Now is the time to sign up for CTE classes

This is the time of the year when students begin to sign up for their classes for next year. In the past, the Copper Country ISD would host students from all of the local school for half day tours of the Career & Technical Education (CTE) classes that are open to all students. Unfortunately, with COVID this was not possible. The CCISD has instead produced pamphlets and a booklet on all their classes for local schools to share with their students and parents.

I asked our CTE staff and some students to provide me with a few highlights of what future students can look forward to if they took their CTE class. I encourage parents who are reading this article to have conversations with their son or daughter on the benefits of CTE.

The CCISD offers Health Careers classes in both Houghton and Baraga Counties. The teachers stated that students love the hands on experiences they get in various Healthcare Fields within our local community. Students also participate in Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) competitions and Copper Country students regularly win awards. Students also have the opportunity to become CPR certified.

The Culinary course, which is taught on the campus of KBOCC, provides students with many opportunities to learn about different cooking styles and recipes from different parts of the world. They learn presentation techniques, bakeshop techniques, the USDA grading system, knife safety and have opportunities to work with high end kitchen equipment. Students have the opportunity to earn a Michigan ServSafe Certification.

The CCISD offers construction classes in both Houghton and Baraga Counties. In Houghton, students are working on a second Tiny House. In Baraga County, students are building a regular-size house. All students get an opportunity to work with framing, masonry, foundations, electrical, drywall, roofing, windows, cabinetry, stairs, siding and so much more. Students also earn their 10 hour OSHA certification.

The Auto Tech course offers students many hands-on opportunities such as front-end alignment, engine diagnosis, electrical systems, suspension and brakes. Students who excel in this class earn an ASA Student Entry Level Certification or a Michigan Mechanics license. Students also get a chance to participate in U.P. competitions that Copper Country students have done very well in the past few years.

The Welding/Manufacturing course has been a fantastic gateway for students to go from school straight into the workforce. Students are trained on some of the best equipment that you would find in an industrial setting. Students have the opportunity to earn industry-recognized certifications that they would otherwise have to pay for. These certifications help to advance students in their academics or in the work force. Students participate in welding competitions, in which a number of students have placed in the state Skills USA competition. Students get to design and build projects from raw materials. These student-produced projects are some of the greatest accomplishments students have throughout the year.

The CCISD has two CTE programs on the campus of Michigan Tech. The first is Computer Networking/Cyber Security. In this class, students get hands on experience with enterprise technologies and the opportunity to pursue their own interests on course projects with the support of university resources. Students can also complete a college level cybersecurity and networking course that gives a great foundation for any IT/CS/Cybersecurity career. The second program is Mechatronics which is the integration of electrical and mechanical engineering, robotics, computational hardware and software in the design of products and processes. This was the first year of the class and the students enjoyed it very much.

Another CTE class, Early Childhood Education, is offered through Gogebic Community College. Students are placed in the field at different preschool, infant/toddler, and cognitively impaired classrooms two days/week. During these placements, students get hands-on experience in the early childhood field through interactions with children during meals, play, and story time. The students also have the opportunity to be a part of the self-assessment process that the BHK Headstart classrooms undergo each year. Placement hours, along with various trainings that students complete, count toward the hours and experience needed to earn a CDA (Child Development Associate) credential.

The CCISD offers a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) class that is housed at Canal View. This program is ideal for students who would like to explore nursing as a possible career and for those who would like to work as a CNA. This course provides training for students to obtain the skills necessary to take the state of Michigan’s competency evaluation exam to become a CNA. Upon successful completion of the exam, students will be eligible to work as a CNA in hospitals, nursing homes and with health care agencies.

Finlandia University has partnered with the CCISD to offer Graphic Design & Marketing. In this class students learn the basic principles of creative design. They also get the opportunity to learn to work with industry grade tools such as Adobe illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe InDesign. Along with learning the concepts of design and how to use the tools, students also have the opportunity to work with clients and gain the experience of what it is like to design and market ideas to a large audience.

Collectively, the CCISD’s CTE classes provide many opportunities to students. In addition to the many certifications that students can earn, many of the CTE classes have articulation agreements with colleges and universities that allow students to also earn some college credits.

Every year, the CCISD must do end of the year evaluations for the state. Part of those evaluations are getting feedback from students who have completed the program. Year after year, the students speak highly of their CTE classes, letting us know that we are providing the right opportunities.

If you have a son or daughter who is currently in 10th or 11th grade, or a homeschool student of that age, please take time to discuss all the opportunities that CTE has to offer. Talk with current and former students and their parents. We are confident that they will share with you the benefits of these classes. The CCISD also has more information on their website, including videos of many of the CTE class. Please visit https://www.copperisd.org/career-technical-education/.


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