Waunakee Tribune: If you graduated from high school 20 years ago, it’s likely you were being prepared for college and anticipating choosing a career from there.
But today, emphasis on career preparation begins as early as middle school.
“The shift is, now in high school, even middle school, is when we start thinking about what we’re good at and interested in, and what we might do to make a living, and start looking at adding courses that support that,” said Michelle McGlynn, Waunakee High School’s Career and Technical Education Advisor.
February is Career and Technical Education month, and it’s a time McGlynn feels especially proud. Unlike many school districts, Waunakee is able to offer high school courses in all six areas of career and technical education. They include agriculture education, business and information technology, family and consumer science, health science, marketing education and technical education and engineering.
Several courses are offered under each umbrella of CTE, allowing students to begin thinking along those career pathways, McGlynn said.
Student organizations under each of those umbrellas allow them to use their classroom knowledge in competitive situations both at state and national levels.
Students following an agriculture or animal science career path can participate in FFA; business and information technology students can be active in FBLA.
“We’re pretty unique and lucky that at Waunakee, we offer all six programs under career and technical education and also offer career and technical education student organizations,” McGlynn said.