{news] CCCTC celebrates Career and Technical Education Month

{news] CCCTC celebrates Career and Technical Education Month

By Press Reports

Students and faculty at Choctaw County Career and Technology Center will join others across the nation during the month of February to celebrate national Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month.  This year’s theme is CTE: Careers Through Education.
CTE Month provides CTE programs across the country an opportunity to demonstrate how CTE educates students to be college- and career- ready and prepares them for high-wage, high-demand career fields. All CTE programs are investing in students’ lives with the latest technology and skills that will prepare them to become successful employees as well as future leaders.
CTE is a major part of the solution to national economic and workforce problems, such as high school dropout rates, a weakened economy, global competitiveness and massive layoffs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly one-third of the fastest growing occupations will require an associate’s degree or a postsecondary vocational certificate. Recent research published by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce shows that 4.7 million new workers will be needed by post-secondary certificates and credentials by 2018, but we will fall short of meeting that demand. At a time when job opportunity is so critical, CTE programs in every community are ensuring students are adequately equipped with the skills to successfully enter the workforce.  
The Choctaw County School District offers six CTE programs to students attending Ackerman High School, Weir High School and French Camp Academy. Each of the six CTE programs at CCCTC is an extension of each high school and works cooperatively with the schools to prepare students for their future careers. Not only does CTE offer students the opportunity to discover careers through education, it also allows students a chance to participate in various student organizations enhancing their leadership and performance skills.
The staff at CCCTC encourages young people to prepare and make an investment in their future by taking one of the programs offered.  For more information about CCCTC, call 285-4152.
Agricultural Power Machinery
Operations
My name is Derek Bright and I am a second-year Ackerman High School student taking Agricultural Power Machinery Operations. When I started this class, I didn’t know much about cutting, welding and working with metal. I thought I was pretty good when I started but my instructor, Mr. Dudley Vance, has helped me and pushed me to be better. Over the past couple of years, Mr. Vance has not only taught me how to operate all of the equipment in the Ag shop but he has also been a great mentor to me. I am a junior this year and when I graduate I plan on working on an oil rig. This class has taught me the basics that I need to get an entry-level position as a welder on an oil rig.
Agricultural and Environmental
Science and
Technology
My name is Abby Wood and I am a junior at Ackerman High School. I am enrolled in Mr. Joseph Threet’s Agricultural and Environmental Science and Technology (AEST) program. I am a third-year student and am enrolled in the Environmental Science class. I am learning about all the factors that influence the environment and what I, as a future leader, can do to improve our environment.
FFA is the student organization of the AEST program. I am a member of FFA, and currently serve as the student advisor. We are now practicing for the upcoming contests that will be hosted at the Choctaw County Career and Technology Center. Also the FFA officers will be attending the Legislative Breakfast on February 21 in Jackson to show support for FFA at the state capitol.  This is my first year being a part of the FFA officer team and this has helped me become a better leader. All the knowledge I have acquired from AEST and FFA will help me become a great leader and successful adult in the future.
Allied Health
My name is Sarah Stevenson and I am a senior in my second year of the Allied Health program at CCCTC. When I first started this class, I thought that I wanted to go into nursing, but I wasn’t completely sure. Now, I am certain that I want to go into the nursing field. Mrs. Shirlianne Stirewalt, my instructor, has taught me many things that will help me do well throughout college, nursing school, and the rest of my life. I have decided to get my Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from the University of Mississippi Medical Center after getting my pre-requisites from Holmes Community College in Goodman. I would like to work as a neonatal nurse after getting my degree. I have gained many things from this program such as being the president of HOSA, making new friends, learning new things, and am now confident in knowing what I want to do later in my life.
Construction Trades
My name is Brad Palmertree and I am a second-year French Camp Academy student taking Construction Trades. Unlike many of my other classes, I have fun and feel relaxed in this class.  The Construction Trades class has taught me more about the construction industry and broadened my experience working in construction. My instructor, Mr. Robert Black, has taught me numerous things about how to work with tools and how to build things. The hands-on experience and training is going to help me persue my future career. Upon graduation, I plan to attend Itawamba Community College and major in construction engineering.
Design Technology for Fashion and
Interiors
My name is Kelsey Jernigan. I am a second-year student of Design Technology for Fashion and Interiors. I have a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Sharon James. She teaches everything I need to know about how to design and make things related to Fashion and Interiors. I really enjoy this class; it’s my favorite class of the day. We make things in this class that are fun but at times the work is very challenging. The first thing that Mrs. James taught me to make is a cute key chain with my name on it. I have designed and made a three dimensional door Christmas tree ornament. I have also made a Christmas stocking and am now sewing pajama pants. We have been learning about furniture, window and door styles and many other interior designing and decorating specifics.  As part of the class, we learn how to use Auto CAD. This is a good program to sketch out house plans, etc.  As a second-year student we get to help the first-year students learn the things that we, second-year students, already know.
This year I am competing in competition in Jackson. For state contest, I am doing a portfolio on principles of design. I have worked very hard on this project and hope to place first or second.  This class has helped me learn to be more responsible by doing such things as cleaning the class after we are done and making sure everything is in place and very neat. I am very thankful that Ackerman High school has a design class. The things I have learned in this class will help me with my future career plans as well as in my personal life.
Robotics and
Engineering
My name is Kellie Williams. I am in my second year of the Robotics and Engineering class, under the instruction of Mrs. Sunja Douglas. Through this program, I have learned how to assemble different types of robots, the way everyday things work, and even life skills that can transfer into the everyday routine.  Because of the skills I have learned in this class, many opportunities have become available to me.
I have participated in the 2010-2011 Vex World Championship in Orlando, Florida. To qualify for the world championship, a group of students form a team to engineer a robot to perform a specific task and then compete for the winning title. Last year the C2 robots team qualified for the championship. While in Orlando, the team met a diverse range of people from all over the world, created friendships with new people, and even got innovative ideas for this year’s competition robot. I was also selected to attend the 2011 SAME, Society of American Military Engineers, Engineering Camp. The camp opened my eyes into a diverse range of careers that one can acquire as an engineer. There were 40 other students at the camp, many of whom I still talk to on a regular basis.  
Thanks to the skills I have learned in Robotics and Engineering I and II, I have had experiences that I will cherish forever, and also have earned things that will better prepare me for college and my future. My plans are to attend Holmes Community College (Grenada Campus) majoring in Engineering and minoring in Education.  I highly recommend this class to anyone who has a passion for math, science, or hands-on building. This course not only teaches the basics of robotics and engineering, but skills and experiences to value for a lifetime.