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CTE Prepares Students for Future

Image Title: Floral Design is one of the popular CTE classes at Richland High School.
Floral Design is one of the popular CTE classes at Richland High School.

By: Claudia Cooley
Director of Career and Technical Education

The Richland School District’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program prepares students for the world awaiting them. CTE faculty are focused on helping students become college and career ready. Students are taught academic and industry-based standards along with 21st century employability and leadership skills.

Several CTE courses offer college credit. Other courses offer students the opportunity to earn industry-standard certifications.

Richland School District CTE includes STEM-related disciplines such as engineering, robotics, health sciences, and manufacturing. Students also take courses in marketing, business education, family and consumer science, and the arts.

CTE students participate in work-based learning opportunities such as internships, field trips, and job shadow experiences. These are valuable experiences as students connect with business professionals who are experts in their fields.

In the classroom, students learn what professionals do in their related careers. Hanford High School junior Anna Mae Brazil takes Biotechnology and shares, “The Biotechnology class gives me insights into what I’ll be doing as a forensic scientist. I get to use the same technology that’s being used in science labs.”

Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) courses provide students the opportunity to receive professional certifications. These are corporate level certifications highly respected in the business world. Richland High School senior Brandon Nelson says, “Students will stand out in a crowd by having MOS certifications.”

Sports Medicine provides students with opportunities to learn and apply skills and standards needed in a variety of careers. Teachers Matt Gray, Hanford High, and Dawn Morales, Richland High, hold professional certifications as certified athletic trainers. HHS student Katrina Taylor described her Sports Medicine experience, “I have discovered a field I love and am hoping to pursue a career in medicine thanks to this class. I have signed up for a three-week medical summer internship because of how much I learned.”

CTE also provides career planning activities. Career Centers housed at both Richland and Hanford High Schools support students with their High School and Beyond Plans. According to Karen Richardson, Career Specialist at Hanford High School, “No matter what route students take, whether it’s college, apprenticeship, military, or workforce, we guide students and help set them up for success.”

The Richland School District CTE program is committed to providing relevant, rigorous, and engaging courses. As technology, engineering, mathematics, science, and the arts become integrated, and the call for students to be able to communicate fluently in a world where problem-solving and innovative thinking is the norm, CTE courses provide a place for students to engage in and practice these skills. Together with a comprehensive program of study, our students are ready to take their next steps in fields of their choice.