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MDE Honors Four Michigan Schools for Exemplary CTE Programs

February 6, 2019

LANSING – As exemplary Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs preparing students for college and careers, four schools have received prestigious 2019 Excellence in Practice Awards from the Michigan Department of Education (MDE).

The recipients, announced today, are recognized as successful, exemplary, state-approved CTE programs and career initiatives that:

  • demonstrate outstanding outcomes;
  • produce measurable results for students; and
  • meet the challenges of high-academic rigor. 

“Michigan is fortunate to have such excellent CTE programs,” Interim State Superintendent Sheila Alles said. “These programs prepare students for their next steps in higher education and the job market. They are an integral part of Michigan’s plan to become a Top 10 education state in 10 years.”

This year’s Excellence in Practice Award winners are Mecosta Osceola Career Center; Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District Career-Tech Center; and Wexford-Missaukee Career Technical Center; while Oakland Schools Technical Campus Northeast won the 2019 Excellence in Practice Award for Career and College Readiness Initiatives.

“These award-winning programs are representative of the CTE programs available throughout the state,” said Dr. Brian Pyles, Office of Career and Technical Education Director. “Such programs provide students with their first on-ramp to their chosen career pathway.”

About the recipients:

Mecosta Osceola Career Center, The Public Safety Program

The public safety program at the Mecosta-Osceola Career Center (MOCC) is Michigan’s only secondary corrections academy approved by the Michigan Sheriffs’ Coordinating and Training Council (MSCTC). Students complete state-required program content as juniors and enroll in one of three options as seniors: the MOCC Corrections Academy; Emergency Medical Technician-Basic; or Firefighter I & II. 

Public safety students participate in MOCC’s Transition to Success program where at-risk/special needs 10thgraders rotate through nine CTE programs for four weeks each. Working with a certified special education teacher, students develop the necessary skill-sets to be successful in a CTE program their junior year. Last year, 89 percent of students passed the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) Public Safety/Protective Services assessment, and 90 percent of students successfully completed the Corrections Academy.

The MOCC public safety program partners with Big Rapids Public Safety, Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office, Mecosta County Emergency Medical Services, Meceola Consolidated Central Dispatch, Grand Rapids Fire Department, and area township fire departments. Students in the Corrections Academy and EMT program perform clinical hours or on-site training at one of these partner locations. Students gain leadership experience by serving as squad leaders and go on to serve their communities in the public safety field.

Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District Career-Tech Center, Film and New Media Program

Learning to craft clear and specific visual messages that communicate effectively is at the heart of the Film and New Media Program. Students learn to analyze, create, and tell compelling, visual stories. They learn the rules and digital syntax of the profession and under what conditions to break the rules. The program fosters self-efficacy and independence; a collaborative and creative mindset; and mastery of skills and techniques through competency-based instruction. Using the latest industry technology and equipment, guided by an expert in the field, students produce real-world content that meets industry standards and expectations.

The curriculum of FNM is aligned with state program standards for Radio and Television Broadcasting Technology. Students are assessed on their ability to synthesize their learning and skills to produce high-quality media. FNM students “freelance” for other programs throughout the CTC to practice their skills. All students develop projects for business and industry partners, awards competitions, and scholarship opportunities.

Outstanding program features include state-of-the-art equipment and facilities; access to and collaboration with the 23 other programs at the CTC; an active, involved advisory committee; and a reputation throughout the region for producing highly-skilled, dedicated students. FNM students won the top prizes in a stroke awareness commercial competition sponsored by Munson Hospital. First-year students swept the top three awards, winning a total of $2,200 for the program.

Wexford-Missaukee Career Technical Center, Best of Both Worlds

The Computer Networking Electronics Technology (CNET) program at the Wexford-Missaukee Career Technical Center (WMCTC) in Cadillac offers a fresh perspective on the traditional electronics curriculum. Eight years ago, the electronics-technology program at the WMCTC was on the brink of closing. Enrollment was stagnating, and student interest was at an all-time low. Across the hall, however, the computer-networking program was bursting at the seams. In a grand cross-curricular scheme, the two programs merged and the CNET program was created.

The CNET curriculum covers the MDE-CTE program standards for Electrical/Electronics Equipment Installation and Repair General, as well as industry standards such as CompTIA A+; CompTIA Net+; ETA AST Competencies; Fanuc Certification Program standards; OSHA Safety; and Microsoft MTA Exam 98-349.

Upon graduation from the CNET program, students have a range of employment options due to the robust curriculum, the extensive set of skills learned, and a passion for the computers and electronics fields. Local manufacturers and businesses recruit CNET students right after high school.

Many students continue to postsecondary education in a related career field. Students in the CNET program also have the option to participate in the Wexford-Missaukee Early College, which leads to an Associate Degree in Computer Networking from Baker College of Cadillac. Students blend the CNET program, dual enrollment coursework, and their high school curriculum, which leads motivated students to complete their associate degree at the end of the 13th year. The CNET program serves as a pipeline of skilled technicians to fill jobs within the local manufacturing and IT facilities.

State grant funds made available by recent legislation was used to update some of the equipment used daily by students.

Oakland Schools Technical Campus Northeast, Engineering and Emerging Technologies

In the Engineering and Emerging Technologies (EET) cluster, students are trained in high-tech engineering technologies, including virtual simulation; computerized manufacturing; rapid prototyping; and fabrication. The EET cluster is committed to delivering a quality educational system that is equitable, flexible, and continuously improving. Instructors use cutting-edge technology, innovative teaching methods, and the Michigan Talent Architecture rubric for assessing and teaching career-ready work habits. EET students continue their training in programs such as the Michigan Advanced Technician Training (MAT2) and Oakland Technical Early College (OTEC) option.

The programs all are hands-on, intensive, and designed to prepare students with the skills necessary to successfully enter engineering and manufacturing technology careers. Since its inception in 2012, a total of 32 students from EET (an 80-percent acceptance rate) have entered the MAT2 program, representing an estimated $2.4 million investment by local and global companies in EET students. Within the last five years, three female students received special State of Michigan recognition for their leadership in a nontraditional career pathway, with one taking first place and receiving the prestigious Breaking Traditions Excellence Award.

State grant funds made available by recent legislation were used to update some of the equipment used daily by students.