School System allows career and technical dual enrollment opportunities

Cookeville – Amid a shortage of trade workers and a lack of educational opportunities for that path, PCSS says offering multiple ways for students to gain a trades education is the only path forward.

According to Jackie Vester, CTE Supervisor at Putnam County Schools, the system offers career and technical training classes in all 16 nationally ranked career clusters, ranging from advanced manufacturing to Health Sciences to Business Management and Architecture and Construction. 

“Students are able to choose a program of study that offers 3 to 4 courses in that area of focus,” said Vester. “Students can also choose to participate in the Work Based Learning program that allows students to gain hands-on training in a workplace that matches career interest or transferable soft skills in a service sector job. We have many local businesses that allow students to work for them through this program, but we are always looking for new partners.”

Options are key when discovering what is best for any given student. 

Vester told the Upper Cumberland Business Journal PCSS also offers career and technical dual enrollment opportunities for those looking at a trades path. PCSS local post-secondary partners, TCAT Livingston, Vol State Community College and Tennessee Tech University, are involved in the dual enrollment program.

Welding, Mechatronics, Coding, Web Design, Automotive and Cosmetology are currently in the TCAT curriculum.

“We offer a Veterinary Science course and a three-course cybersecurity program in partnership with Tennessee Tech,” said Vester. “Through Vol State, students have the opportunity to take a wide variety of dual enrollment coursework to prepare for careers in health science, criminal justice, early childhood development and business.” 

In the 2024-2025 school year, PCSS students will have the opportunity to complete the Vol State EMS Basic program during their senior year to help meet the need for Emergency Medicine personnel. As for the CYE courses, students earn industry-wide certifications that “demonstrate the skills and knowledge they have obtained in the classroom.”

During the 2022-2023 school year students earned over 1200 industry certifications, including OSHA 10, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), CompTIA+, AdobePremier, Financial Literacy, Elanco Veterinary Science, CPR, NCCER Precision Measurement and NCCER Multimeter, according to Vester.

For more information on becoming a partner with Putnam County Schools CTE, visit HERE.

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