February was Career and Technical Education (CTE) month for Chicago Public Schools. Students from a number of CPS high schools showcased some of the talents and skills that they’ve attained through the CTE program—ranging from Broadcast Technology to Culinary Arts—in the Central Office lobby at 125 S. Clark Street. The celebration of CTE programs over the month was an opportunity to recognize the important role CTE plays in preparing students for college and career success.
CTE students have the opportunity to get real-world job experience by tackling hands-on challenges in class, participating in internship programs, and going on field trips related to their specific program. Students leave high school not only with a diploma but also three years of professional training and skill-building that gives them an edge in today’s job market.
Five students from Roger C. Sullivan High School represented their school’s Health Sciences program on Feb. 14. The students demonstrated some of the skills they had acquired throughout their course of study by taking the blood pressure of volunteers and measuring their Body Mass Index. Sullivan’s Allied Health teacher, Pat Murfay, a registered nurse and teacher, was there to oversee the students and answer questions.
Llasmin B., 17, said she had recently had an opportunity to shadow medical professionals at Children’s Memorial Hospital. She worked alongside nurses and doctors, and was responsible for transporting patients within the hospital to see various specialists and X-ray technicians. “I liked it because I got to see what it was like to work in a real hospital,” said Llasmin.
Six students from Benito Juarez Community Academy High School displayed some of the projects they’ve been working on in their Architecture and Drafting class in the Central Office lobby on Feb.23.
Andrea J., 17, built a small-scale replica of the Crate and Barrel store at North and Clybourn in Chicago (see photo in the gallery) to enter into the Newhouse Architecture competition. The annual architecture competition is sponsored by Chicago Architecture Foundation, and is open to all CPS high school students. Students compete for a chance to win scholarships and a week-long designing and building seminar at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesen Estate in Wisconsin.
Maritza P., 18, showed off a 3-D model she developed on her computer (see photo in the gallery). “I am deciding between studying architecture and engineering next year in college. The 3D skills I learned in my architecture and drafting class could help me with engineering classes next year, too.”
A dozen students enrolled in the Cosmetology program at Simeon Career Academy High School provided complimentary manicures complete with sugar scrubs to ladies passing through the CPS lobby.
The student cosmetologists, all seniors, are preparing to graduate in the spring. Their teacher, Ms. Selvie, said that the students learn how to cut and color hair in addition to performing nail and skin care treatments. Upon completing the three-year program at Simeon, the students are ready to take the State Board Exam to obtain their Cosmetology license. This way, they’re able to graduate from high school with a diploma and a professional license allowing them to start their career straightaway.
CTE month was a huge success as CPS staff got a chance to see the wide range of exciting projects students have been working on in their programs, and also demonstrate the important skills they’re building at school to help them be successful in their future careers.
For more information about CTE programs, please visit their page.