Model for Career Tech High School Provides Career and College Pathways

Posted By: John Green, Instructor, Lorain County Joint Vocational School (JVS) on October 16, 2018

John Green, Instructor, Lorain County Joint Vocational School (JVS)

John Green, a precision machine technology instructor from Lorain County Joint Vocational School (JVS) in Oberlin, Ohio, shares how he and his team are encouraging students looking for career tech experience to explore career paths and enroll in one of the Lorain County JVS technical programs. Read how students gain skills while earning a diploma from their associate high schools, while businesses in the community support the graduates with job placement in various careers.

Students today are demanding alternatives to the traditional high school experience. They want to work with their hands, use math to build things, and see results from their hard work.

Providing career and technical education as an alternative solution to college can sometimes be challenging. Parents have trouble getting on board. Students wonder if there is a stigma attached. Working with my team at Lorain County JVS, we came up with a blended resolution that is exciting to both parents and students.

Lorain County JVS offers some of the most highly accredited career development programs in northern Ohio. Serving 13 school districts in Lorain County, JVS allows students to explore career options through a wide range of exciting career and technical programs.

I remember when kids were coming out of a difficult experience in middle school and wanted nothing to do with high school. Our program lets these students realize that they can get a full high school education while also working with their hands. By allowing underclassmen to attend exploratory programs, they get a feel for what is out there.

Ninth grade: Combine general education credits with exploratory career programs

Lorain County JVS offers ninth-grade students all their general education credits along with exploratory programs in carpentry, plumbing, electricity, small engines and basic metalworking. Boys and girls alike get excited about the possibilities ahead. Freshmen also dedicate one period per week to learning soft skills such as teamwork, communicating effectively and making positive choices. Ninety percent of ninth-grade students in Lorain County JVS technical programs continue to the next level. Students are encouraged to start as freshmen to guarantee a place in the full program.

Tenth grade: Start to choose a career path

In their sophomore year, students continue with their high school requirements, but also explore careers by choosing three different labs. Each lab lasts nine weeks, and students have their choice of anything from precision machining to culinary arts.

Our goal at Lorain County JVS is to make sure that students find the best career opportunity available for their talents. When students enter their labs, they get to touch, feel, watch and use all their senses to discover, learn and explore. In essence, we funnel them toward a career.

Eleventh grade: Make a choice and begin focused training

By their junior year, students have been exposed enough to focus on a defined career path. Once they have chosen a path, they have two more years to become experts in the field of their choice.

Twelfth grade: Decide what’s next after earning certifications, credentials and college credits

We strive to make sure all students have options when they graduate. Our online programs and hands-on training align with national certifications (SME, NIMS, AWS) and credentials (MSSC), giving students an edge on gaining employment. These same programs articulate to both the local colleges, so when seniors walk out the door, they walk out with college credits. Students can choose to further their education or step right into their careers. The business community has been a big supporter of Lorain County JVS, placing graduates into jobs after high school.

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