• Facts about Career & Tech Education (and A. K. Smith)

    DID YOU KNOW....

    • The A. K. Smith Area Career Center was constructed in 1966. It serves students from all high schools in LaPorte County, including: Lacrosse High School, LaPorte High School, Marquette High School, Michigan City High School, New Prairie High School, South Central High School, and Westville High School. 
    • More than 2,500 high school students are enrolled in CTE courses in Michigan City Area Schools and surrounding school districts. This includes students who take one or more hours of CTE courses at their high schools, receive training at the A.K. Smith Area Career Center, and/or participate in internships in the region.
    • A.K. Smith offers courses in Automotive Technology, Construction Technology, Computer Repair/Maintenance, Culinary Science, Education and Early Childhood, Health Sciences, Interactive Media, Metalworking Technology, Programming/Networking, Recreational & Portable Power Equipment, and Welding Technology. Adult Basic Education is also housed at A.K. Smith, providing evening courses, technical training, and GED preparation.
    • Programs at the A.K. Smith Center offer articulation agreements with colleges such as Purdue University North Central, Lake Michigan College, Purdue Calumet, and Vincennes. Students may earn dual credits with IVY Tech; in some disciplines, up to 15 college credits may be earned.
    • The A. K. Smith Center has an Advisory Board made up of ten members, representing a wide spectrum of business and industry. Each Career Track also has an advisory group of professionals who serve as a resource for teachers.
    • In 2009, 46 A. K. Smith students graduated with Technical Honors Diplomas. These students fulfilled all of the requirements for a Core 40 diploma, achieved a B average or above in CTE courses, and met several state certification standards.
    • The term “vocational” is no longer widely used in education circles. The State of Indiana encourages schools to organize instruction and student experiences in 16 “Career Clusters” – broad categories that encompass virtually all occupations.
    • In October 2007, the City of Michigan City, the Michigan City Chamber of Commerce, IVY Tech Community College, and Purdue University North Central joined Michigan City Area Schools in signing a Compact for Career and Technical Education. These entities pledged to work together to support CTE in our city and region. Career and Technical Education is also a central focus of Strategy 4 of the MCAS Strategic Plan.
    • Through Michigan City Area Schools’ Interdisciplinary Cooperative Education (I.C.E.) program, students attend school part of the day and work in local business or industry the rest of the day for supervised, on-the-job training. More than 35 students will take part in I.C.E. this year.
    • CTE is going high-tech! Last year, MCAS instituted Project Lead the Way, a course of study designed for students interested in Engineering, Biomechanics, Aeronautics, and other Applied Mathematics and Science programs. Gateway to Technology was also introduced last year; this program introduces middle school students to design and modeling, simple machines, and automation and robotics.
    • Michigan City Area Schools secured a grant of $350,000 as part of the federal 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act, through the assistance of Congressman Joe Donnelly. This will be used to maintain and expand programs and equipment for Career and Technical Education.
    • There are 15.6 million secondary and post-secondary career and technical education students in the United States. (Career and technical education is offered in middle school, high schools, two-year community colleges, technical colleges, and other post-secondary schools.)
    • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly one-third of the fastest-growing occupations will require an associate’s degree or a post-secondary vocational certificate. Research also indicates that 80 percent of current and emerging occupations require two-year technical degrees, while just 20 percent require baccalaureate degrees.

    Compiled for Career & Technical Education Month, February 2010