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Wawasee Area Career and Technical Cooperative


OCTOBER 2020

What's Inside:

A Message from our CTE Director
Highlight on the Veterinary Tech Program
Highlight on the Marine Mechanics & Powersports Program

A Message from PATHWAYS – Wawasee Area CTE Director

Drive down any main road in northern Indiana and you’ll see “NOW HIRING” signs. Talk to any business leader and they’ll tell you that one of the biggest challenges facing our economy is a shortage of skilled workers. PATHWAYS, Wawasee Area Career and Technical Cooperative, is committed to working with local students, educators and industry leaders to fill the talent pipeline and prepare our future workforce with the skills necessary to survive and thrive.

Each year, more than 700 students from Whitley County Consolidated Schools, Wawasee Community Schools and Fairfield Community Schools enroll in courses ranging from automotive technology to cosmetology and from culinary arts to fire rescue. In this and subsequent eNewsletters, we want to update parents, students and community members on particular PATHWAYS programs, share positive news and celebrate our students’ successes. Below you can read about two of our programs — Marine Trades and Veterinary Tech — and get a bird’s-eye view of the great things that are happening in our buildings. 

Each student we serve experiences a vibrant environment where they can master new knowledge, tap their creativity and explore their potential. I am confident that career and technical education works. It works for students, it works for businesses, and — most importantly — it works for our communities!

Vince Beasley,
CTE Director for PATHWAYS

Highlight on Veterinary Tech

Location: Fairfield High School

What is the Vet Tech program?

Students can begin the Vet Tech program in their junior year of high school. They start out with learning the basics like vocabulary and animal handling and then go through the coursework. Students learn anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, radiology and surgery nursing as well as how to care for sick and injured animals. The student’s senior year is spent working an externship at a veterinary clinic. This allows the student to fine tune the skills they learned the previous year and learn even more about how a veterinary clinic works. This is a career that someone chooses because they love animals and want to help them live happier and healthier lives. It’s a career that can give great personal joy.

 

What kind of certification do students gain in this program?

After completing both years, the student may sit for a nationally recognized exam to become a Certified Veterinary Assistant.

 

What is the job market like for students who complete this program?

The job market for all levels of veterinary care is very good. Veterinary assistants can choose to further their education and become a veterinary nurse or veterinarian. By working in a clinic, students are gaining the hands-on experience that clinics are looking for in an entry level position. The students are also able to show the externship site what kind of worker they are and if they would be a good fit for that practice.

 

What kinds of hands-on experiences are part of this program?

Students learn animal handling, nail trims, ear cleaning, fecal and urine exams, anal gland expression, grooming and even some injection and blood draw techniques.  

 

What’s one great quality of this program?

Class sizes are typically smaller, and this allows for greater interaction with the instructor and also allows the student more hands-on experiences.

 

Have students in this program had any outstanding accomplishments?

The program is still relatively new, but several students have become employed in veterinary practices and several others have explored options in becoming veterinary technicians and even a veterinarian.

 

Who can I contact for more information on this program?

Jennifer Schafer, RVT, is the Veterinary Assisting Teacher at Fairfield Jr/Sr High School. She is a Registered Veterinary Nurse in the state of Indiana and has worked in small animal practices, research, and even taught at the college level before coming to Fairfield. Her email is schafer@fairfield.k12.in.us.

Highlight on Marine Mechanics & Powersports

Location: Wawasee High School

What is the Marine Mechanics & Powersports program?

This program is a two-year course that is offered two periods per day. Students learn a variety of mechanical skills from using basic tools to working on intricate electrical systems. 

 

What kind of certification do students gain in this program?

Students learn numerous skills and are able to earn college credits toward the Marine Mechanics Institute. Certificates of completion for Yamaha outboards, Mercury outboards, Evinrude outboards, along with forklift certifications and Indiana boater’s education are all available for students to earn. 

 

What is the job market like for students who complete this program?

The Marine Mechanic and Powersports job market is in need of technicians, and employers are actively pursuing students specifically from our program. After completing this program, students may pursue careers in the marine and power sports industry, such as working as technicians at marinas. This program is well-respected in the community.

 

What kinds of hands-on experiences are part of this program?

The entire program is based on hands-on experiences and real-life situations such as winterizing engines, diagnosing electrical problems and other maintenance. Second year students also do an embedded internship where they work at local marinas as entry-level technicians. Most of these positions are paid and give students even more real-life experiences.

 

What’s one great quality of this program?

This learning environment is set up very similarly to a working marina that students would find in the community. Our new facility is equipped with the tools and machines that students would find in the workplace. They learn about everything from writing work orders, to diagnosing problems, to working with customers.

 

Have students in this program had any outstanding accomplishments?

We have had students attend colleges in the industry and even receive awards for Student of the Month while there. Numerous graduates from this program are currently working in this industry.

 

Who can I contact for more information on this program?

Derrick Fisher, who leads this program at Wawasee High School, attended a marine mechanics program in high school and obtained a certification in marine mechanics from the Marine Mechanics Institute in Orlando, Florida. After working in marinas as a technician for seven years, he obtained his teaching certification while starting this program at Wawasee. His email is dfisher@wawasee.k12.in.us.

PATHWAYS — The Wawasee Area Career and Technical Cooperative is a partnership between Whitley County Consolidated Schools, Wawasee Community Schools and Fairfield Community Schools, who work together to prepare area students with the skills necessary to become successful in college or career. Pathways offers courses in 11 different career pathways. No matter what a student is interested in – and whether they are considering continuing their education at a post-secondary institution or entering the workforce after high school – there is a Pathway for everyone.

 
For more information and frequent updates, please visit our website: https://pathwayscte.com/

PATHWAYS — Wawasee Area Career and Technical Cooperative

Administration Office:
#1 Warrior Path, Building #1
Syracuse, IN 46567

Phone: (574) 457-3147
Email: jEveringham@wawasee.k12.in.us

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