Career and technical education isn’t a new concept, but one high school hopes its twist on the program will become a model for how Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools can extend its reach to more students.
North Mecklenburg High is actively recruiting students in Huntersville, Cornelius and north Charlotte to its technical institute, now in its second year. Counselor and coordinator Todd Porter said the school-within-a-school is aimed at giving students a ticket to a job after high school or an easier path to a specialized college program.
A 2013 bond referendum included more than $8.6 million to create more technical institutes across the county by 2019.Automotive tech
Cosmetology Culinary arts
Checking out the technical institute at North Meck High. Here's automotive program. pic.twitter.com/L3hvX4mrp5— Andrew Dunn (@andrew_dunn) January 22, 2015
Olympic High has also set up an advanced manufacturing and entrepreneurship school that’s sending students to companies like Siemens and Bosch Rexroth.
It’s open to students who would normally go to Hopewell, Hough and Mallard Creek high schools, in addition to North Mecklenburg.
The program admits five students from each school at each grade level in each of the four programs. That equates to a capacity of 320 students. This year, the program’s second, there are 149 students enrolled.
Rising freshmen and sophomores are eligible to apply to the technical institute through the CMS magnet process. Rising juniors who are interested in the program can apply directly with the school.
Porter said he hopes to expand the program at North Mecklenburg before launching similar magnet institutes at other schools. Garinger, Independence and West Mecklenburg are all slated to receive money for technical institutes from the bond referendum.
“We would like to expand access as much as we can,” Chancey said.