[NHDOE-ETNews] Industry Certification Helps Equip Students with Skill for the 21st Century
bmcfadyen at certiport.com
Mon Sep 21 18:15:09 EDT 2009
The following is a success story on how Thomas A. Edison CTE High School in New York City has raised its graduation rates, post -secondary enrollment rates, and increased labor market opportunities for its students. It applies to CTE programs nationwide and bears some review here in New Hampshire as well.
The single biggest dilemma facing many high schools in New York City is that too
many students still leave high school without diplomas or the skills required for
success in the workplace. Specific skills are essential in almost every field, and the need
for greater relevance in course curricula is critical. CTE high schools work to impart
real-world skills, but many also struggle with low graduation rates and marginal test
During the last several years, Thomas A. Edison CTE High School in New York has
worked to redefine what it takes for students to be successful in the workforce.
Edison's Sid Siegel taught a basic computing course for several years and determined
that his students needed more relevant programs. Siegel worked to convince the
school's administration that incorporating the Microsoft® Business Certification would
allow students to receive a more applicable education and an increased opportunity
to gain employment.
"Adding a certification component provides students with an opportunity to build
up a portfolio of achievements that are so important in today's society," Siegel said.
"There is not a career, a place of employment, a business or industry that does not
infuse Word, PowerPoint, Access or Excel into its daily routine. Today's students need
to prepare for today's world, as well as the future. Only those students who receive
this type of technological instruction will find it possible to gain any employment
whatsoever. Others will be at a great disadvantage."
Since Siegel initiated Edison's program, the New York Department of Education (DOE)
has adopted a similar learning philosophy. The state's DOE now requires that all CTE
centers incorporate certification to maintain federally funded programs- programs
where implementation is often road blocked due to a school's lack of funding.
In addition, Siegel has incorporated supplementary school requirements into a two year
Microsoft-centric program, empowering students to earn an Advanced Regents
Endorsed Diploma. This is the highest level of academic achievement a student can
achieve at Edison indicating they have not only passed all of their required state
exams, but also all required CTE two-year sequence certification exams. Many area
top colleges also apply the Microsoft certification toward college credit, a significant
financial savings for students.
"There must be this shift in how students learn, how this knowledge is taught and how
skills are measured," said Edison's Principal Anthony Barbetta. "By learning to adapt
our curriculum to meet academic and industry needs, we can now ensure that our
students are prepared and walk out qualified."
Nicholas Shivbaran recently graduated from Edison after participating in the school's
Microsoft Office track and plans to pursue a career in pharmacy. He feels the relevant
skills and certification obtained helped him stay focused in school and prepared him
for future success.
"When I first got into the class I didn't fully understand the significance of becoming
certified in Microsoft Office," said Shivbaran. "Now I am not only leaving with a
certification that will look good on my resumé, but I feel that when I am assigned a
task, whether it is at school or in my job, I will have the ability to complete it."
This improved, hands-on approach to career and tech education is producing positive
outcomes. After several years of school reform, champions like Edison are seeing
progress in graduation (80-85%) attendance (93%) and dropout rates (13%) - the
value of accountability through certification. CTE programs that find relevance in their
programs have become more successful overall than other high school programs in
graduating students who can immediately find employment in today's marketplace.
"By supporting our students in acquiring relevant knowledge and engaging in career
related learning, our students are one step ahead of the game," said Barbetta. "Our
students have found value and a sense of purpose in high school. Certification
provides them with a keen sense of accomplishment."
To see the full story you can contact Brian McFadyen at bmcfadyen at certiport.com or go to the following url:
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