The High School Program Design Team looked at how and where students currently participate in Career and Technical Education. They examined barriers to participation in the current decentralized model, and the general decline in CTE participation countywide. Their final recommendation: the high school program would best serve all students in a  Career Center with Satellites. As recommended, this design would: 

  • Focus on all students  

    • Create a positive, welcoming culture  

    • Increase the quantity and diversity of students   

    • Collaborate with diverse employer advisory boards  

    • Enroll the whole family; engage and support families  

  • Facilitate the reorganization and better coordination of programs and services  

    • Recruit and retain outstanding and appropriate levels of staff  

    • Strengthen collaborative planning  

    • Efficiently and safely provide transportation  

    • Create flexible programming to adapt to future needs  

  • Improve  curriculum  and instruction   

    • Develop student employability skills  

    • Provide comprehensive, continuous services to meet the needs of all students  

    • Foster programs that produce industry credentials and skills certificates for students with special needs  

Based on an in-depth look at how and where students are currently taking CTE courses, as well as the barriers preventing enrollment in CTE, the High School Design Team recommended a new system comprised of a countywide Career Center with smaller satellite sites. Where authentic work environments would be difficult to duplicate in a school setting, those programs would be located in smaller satellite locations. The satellite locations would be housed in the community at places such as Kalamazoo Valley Community College, which is already home to several Education for Employment (EFE) programs, and the Air Zoo, which currently hosts the EFE Aviation program. The Career Center would host the majority of CTE programs, resolving many logistical barriers to enrollment - which most high school students cited as a notable barrier to CTE enrollment. The recommended design would also allow for better integration of curriculum, upkeep of necessary equipment and a more inclusive, work-oriented culture.  

Career Center with Satellites (10th – 12th Grade+)

Focus on All Students:

  • Create a welcoming, positive, inclusive and safe school culture which reflects an effective working environment

  • Substantially increase quantity and diversity of students served in programs, including traditionally underrepresented populations to break cycles of generational poverty

  • Collaborate with diverse employer advisory boards that work in a deliberate, transparent and collaborative manner to ensure effective communication of employer needs

  • Effectively communicate to reduce stigma associated with jobs historically less valued than jobs that require college degrees

  • Enroll the whole family; engage and support families to strengthen support structure around students

  • Strengthen coordinated counseling resources to include a comprehensive menu of opportunities for all students, regardless of their future educational and/or career intentions

  • Provide counseling and support programs that are connected to local employers to help students enter fields of employment that are of interest to them, even if they are historically unavailable or unattractive

Reorganization and Better Coordination of Programs and Services:

  • Recruit and retain outstanding and appropriate levels of staff: leadership, instructional, counselors, teacher consultants, support, career readiness/exploration, work-based learning, marketing family partnerships

  • Strengthen collaborative planning through advisory boards with local districts, KRESA and the business community to provide better oversight, consistency and commitment to the system of Career and Technical Education

  • Efficiently and safely provide transportation to all students to increase access

  • Allow for flexible staffing levels based on student demand and marketability of programs

  • Provide practical and flexible design of facilities to adapt to future program needs

  • Never go dark; create flexible programming during out-of-school time to best serve community needs

Improved Curriculum and Instruction:

  • Develop student employability skills to be successful in work environments

  • Provide comprehensive, continuous services and levels of instruction and curriculum to meet the needs of ALL students, including students with special needs

  • Foster programs that produce industry credentials, including skills certificates for students with special needs

  • Integrate core academic skills throughout the curriculum to engage students in the practical application of what they learn

  • Include Arts and Communication classes in conjunction with CTE programming to build 21st Century skills, including soft skills and service orientation

  • Integrate Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) into the curriculum

  • Create curriculum based on local employer input and state funding priorities including various programming in manufacturing, health care, construction trades, information technology, supply chain management, teacher preparation and other shortage areas

Contact Us

 ​​Kalamazoo RESA

1819 E. Milham Ave., Portage, MI 49002

Tel: 269-250-9200


​​​​© 2023 by Kalamazoo RESA.

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