Arts students. These students will also be entered into a drawing that is held at the end of the school year for a bicycle (junior’s with perfect attendance) or a car (senior’s with perfect attendance). Students have the chance to gain another entry for each nine weeks they have perfect attendance. The car that will be awarded this year will be a 2002 Ford Taurus that was donated by Trula Callahan. This vehicle will be reconditioned by both the Heartland Auto Service program and the Auto Collision class as well to prepare it for the lucky winner.


Another exciting new piece of equipment has recently been added to the Heartland Career Center Health Sciences program. An Anatomage Table has been placed in this lab as a resource for students in this program. This particular technology will be able to provide students with hands-on practice through an interactive autopsy experience. This will provide students with opportunities that will be extremely hard to duplicate other that through an actual autopsy. The Anatomage table has the ability to provide students with experiences by isolating specific body systems and also developing understanding through the interactions of all of the body systems. We are excited about how this piece of equipment will serve to enhance the academic experience of this class going forward.


No matter what program a student is involved in, we are focused on preparing each of them to gain as much as possible towards being career ready. This may be through soft skill development or access to some of the industry standard technology specific to a particular career pathway. Students gain these skills through both our classroom and lab experiences along with college dual credit options. Heartland Career Center has dual credit options with almost all of our programs through either Ivy Tech or Vincennes University. Along with these opportunities, students may gain access to employment through multiple internship experiences throughout our communities in which we serve. We have been very fortunate to have great support from many local companies who have invested in our student’s educational experience. We are very proud of the accomplishments of the students we have the chance to serve and look forward to being a part of providing those same and greater opportunities for the students yet to come.

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Criminal Justice

Students in the Criminal Justice Program are actively engaged in Basic Police Operation, a new course through Vincennes University.

During each semester, students earn free college credits from Vincennes University and gain a wealth of knowledge about the many career opportunities within the criminal justice field through classroom discussion and guest speakers.

Students welcome guest speakers from various criminal justice professions to compliment the classroom discussion: Judges, Chiefs of Police, Probation Officers, Prosecutor, Indiana State Troopers, and Corrections Personnel, to name a few, routinely visit our classroom. Field trips to the Miami County and Wabash County Jails, and the Wabash County Courthouse will provide students a better understanding of the criminal justice system.

We are privileged to be the first Indiana Career Center to receive a VirTra V100 Training simulator from Vincennes University. This simulator allows students to learn decision-making skills, recognize “shoot-don’t shoot situations,” and experience firearm safety without using real ammunition. This technology is state-of-the art and local law enforcement agencies are afforded the opportunity to use our classroom for training.

During the first semester, our program incorporated the Indiana Law Enforcement (ILEA) accredited Jail Officer School. Heartland Career Center is only the second career center/high school to present this certification opportunity. Working through the Indiana Sheriff’s Association (ISA) and ILEA, most students will certify as a Jail Officer in Indiana. This certification will enable students to apply for part-time or full-time positions within an Indiana county jail once they become 18 years old.

Construction Technology

During this school year, the Construction Trades Technology class will be spending their time at the project site located at 3811 E. 200 N., Peru, IN. This year’s project is a 2400 sq. ft., one story, 3 bedroom house with a full walk out basement and 3 car garage.

The Construction Trades Technology program is a combination of classroom and project site experiences concerned with all aspects of the erection, installation, and repair of buildings, homes, and other structures using assorted materials such as metal, wood, brick, concrete, or composite materials. The skills that are emphasized include: precise measuring, cutting, fitting, fastening, and finishing various materials. Each student brings in their own hand tools, but each is also exposed to a variety of tools they may experience on a regular construction site.

A student who is wanting to take this program will also want to develop their reading skills as well as oral and written communication skills to ensure his or her ability to accurately interpret instructions and provide information to customers and colleagues.

Safety is always a number one priority and many of the students have chosen to pursue the on-line OSHA10-hour certification in Construction Safety and Health. Additionally all students are offered the opportunity to sign up for free college credits – totaling 12 dual credits over two years. These are offered through Ivy Tech’s construction program and match their curriculum.

Automotive Service Technology

The Automotive Service Technology Class is a unique blend of classroom work and hands-on shop experiences for students. Basically, students enhance their skills in these general areas of the vehicle... Suspension & Steering, Brakes, Electrical Systems, Engine Mechanical and Engine Performance. It would be difficult for students to learn the materials without the projects that the community provides for the shop, each year bringing us new challenges. Our community members bring in jobs such as lube oil filter maintenance, brake repairs, electrical repairs and general diagnostic work. This year, some of the more challenging jobs have included computer diagnostics. Most people can relate to the “check engine light” coming on in their vehicle. Automotive Service students learn to diagnose these problems and then repair them as they arise. Another unique challenge has been EVAP or fuel evaporation problems. This is when there is a malfunction in the closed fuel emission system not controlling the fuel vapors properly. Generally this will trigger the check engine light on the dashboard. The students use both Snap On and OTC brand computer scan tools to diagnose these cars.

