3 minute read

Today's Students, Tomorrow's Workforce

Ensuring every student is workforce ready.

ON THE WALLS AND HALLS throughout the New Castle County Vocational Technical School District (NCCVT) offices and schools, you will see our vision and mission statements proudly displayed and pictures of our students that reveal our story. Our mission is straightforward and memorable—to provide superior career and technical education (CTE) enabling all students to achieve their aspirations. Our mission is sustained through our core values that champion our students’ goals and aspirations, but also recognizes our responsibility to the future of Delaware.

As a county-wide career and technical school district, NCCVT has six overarching career clusters that are designed to prepare our students to be dynamic contributors to our county and our state. The clusters vary and are as diverse as Delaware’s businesses and industries. Each of the 33 CTE programs throughout our four high schools covers construction, health services, public and consumer services, science, energy and drafting technologies, and transportation. Throughout high school, NCCVT students are immersed in their career program, earning ten credit hours, learning the trade and industry, developing critical technical skills, and honing those necessary human skills that every employer is looking for in a prospective employee.

LEARNING IN THE FIELD

Each high school within NCCVT—Delcastle, Hodgson, Howard, and St. Georges—boasts award-winning and cutting-edge programs. Beyond our career area classrooms, whether it is within our Career and Technical Student Organizations, our business partnerships that involve students in advanced technologies, or cooperative (co-op) opportunities in the field, our primary objective is to give our students as much real-time, handson experience as possible. Learning in the classroom and then having the opportunity to use that knowledge on the job, while still under the direction and support of a school and business community, provides our students with unbridled and unique opportunities to learn.

This model of learning also provides our business partners a direct and vital pipeline. We want students to know how to work collaboratively, problem solve, and think critically. The best way to do that is place them in situations where these skills are demanded and apart from the predictable classroom environment.

Prior to the pandemic, NCCVT students were on the job with more than 800 seniors working in some capacity with local businesses. These partnerships are the heart of why our students are successful because our business partners take the time to give students rigorous learning experiences. We balance their unique educational experience by providing them with the demanding classroom education they need in order to meet Delaware standards. Along with a high school diploma, NCCVT students are positioned to earn an industry-recognized credential and learn on the job during a co-op during their senior year. We are impressed with all of our students who work, play sports, and still achieve in the classroom.

SUCCESS AMID COVID-19

Despite all the challenges throughout COVID-19, many of our students—through the support of their teachers, other staff members, families, and our business partnerships—were still cooperatively employed and earned a credential. We were incredibly inspired by many of our students who served as frontline workers throughout the pandemic. Education is synonymous with the future, and we often talk about students being ready for life. Our students demonstrated that they are “life ready.”

Here are just a few of our students’ health services successes this past school year: 18 students passed their Emergency Medical Responder exam; eight became certified Emergency Medical Technicians; 66 students earned their Certified Nursing Assistant credential; 22 passed the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant certification; and 45 of 45 students who sat for the (DANB) Dental Radiation Health and Safety exam passed it.

NEXT STEPS FOR THE UPCOMING SCHOOL YEAR

As we look toward the new school year, our focus is on moving forward together as a full school community. We are looking to engage and connect with every student and offer opportunities to address any unfinished learning. We, as a district, know that many of our students and families have endured extreme hardships, and the past several months have been trying. Our focus is on our students—meeting their social and emotional needs, ensuring there is a deep connection rooted in their schools, and an unrelenting drive to equip them to be ready for their next steps.

The business community can continue to help us in that goal. The greater communication and collaboration between our schools and our business community, the better we can tailor our students’ learning experiences for what they will encounter after graduation and support our county, state, and region.