(April 7) Technical schools expanding to meet new needs

By Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer POSTED: April 07, 2014

In one of the newest and fastest-growing secondary schools in Chester County, teacher Katie Smith was demonstrating proper technique to 16-year-old Courtney Draper and 18-year-old Scott Persing – with a big assist from Dwight.

Dwight is a silken-haired shih tzu. Persing was anxiously shaving fur from the squirmy toy-breed canine at the Brandywine campus of the Technical College High School, run by the Chester County Intermediate Unit, taking another step toward a veterinary career.

Formerly branded “vo-tech” and disdained by baby boomers and their children who saw them as dumping grounds for college-track washouts, programs such as this – redubbed “career and technical education,” or CTE – can barely expand quickly enough to meet the demand from a new generation of students. They have watched costs skyrocket and job prospects dwindle for university graduates, even as well-paying skilled jobs in manufacturing, auto repair, and medical centers that don’t require college degrees go begging.

Draper, Persing, and thousands of others are opting to learn something beyond biology, geometry, and Shakespeare: a trade.

Full story: Technical schools expanding to meet new needs Kathy Boccella, The Inquirer, 4/7/14


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