W-WCHS CTAE Course Registration
It is time to register for courses for next year at W-WCHS. All rising 8th the through 12th graders are encouraged to register for Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) program pathway courses. CTAE prepares all students to be college- and career- ready. In Georgia, 96.5% of students participating in CTAE graduate from high school. At least 75% of those students continue their education at the postsecondary level. We encourage ALL students to take CTAE courses because no matter the path, all students will end up working, and CTAE’s goal is to successfully prepare all students for the world of work.
The CTAE program at W-WCHS allows students to gain insight and experience in career areas of interest before high school graduation. CTAE students learn academic, employability, and technical, job-specific skills. CTAE gives students an opportunity to “try out” a career field before spending money on it in college. For example, if a student wants to be a doctor, it is smart to take courses in health sciences in high school to figure out if that is something he or she really wants to pursue. If a student wants to own his/her own business, it is a good idea to take business classes in high school to help the student determine if he/she has the personal motivation and discipline required to run a business. The examples could go on, but it is important to know that CTAE prepares students with entry-level knowledge and skills for a wide range of high-wage, high-skill careers that are in demand today.
All W-WCHS students are encouraged to complete a Career Pathway, a state-approved coherent, articulated sequence of three academically rigorous career related, industry approved courses that usually begin in ninth grade and lead to an industry-recognized certification or licensure, two-year degree, and or a four-year degree and beyond. Students select Career Pathways based on personal interests and career goals. Career Pathways offered at W-WCHS fall within five of Georgia’s Career Clusters: Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources; Business, Management & Administration; Information Technology; Education & Training; and Health Science. These career pathways provide a strong foundation for students planning to enter postsecondary education and training programs and a variety of careers in the world of work. Students are encouraged to participate in Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) related to their chosen pathways. In CTSOs, students develop professional, leadership, and technical skills. Students apply their knowledge and skills in competitive events at the regional, state, and national levels.
Students participating in the Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources (AFNR) pathways get the opportunity to learn about the production, process, marketing, financing, distribution, and development of agricultural commodities and resources. AFNR Career Pathway offerings allow students to gain technical knowledge and skills related to mechanical systems; electrical systems; metal fabrication; forestry; wildlife, animal science systems; and animal production and processing. Students enrolled in the AFNR Career Pathways can pursue further education and entry level positions in both agriculture, Georgia’s largest industry, and construction, an industry in dire need of skilled trades workers nationwide. The CTSO affiliated with this pathway is the National FFA Organization.
Students participating in the Business, Management and Administration and Information Technology pathways learn computer skills that prepare them for college and career. They also learn about planning, organizing, directing, and evaluating, as well as owning and operating a successful business. Students also get an overview of business law that will benefit them as they assume roles of citizens, workers, and consumers in their community and in society at large. These students also can take courses to gain foundational skills that prepare them to work in careers related to graphics, multimedia animation, web design, game and application development, and networking. Students completing business and information technology pathways can earn industry recognized Microsoft certifications in Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint. Because of the prevalence of computers in business, industry, and personal lives, all students are required to take an introductory business technology course that emphasizes the development of fundamental employability skills and computer skills required for all career pathways. The CTSO affiliated with these pathways is Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL).
From the Education & Training Career Cluster, an Early Childhood Education pathway is offered. Students enrolling in this pathway learn skills to support and promote the growth and development of children. They prepare for employment in education by learning to plan, manage, and provide education and training services as well as related learning support services. Students completing this pathway earn certifications in CPR, First Aid, and Fire Safety. The final course of this pathway is a field experience under the direct supervision of a certified early childhood educator. This field experience meets part of the requirement to earn the nationally recognized Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. Students interested in a career in teaching and coaching are encouraged to complete this pathway. The CTSO affiliated with this pathway is Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA).
Health Science is the fastest growing career field in the United States. Thirteen out of twenty of the fastest growing occupations and 13 out of 20 of the highest paying occupations from 2014-2024 are in the health science field. At W-WCHS, students interested in a career in the medical field are encouraged to enroll in the Health Science pathway. This pathway exposes students to the many health science careers as well as employability, communication, and technology skills required in the healthcare industry. Students develop fundamental healthcare skills in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, basic life support, and first aid. In the final course of the Health Science pathway, students apply knowledge and skills required to meet national and state guidelines for Certified Nursing Assistants as specified by the Georgia Medical Care Foundation. Students meeting all academic, attendance, and age requirements may sit for the Georgia Registry Examination. Successful completion of this examination allows students to seek employment in the state of Georgia as a Certified Nursing Assistant. The CTSO affiliated with this pathway is Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA).
The pinnacle experience in W-WCHS’s CTAE program is participation in the Work-Based Learning (WBL) program, a partnership between the Wilkes County school system, local businesses and industries, students, and parents. The WBL program consists of structured experiences that connect a student’s career goal and classroom learning with a productive work environment, enabling a smooth transition into the workforce and/or education beyond high school. WBL students explore careers and receive guidance in identifying employment and educational goals from mentors on the job. WBL placements may be unpaid or paid. The WBL program is open to juniors and seniors, at least 16 years of age, who are completing the final course of their Career Pathway or have completed their Career Pathway, on track for graduation, and have a clearly defined career goal.
To learn more about W-WCHS's CTAE program and its Career Pathways, courses, and other learning opportunities offered to students, visit http://www.wilkes.k12.ga.us/1/Content/ctae. You may also contact the program director, Dr. Alicia Finnell at email@example.com or 706-678-2426.