RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY
PDT Staff Writer
LUCASVILLE —The Scioto County Career Technical Center has changed faces since its old days as “VoTech,” with a significant growth in many of their programs, high test scores, post-secondary education and job placement.
“We have seen a large number of students start to take industrial maintenance, and now it’s starting to get up to the 20’s. Four years ago we started that program with maybe four or five kids,” said SciotoTech Principal Kyle Copley.
Engineering and Culinary are two more quickly-growing and popular fields, he said. Even though the Engineering program only started last year and Culinary this year, each already have about 13 students enrolled. Copley said the economy is what draws students to these programs.
“With industrial maintenance, it seems that there has been a rejuvenation of jobs in that field. So when we go out to recruit, I think students see that opportunity for industrial maintenance to be doing a lot of things in that program. You have multiple competencies that students are going to be focuses on, rather than just one competency. I think students are attracted to that because in their minds they like to be doing a lot of different things,” Copley said.
Other quickly growing programs of study at SciotoTech are cosmetology, criminal justice, and allied health. The school also works with local businesses — such as Southern Ohio Medical Center and Tanner, Stone, Donges and Holsinger Architects — to setup internship opportunities for students to prepare them for the workforce.
According to Copley, SciotoTech has 100 percent graduation rate — up from 98 percent last year. The technical skills attainment was 96 percent passage, and 100 percent passage rate on the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT).
“Overall we’ve had a really, really good year. One of the better years I’ve known in the last eight years that I’ve been here,” Copley said.
Working with students doesn’t end with graduation, however, Copley said.
“When they graduate, we begin collecting data of their placement. That placement data we collect over the next year, and we find out, did these kids go to post-secondary education? Did they go into the military? Did they go into the workforce? Did they go on to college? All of those are considered positive placements,” he said.
For students who decide to continue their education after graduation, SciotoTech offers dual-enrollment option that will save them time and money toward earning that degree. The school also offers prep classes to juniors who expect to participate in that program.
“We have 13 students that are eligible for 29 academic college credits before they leave. They are going to wipe out all their English, all their math and chemistry,” said SciotoTech Superintendent Stan Jennings. “With that academic credit they should easily be able to come up with an Associate Degree in a one-year period, which the whole point. It saves money and puts them into the workforce faster.”
Student can also pursue several post-secondary options at SciotoTech.
“Our mainstay (post-secondary) program is practical nursing. We do have about 70 students that come through the program and they have excellent placement rates and excellent testing,” said Sara Deaterla, of SciotoTech.
Additionally, the school offers post-secondary programs in medical office technology, pharmacy technician, diesel, and other growing programs. SciotoTech also offers a post-secondary industrial maintenance program which currently has about 30 students enrolled.
“They leave that program with multiple certifications that the industry recognizes. That includes OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), welding certifications, pipe fitters, fire alarm, NCCER. Many of our programs, they leave with more than one credential,” Deaterla said.
The Adult Education side of SciotoTech also offers professional testing in programs such as ASC, A-Plus, NCCER, and more. Providing a local testing site allows testers a much more convenient location than driving out of state.
“We tested 54 people during the month of July and August,” Deaterla said. “If they don’t come here, they have to go to Huntington (W.Va.). It’s a wonderful convenience for people out there who want to get certification tests.”
SciotoTech also offers Accuplacer and Compass testing for college placements.
More information about SciotoTech high school and adult education programs can be found online at www.sciototech.org.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, firstname.lastname@example.org.