Model for Career Tech High School Provides Career and College Pathways
John Green, Instructor, Lorain County Joint Vocational School (JVS) on
October 16, 2018
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
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.
(LCJVS), AWS, "career development programs", "career path", credentials, "hands-on training", "joint vocational school", "Lorain County Joint Vocational School", "Lorain County JVS", MSSC, "national certifications", NIMS, "online programs", "precision machining"