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story.lead_photo.caption Hunter McFerrin/Siloam Sunday High school assistant principal Ross White led Wednesday's meeting, and among other things, explained to educators and industry representatives what the high school's ultimate goal is for their Career and Technical Education students.

Siloam Springs High School will be implementing four programs for their Career and Technical Education students in the upcoming school year, all of which are designed to try and establish an early connection between students and businesses in the area, a high school administrator said during a seminar on Wednesday afternoon.

The seminar, formally referred to as the CTE Advisory Council Meeting, takes place each year to address and discuss the needs of CTE students. These students are studying at least one of seven different disciplines - agriculture, audio/video, business and marketing, Career Academy of Siloam Springs (CASS) industrial and equipment maintenance, family and consumer sciences, medical professions and engineering - for the purpose of finding employment directly out of high school or going to to college or technical school.

The meeting allowed teachers, school officials and representatives of various businesses in the area to discuss ways in which they can attempt to ensure this demographic of students is able to accomplish this goal, and ideally, to help them begin their time in the workforce somewhere locally. Listed below are the new programs that will be available, followed by a brief description of what each will entail and when CTE students can expect to participate in them.

Hands-On Career Fair

This event will be held on Feb. 26, 2019, and is unique in that it will be for eighth-graders about to enter into high school. On this day, eighth-graders will come to the high school for a career fair that may not look like one's average career fair. Instead, in an effort to keep the attention of the students, each representative will have something fun for for them to do that is hands-on and engaging, said Ross White, the high school's assistant principal. There will also be a guest speaker for the students and they will get the opportunity to learn more about the high school's CTE program.

Industry Tours

Toward the end of June, White said that he and numerous teachers were given the opportunity to go and visit the headquarters and/or facilities of Simmons Foods, Cobb-Vantress, McKee Foods, Siloam Springs Regional Hospital and La-Z-Boy. These visits served as a precursor to the second program being offered, where some CTE students will get to undergo a similar experience.

The tours will take place in the fall from Oct. 1-5, dates for the spring semester are to be determined and the teachers will be responsible for determining the details of the tours such as making arrangements with a certain company as well as which of their students will get to attend, White said. The reason White cited the tours as being important is that it could ultimately end up encouraging students to stay in the area.

"We really want to focus on Siloam (companies), yes we could go over to Rogers and see something amazing, but that return on investment feeds back into our community," White said.

Lunch With Industry

Another opportunity that will be available to primarily junior and senior CTE students will be a chance to sit down one-on-one with a human resources representative that will come from a different company once a month, White said. They will get to have both lunch periods to participate, during which time the company's representative will tell them about what they do, who they are as well as share some advice, such as what they as a company are looking for the most in applicants or how to brush up their résumé.

After this, the conversation will be opened up to the student for any questions he or she may have. There will be a total of six months in which this will take place; namely, September, October, November, February, March and April. Students who are interested will need to sign up, as the number of permitted students will be capped at 30.

Reverse Career Fair

While most career fairs consist of representatives from an assortment of companies setting up booths in which potential employees visit to learn more about what they have to offer, this career fair will be just the opposite. Students will be given their own booth to set up at their own discretion - whether that be having their résumé readily available to hand out or a demonstration of a particular skill - and employers will have the option to come to their booth to learn more about what the student could bring to the table for their company.

Employers will additionally have the ability to evaluate and if they so choose, pre-select potential candidates through what the school is referring to as the "Career Candidate Guide," which will be a catalog with each participating student's name, picture, age, GPA, attendance record, education and career ambitions and extracurricular activities. Although this event is primarily targeting graduating seniors, it will be available to all CTE students and will take place in the fall on Oct. 9 and in the spring on April 5 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

As for other things discussed during Wednesday's meeting, it was announced that in the graduating class of 2018, the CTE program had a total of 292 "completers." CTE completers are senior students that complete a minimum of four credits in one (or more) of the seven aforementioned areas of study before graduating. The top three areas of study with the most completers were family and consumer science with 103, agriculture with 50, and in a tie for third place was business and medical professions, both of which had 36.

Regarding CTE-student internships, during the 2017-2018 school year, 13 students participated in internship programs with 10 different local companies, six of which were hired as full-time employees after graduating and two were provided some form of tuition assistance to a college or work opportunity. As for the 2018-2019 school year, there are 18 confirmed students that will be participating in internships with eight different entities the school has partnered with. These partners are the Siloam Springs Fire Department, the Siloam Springs Chamber of Commerce, the Siloam Springs Regional Hospital, the Siloam Springs Veterinary Clinic, Simmons, Holly Street Physical Therapy, Blogs for Brands and Cobb-Vantress.

General News on 08/05/2018

Print Headline: High school unveils new opportunities for CTE students

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