Career Center looks toward the future

The Warren County Career Center (WCCC) reviewed successes and goals in the past week.

The vocational arm of the Warren County School District held its annual fall planning meeting, with WCCC principal Jim Evers sharing where the career center has been, where it sees itself going, and how it plans to get there.

Among the many agenda items up for review of the General Advisory Committee (GAC) were enrollment — specifically that of nontraditional students — and the four goals that Evers said will be the focus of the WCCC during the 2018-2019 school year.

As for enrollment, Evers said it’s declining and the amount of nontraditional students — those taking courses in traditionally opposite-gender dominated fields, such as male nursing or female welding students — has dropped significantly.

That being said, the nature of enrollment at the WCCC is such that a loss of one or two students makes a big impact in percentages and averages of student demographics, making what may be a small number of students seem like many more.

Evers said efforts to increase both overall enrollment and nontraditional program enrollment are ongoing and many innovative ideas for how to drive enrollment are being considered.

Among those is a conversation in the infancy stages of resurrecting the student incentive plan, which pulled donations to be used as prizes; from money to used cars as rewards for both attendance and performance for vocational students within the district.

The four goals Evers laid out for members of the GAC included: development and implementation of electronic student portfolios; student intervention teams; comprehensive planning; and increasing industry certifications.

Electronic student portfolios would allow students to keep their academic and performance records on a cloud, retrievable at any place or time, making providing prospective employers with valuable information in their consideration of students for employment easier and far more efficient.

Information such as grades, awards, recognitions, and performance on tasks such as mock interviews and national competitions within their field would be included in portfolios, Evers said. Thus, eliminating the need for students to carry devices containing something like a powerpoint or individual documents in hand as they leave school and begin seeking employment.

Student intervention teams would be comprised of faculty and administration who Evers hopes will be able to prevent issues that negatively impact student attendance and performance before they become significant problems. The teams would meet regularly to discuss any issues that may be showing up and work with students and families to mitigate any of the challenges that seem to be affecting performance or attendance throughout the year.