CAREER CENTER SECRET - February
Calhoun-Gilmer Career/Technical Center is a
hidden secret of Calhoun County.
I attended Sophomore/College Night at the Career Center last
Thursday night and had my knowledge updated on the relationship
between career/technical education and college.
EDGE is an acronym for Earn a Degree--Graduate Early. This
program begins with phase one of a five-year plan at the eighth
grade level. Middle school students are gaining the knowledge
and skills to be successful in a college preparatory curriculum
and have an opportunity to prepare for future education and
Start planning for your future as a sophomore in high school.
Talk to guidance counselors, but also talk to college
representatives and have them evaluate your plan. This will
prepare you for taking courses that will be accepted at other
colleges that are in the plan.
Seven of 10 programs at the Career Center are able to award
between 12 and 24 hours of college credits to apply towards two-
and four-year college programs while students are still in high
school. This can be used in applying for a Promise Scholarship.
Classes from Glenville State College and Fairmont State
University are taught at the Career Center. Students with
academic and career/technical education do well in college and
have a high rate of completing requirements for graduation.
Sixty percent of Career Center students are college bound and
have skills that can lead to part time work in their chosen
field. Experience your chosen profession before you spend time
and money in college. You may decide that you want to change
Career centers give opportunities for adults to upgrade their
skills in their chosen field, leading to better credentials and
higher wages. Adults who do not have a high school diploma can
enroll in the Adult Basic Education class to earn their GED and
open doors to career training.
Competency tests are used to evaluate learning. These tests
are prepared on the state level to make sure all students are
graded on a fair and equal basis.
Employers support technical education because less time is
needed for orientation to basic work skills, cooperation and
Eighty-six percent of graduates with a two-year degree will
find work in the state and usually have an opportunity to take
classes connected with their work that will lead to a four-year
degree. This allows them to work and learn at the same time.
Minimum wage averages $10,712 a year. Wages of a career/
technical graduate average $26,500 a year.
I remember hearing students say that the last semester of
high school is a waste because they have completed their
requirements and are just marking time until graduation. Career
Center students are preparing to take part in skills contests
that will provide opportunities for scholarships and additional
An example is the Envirothon, which is the number one student
contest in the U.S. It also includes some international
participants. Preparation includes research and a presentation
as a team. This gives experience in cooperation, appearance and
A student of any age, who wants an education beyond high
school, just needs to say, “I want to take advantage of what is
available for me.” There are no excuses because of funding,
time, or family background. It is available. It won’t happen if
you don’t try.
“When opportunity knocks, open the door. If it doesn’t knock,
build a door.”