Following the establishment of two central programs last year, Valley Academy for Career and Technology Education has fully taken over management of its Certified Nursing Assistant and Fire Science Programs.
According to VACTE Superintendent Bob Weir, the move to complete administrative independence from the associated satellite schools has resulted in substantial benefit: This year, Mingus Union High School saved over $75,000 for the CNA program and Camp Verde Unified School District saved $25,000 for the Fire Science program.
“This allowed the school districts to spend this money on other career technical programs,” Weir stated. “The estimated money to be distributed to the satellite schools for the students enrolled in the satellite CTE programs are as follows: $338,000 for MUHS, $194,182 for CVUSD and $172,634 Sedona Red Rock High School. These funds have helped maintain the CTE programs at the satellite districts when the state cut funding over the last nine years.
“The research has shown that a student who takes a CTE course scores higher on national standardized test and college entrance exams than students who did not have a CTE course. The need for skilled workers is increasing each year and the students in CTE programs are the future of America industries .... We’re working hard to give the community skilled workers, which can increase the options we provide to prospective new businesses and industries here in the Verde Valley.”
Yavapai College, Weir added, has been an increasingly supportive partner of VACTE’s efforts. This school year, VACTE started a Film Media CTE program and a centralized welding program in partnership with the college.
According to Weir, plans are to establish even more programming with Yavapai College, including a medical assistant program and opportunities for students in Sedona — which Weir admitted have been harder to serve with CTE programs — at the Yavapai College Sedona Center.
“VACTE and Yavapai College are starting a culinary arts program for seniors in the Verde Valley, which will be held at the Sedona Campus from 7 to 9:45 a.m.,” Weir stated. “The students will earn 16 credits and a culinary art certification from Yavapai College and an opportunity to earn ServSafe industry certification.”
“The key to offering and sustaining CTE in the Verde Valley is partnerships [among] the school districts, VACTE, the college, business and industry and other key entities,” James Perey, executive dean of Yavapai College Verde Valley Campus, stated. “These partnerships provide the opportunity to leverage expertise and resources to not only meet the economic needs of the area, but also provide career and technical education opportunities for students wanting to pursue a career.”