As we celebrate Career and Technical Education (CTE) month during February, we see that the greatest number of jobs recently created in north central Iowa has been in CTE areas. At Fort Dodge Senior High we are helping prepare students for these employment opportunities. We currently have 66 different CTE course offerings, of which 29 are dual enrollment courses where students receive both high school and college credit. We have articulation agreements with Iowa Central Community College so students can move seamlessly into many of their CTE programs.
These courses offer students the opportunity to learn the technical skills needed into today’s workforce. According to the U.S. Department of Education, almost all high school students take at least one CTE course, and one in four students take three or more courses in a single program area. We offer classes in the following curricular areas: Business and Marketing, Family and Consumer Science, Health Care, and Industrial Technology.
In the Business and Marketing Department we offer 19 classes, four of which can be taken for college credit. One of the unique offerings is the Multi Occupations class that offers credit for not only classwork but for on the job training as well.
In the Family and Consumer Science Department we offer 12 classes, with three available for college credit. These classes range from culinary arts courses to early childhood classes that will help a student prepare for the human services field.
The Health Care Department offers 11 classes, including eight for college credit. These courses help prepare the students for careers in the medical field. Courses range from an introductory medical terminology course to a CNA certification course.
Our Industrial Technology Department is broken down into four major areas. Twenty-one courses are offered, six of which earn college credit. Students can explore basic courses in automotive, building trades, manufacturing and engineering, or they can enter a career-based series of classes that fall into the articulation agreement with local colleges. Students at Senior High can experience metal working, foundation pouring, residential wiring, and cabinet design and millwork. Students also have the opportunity to build a robot through the First Robotics STEM grant and to design and build an Ultimate MPG vehicle to race against other schools at the annual Iowa Industrial Technology Exposition.
We also strongly recommend students get involved in the various student groups organized in the school. These groups help prepare the students to be leaders in the community through career, leadership development, motivation, and recognition. We have the following groups at FDSH: DECA, FCCLA, and SkillsUSA
DECA is designed specifically for students in marketing, management, and entrepreneurship education. The organization provides members with opportunities through conferences, competitions, chapter activities and school/community improvement projects.
FCCLA encourages students to make a difference in their families, careers and communities by addressing personal, work and societal issues. Students participate in chapter projects focused on a variety of youth concerns including teen pregnancy, parenting, family relationships, substance abuse, nutrition and fitness and career exploration. FCCLA members sharpen life skills such as planning, goal setting, problem solving, decision making and interpersonal communication.
SkillsUSA prepares students for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations. The group participates in local, state and national contests. Over the years the contingents from FDSH have been very successful in the state and local levels.
Through CTE coursework and extracurricular opportunities, FDSH students are preparing for the competitive workforce of the 21st century.