Career Tech programs give hands-on experience to prepare students for next step


Photo: Brittany Peckham

Interactive Media students (L-R) Mikayla Schuyler from Oakwood, Max Williams, and Kaili Zavakos from Centerville entering the Career Tech hallway.

A majority of students in Ohio go to college with little idea about their major. Career Tech programs in local high schools are changing that standard. 

Fairmont High School offers some of the most Career Tech programs in the state. Forty percent of the junior and senior class at Fairmont have taken the opportunity to be a part of Career Tech, and over 100 students from all grades are in the electives. Students from various schools are also involved.

Career exploration is an important factor in today’s schools according to Career Tech Principal Liz Jensen. “Exploring careers should be a vital aspect of every kid’s education in high school,” she said.

There is a great deal of positive feedback and students love the diversity of the programs. Parents enjoy seeing their children thrive, and the state enjoys the ever-growing data.

Fairmont has a positive reputation because it offers many programs including Automotive, Biotechnology, Allied Health, Interactive Media, Engineering, Construction Trades, Business Academy, Digital Design, Early Childhood Education, Info Tech, and Marketing.

CTC is beneficial to many students. It helps students explore careers and understand their future.

“Career tech has narrowed down specifically what I want to do by showing and getting me working in different fields, even some I wouldn’t have considered going into,” said Emily Rogers, a junior in the Environmental Studies program at Centerville High School.

Exploring programs doesn’t always have to be at Fairmont. Some students travel to other schools for classes not offered at their own. Centerville offers a Career Tech program that both Oakwood and Fairmont students are allowed to apply for. Fairmont junior Vincent Klosterman is currently a member of Centerville’s Technical Theater program.

“You get to meet new people from Centerville and people who actually want to be there doing what they’re doing,” he said.

With the amount of classes they take, students have to focus on their core classes as well. According to Jensen, transitioning into these programs can cause a change in students, and their grades seem to improve. Jensen said that some students might be anxious about the transition, but Rogers feels that it’s “actually kind of nice to have a change in environment.”

Career tech classes give students a chance to enjoy learning about whatever it is they want as a possible career later on.

“I’ve already learned so much and really, it’s the only class I look forward to every day,” said Oakwood junior Kaili Zavakos. Zavakos comes to Fairmont during lunch to be a part of the Interactive Media program for the rest of the day. 

Being in a specific program, students have the chance to be themselves and participate in hands-on activities on what they love to do. “I love media and aspire to be a producer and create my own films so I’m excited to see what the rest of the year brings me,” Zavakos said.

Jensen thinks Fairmont is lucky to have such a good program. It gives students a chance to understand your career before pursuing it. She feels that more students and schools should take advantage and with the amount of opportunities Fairmont has as well.

“Many schools aren’t as privileged to have a Career Tech Program,” Jensen said.

Getting into a program isn’t all that easy. Students need good grades, a suitable amount of credits, and acceptable attendance. Each program also depends on the competition.

“Your GPA requirement can be as low as 3.0, depending on the amount of students who want to be in that program,” Jensen said.

Career Tech is a very beneficial program, and helps students all around Kettering and the state.

“Kids don’t explore careers before college and they get there and end up changing majors because they didn’t understand what the major was before they started, or they’ve changed their plans, Jensen said. “More people should take advantage of our motto, ‘Try what you want to do and be for free.’”

For more information on Career Tech, visit the Career Tech Center in south unit or visit the official website here.