Students can earn a Valvoline Oil Specialist Certification thru Valvoline Oil Company, but one of the coolest features of the class is the partnership that Heartland has built with Ivy Tech. Students applying themselves to their coursework can earn up to 14 Ivy Tech College credits in a two year period.

In addition, many students have joined the Skills USA student organization, which offers the students opportunities to enrich their skills through club participation and competitive events in two areas. Hands on competition called the skilled area or demonstration competition called leadership. In the past 2 years one of our students Lorynn Hunt won a total of $17,500 in scholarship money for her efforts in the leadership event, winning 1st in 2017 and 2nd in 2018 during the state competition in Job Skills Demonstration A.

Graphic Design - Honeywell Holiday Banner Winners

Heartland students from the Visual Communications Program won banners in this year’s 15th Annual Wabash County Winter Banner Competition. Elaina Teusch, from Huntington North and Brittin Golliher from Northfield were winners who will have their artwork displayed on poles around the Honeywell Center. The awards ceremony that honored this year’s Wabash County students took place in Honeywell Center Ford Theater on Monday, Nov. 19th. Other finalists from the Visual Communications Program are Camden Lee, Ashley Walls, Kayla Cave, Hayden Moore and Lillian Wagner.

The Winter Banner Contest, part of the Honeywell Foundation Educational Outreach Program, providing the opportunity for students to use their artistic talents to create works, which may be displayed and celebrated by the community. Competition builds character and the banner contest provides an opportunity to instill pride and confidence for participating students, now and in the many years to come.

Heartland Competes in Northeast TechFest

TechFest, an event in cooperative effort from the Northeastern Indiana Technology Coalition and other industry partners, was held on Friday, November 16th at McMillen Park Community Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The goal is to help promote the Science Technology Engineering Mathematics curriculum (S.T.E.M.) and generating interest in related careers.

Over 500 students came from the 18 High Schools to compete in 7 STEM based events and learn about the industry in the area at the 9th Annual TechFest event. The competitions this year included cybersecurity, materials science, engineering, website design, mathematics, programming, and electronics. Heartland had 32 students participating in this year’s contest: Justin Harper, Thomas Layne, Tayte Azbell, Andrew Lee, Joseph Barr, Liam Ridge, Reece Adamiec, Hannah Mollett, Keeton Moore, Nathaniel Rosen, Cara Kowalczuk, Melanie Beery, Rebekah Freeman, Victoria Pfeiffer, Elaina Teusch, Brittin Golliher, Ashley Walls, Francisco Gonzalez, Devin Corn, Riley Ownes, Gage Ballard, Keegan James, Anne Ridgeway, Turner Parke, Thomas Fredwa, Carson Kelley, Jared Johnston, Darryn Kuhl, Dillon DeVore, Dawson Aarstad, Gage Folbrecht, and Dylan Smith. Two Heartland competition teams finished in the top three. The Cybersecurity team of Justin Harper, Thomas Layne, Tayte Azbell, Andrew Lee, Joseph Barr and Liam Ridge placed second and the Engineering in a Box team of Keegan James, Anne Ridgeway and Turner Parke finished in third place.

Twenty-seven businesses and colleges were on hand to introduce the students to STEM careers and higher education opportunities in Indiana. Students had the opportunity to participate in fifteen breakout sessions and practice their interviewing skills with local HR professionals. Students also heard from guest speakers during the day learning more about STEM opportunities and their future careers.

Heartland Career Center Excels in the Regional BPA Competition

The Business Professionals of America Heartland students competed in the Regional Leadership Competition on Saturday, December 8th held at the Heartland Career Center in Wabash. Heartland Career Center had 28 students compete in a range of Leadership Contests preparing students for their future careers and implementing leadership skills. There are a total of 50 contest areas including networking, computer security, Parliamentary Procedures, Digital Marketing, Broadcast News Production Team, Graphic Design Promotion, Digital Media Production, and Computer Programming. Each contest is evaluated after students perform a different skill set they have acquired in the Information Technology Program and Graphic Design Layout, and Multimedia offered at Heartland, instructed by Vickie Houlihan, David Brace, and Steven Weir.

Out of the 28 students that participated from Heartland Career Center 23 qualified to compete at the State Leadership Competition. Heartland placed 1 st in 12 contest areas, outshining the 150 students that attended from 9 different schools around our region. Participants include Jordan Bieber, Andrew Lee, Reece Adamiec, Devin Corn, Francisco Gonzalez, Jason Miller, Keeton Moore, Jason Miller, Dylan Hansen, Justin Harper, Matthew Martinez, Riley Owens, Joseph Barr, Austin Campbell, David Coburn, Tayte Azbell, Logan Faucett, Hannah Mollett, Liam Ridge, Thomas Layne, Ashley Walls, Gage Ballard, Lillian Wagner, Elaina Teusch, Brittin Golliher, Jonathan Culver, Madeline Helsel, and Turner Parke. Austin Campbell, State BPA Officer/Heartland student from Peru, will have extra duties organizing and hosting the 1500 students attending the State Conference, where the students will compete in their contests in March.