Cleveland High School’s Career and Technical Education courses continue to grow and equip students with the knowledge needed to graduate from high school and into a future of excellence.
Supervisor of CTE Renny Whittenbarger hailed the 2013-14 year as a success for the 10 programs in the high school. He explained the teachers of automotive, broadcasting, business, cosmetology, criminal justice, culinary arts, engineering, health science, marketing and Web design continue to look to the future to provide students with the skills needed to excel in a variety of fields.
Enrollment numbers continue to increase with a total of 2,200 CTE course placement requests for the 2014-15 school year.
Whittenbarger said the program can handle only about 1,716 students at a time.
“I don’t want to look a child or parent in the face and tell them, ‘We are going to have to cut you from this program to meet federal guidelines for the students,’” Whittenbarger said. “Tough decisions have to be made, and we have to look out for the welfare of the students and make sure anyone in the path are meeting the [requirements for the course study].”
He explained the CTE program is continually fluid as the real-world fields of study grow and expand. The courses in turn must adapt to better equip students to enter the career or scholastic major of their choice post-graduation.
Added Whittenbarger, “Technology changes every day, and we have to be willing to change with it to stay ahead or at least up with the trend.”
Each program makes strides every year to challenge students and adjust to the needs of the times.
- Automotive has experienced a surge in popularity. The program had a total of 104 students sign up for the 2013-14 school year. Enrollment numbers reveal 219 students have requested to take part in the program next year.
According to Whittenbarger, the increase is due to stability provided by new teacher Will Godwin. He said the automotive teacher has brought a level of integrity, growth and professionalism to his subject of choice.
Students enrolled in the program learn maintenance and light repair which includes topics like preventative maintenance, steering and suspension. Opportunities provided through the program are dual credit from Tennessee Technologies Center’s automotive program and Automotive Service Excellence certification.
- Engineering will launch two new paths for the 2014-15 school year: mechatronics and civil architecture. According to Whittenbarger, freshmen revealed a high interest in the field of civil architecture. The latter subject is now available to incoming ninth-grade students.
- Broadcasting had a star-studded year with wins at both the Tennessee High School Press Association Awards and the state Skills USA Competition in Broadcasting. The group would have moved onto the Skills USA national competition, but was unable to raise enough money in time to make the June trip.
A total of 212 students signed up for the 2014-15 broadcasting courses. Whittenbarger said the program itself can only handle 150 students, with six classes of 25 students a piece. He suggested the popularity of the course is due to teacher Jon Souders’ dedication and application of real-life experiences.
In addition, the opportunity for students to earn dual credit with Lee University is available to students in Broadcasting 2.
- Business focused on strengthening the dual credit and dual enrollment opportunities for students during the 2013-14 school year.
Students enrolled in the business path learn everything from the basics of word processing to personal finance management and financial planning to accounting and management of a business.
- Marketing struck gold the fall of 2013 with the introduction of the Raider Trader, the school store and prime focus of the entrepreneurship capstone course.
Whittenbarger said business and marketing teacher Melissa Adams has done a wonderful job creating and growing the store. Students receive on-the-job training filled to the brim with real-life experiences. All of the school store’s profits either go back into the Raider Trader or into various initiatives throughout the school.
- Cosmetology remains one of the most popular CTE programs offered at the high school. Teacher Becky Davis will add an entrepreneurship course to the 2014-15 course load. Students already have the chance to study Principles of Cosmetology, Design Principles and the Chemistry of Cosmetology.
Students who complete the project can potentially graduate with 750 cosmetology hours under their belt. Davis has an agreement with three schools in the Athens and Chattanooga area to allow for an hours transfer. This is half of the hours needed for this particular postgraduate study.
A total of 141 students signed up for the 2014-15 shool year.
- Criminal Justice allows students to gain experience in everything from the judicial aspect of the law to the forensics involved in a criminal investigation.
It is hoped the program becomes a pilot course in a possible statewide accreditation opportunity with SACs-accredited courses.
- Web Design has applied to be a special course of study. Whittenbarger explained the program would like to offer an app design course to the students. Students engaged in the course often have an artistic mindset and are able to visualize the relevance and purpose of Web design.
- Culinary Arts is the newest CTE program on the scene. It joined its peers and quickly became one of the strongest programs with 225 students signed up for the 2014-15 school year. A total of 166 signed up for level 1, 64 signed up for level 2 and 20 signed up for level 3. The program can only handle 150 students.
Whittenbarger said Chef Clyde Rush has gone above and beyond in reaching out to the community, offering after-school activities and catering special events.
- Health Science remains the powerhouse of the Cleveland High CTE courses, with 564 students signed up for the 2014-15 school year. There are a total of eight courses of study offered at the school. A new course, diagnostic medicine, will be offered next year.