Technical Schools Lead to Careers
By DYLAN McKENZIE
Many people seek out higher education to help them pursue their goals in life. While some choose to go to a traditional college or university, others might feel that their skills lie in a different direction. For those students, the Belmont-Harrison Career Center helps them to achieve their goals.
The institution has two campuses, one in Harrison County and one in Belmont County. The career center offers a variety of classes to students in their junior and senior years of high school, including carpentry, culinary services, welding, marketing and more.
Representatives from the school travel to area schools for eighth grade visitation, to help the students build interest before high school. Sophomore students begin the enrollment in november, when they have the opportunity to visit the campus and learn more about the opportunities offered by the career center. If the students are interested, they can discuss their options with guidance counselors and select classes.
In February, they can begin the application process to attend the career center for their junior and senior years in the technical program of their choice. The students spend half the day in lab, learning the career and technical skills they are interested in. The rest of the day is spent in class, learning the academic subjects needed for high school graduation.
“We introduce students to everything in the sophomore year,” said school spokesman Bill Glitch. “Then when they come for the ‘hands on’ day, any students that are unsure can take that second day to make sure that’s what they really want.”
Information on the school website states that studies show future job seekers will require more career-specific technical skills and claims that “traditional four-year colleges leave their students equipped with whatever book knowledge they have gained and little or no specific job skills. This hinders them in trying to gain employment in the ever-growing skilled labor market.”
Glitch said the Belmont campus teaches 313 students, while Harrison has 95 students. There are 16 programs of study available at Belmont, with seven at Harrison; Glitch said if a student from Harrison County would like to take a program offered at the Belmont campus, they are free to do so. The career center has students from nine different high schools attending classes, with all the students eager to learn.
“When they’re doing something they’re interested in their whole attitude can change,” Glitch said. “Their grades can improve, their attendance, everything. It’s great to see.”