Monday, February 12, 2001

Warren to foster teaching careers


Program for high school students

By Jennifer Mrozowski
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Warren County Career Center next year will join the fight against teacher shortages in certain subject areas.

        Capitalizing on a new state initiative called Career Paths for the Teaching Professions, the center will offer a teaching academy program sometime next year geared to high school students who want to become educators, said spokeswoman Peg Allen.

        The academy will be a coup for the career center, which is evolving to offer programs for traditional students as well as vocational students.

        “This is a national initiative,” said Lesia Coffey, coordinator for program design and development in the center's educational services de partment. “We want students to be more ready for work when they leave high school.”

        They also want to groom kids to help solve a teacher shortage in special education, technology and physics classrooms across the nation, she said.

        Interested senior students from any of the six high schools the career center serves must carry a B average and have a 95 percent attendance rate to enroll in the year-long teaching program.

        They'll spend 150 minutes a day, or three credit hours, exploring the teaching profession. That includes planning instruction, developing technology skills, developing and using instructional strategies, participating in teaching mentorships and more.

        The Warren County Ca reer Center will join five other school districts statewide that offer teaching academies. Cincinnati Public Schools' Hughes High School for Teaching and Technology has offered a teaching professions school since 1992.

        But having a teaching program in a career center is new, said Vicki Melvin, interim director for the office of career-technical and adult education at the Ohio Department of Education.

        “We traditionally train students for more technical trades and jobs,” she said. “Business and industry are telling us they want students with specialized skills but colleges also want kids with broad skills and academics,” Ms. Melvin said.

        Career and technical centers, once known only as vocational schools, are trying to comply, she said.

        Sharon Enright, assistant director for family and consumer sciences of the state education department, said she expects the teaching academy concept to expand. Twelve school districts, in addition to the Warren County Career Center, are considering developing similar academies, she said.

       



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