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Berrien County Career & Technical Education (CTE) is a vibrant learning community within our individual communities, emphasizing rich and diverse programming for our students. Our goal is to create multiple career pathway options for our students by combining relevant, engaging experiences in both the classroom as well as industry. These pathways stress a rigorous core academic curriculum and focus it in a manner that emphasizes hands-on, critical thinking skills that are vital for the employability of our students in the future.
Berrien County utilizes a unique delivery system for our CTE programming stemming from Public Act 56 (PA56), creating learning centers throughout the county that are accessible and available to all of our Berrien County high school students. These learning centers consist of thirteen school districts, two colleges, one university and countless local industrial and community organizations collaborating to offer these unique opportunities for our students. Every day across the county hundreds of students travel between these learning centers, taking advantage of the multiple learning opportunities this style of programming allows.
Career and Technical Education is an essential component to the overall preparation of our students to be BOTH college and career ready. Our students must leave our programs prepared to compete and excel in our global economy. Whether their next step involves pursuing a two, four or more years of advanced degrees, trade schools, the military, apprenticeships, or pursuing their career choice through on-the-job training, our goal is to ensure they are equipped to take those next steps.
For more information on the many different Career and Technical Education options available to our students, contact:
Regional Director Career & Technical Education
Berrien Regional Education Service Agency
Phone: 269-471-7725 ext. 1328
BERRIEN COUNTY CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION
A Public Act 56 (PA56) Consortium
Berrien County Career & Technical Education (CTE) is a vibrant learning community with rich and diverse programming for our secondary students. Our purpose is to create a more relevant, engaging high school experience by combining the rigorous core academics that students need for college with the career and technical education that makes them employable, and to do it in an applied, hands-on way that includes real-life experience. Not only does career-relevant education keep students engaged in school but studies have shown that students in such programs have higher graduation rates than students who did not take CTE courses. The rigorous education each student receives through the Berrien County Career & Technical Education (CTE) programs provide the student with the technical skills and academic knowledge needed to prepare for future employment and/or a successful transition to post-secondary education.
Our career educational options are some of the most valuable resources and can help high school students gain a competitive advantage while preparing for college or a career. Berrien County Career and Technical Education is delivered through a system of shared time programs available at most of our local high schools. While Berrien County does not have a physical career center, we are still able to provide access to career and technical education classes through the Public Act 56 Consortium (PA56). If a local school district does not offer a specific CTE course, our students are able to travel to a district that does offer the desired course. Every day, hundreds of high school students cross district lines to take advantage of career and technical education programs offered in other districts.
Career and Technical Education is an essential component of the total educational system in Berrien County and is critical to our ability to develop students who are able to compete in a global economy. These are shared time programs and are available to all students in Berrien County, regardless of their home district.
Our goal is to continue the tradition of excellence by enhancing our career and technical education programs with an innovative approach that serves our county's secondary students. Our objective is to help students experience a seamless entry into institutions of higher learning leading to academic and workplace success.
To obtain additional information on Berrien County Career & Technical Education, contact:
Chris Machiniak, Regional Director
Phone: 269-471-7725 ext. 1328
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
WHAT IS CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION (CTE)?
Career and Technical Education (CTE) is an essential component of the high school curriculum and provides rigorous, high-quality programs that integrate core academic knowledge with technical and occupational skills to provide students with a pathway to post-secondary education, advanced training, and careers.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO TAKE A CTE COURSE?
Please check with your high school for eligibility and participation policies. Career and Technical Education is beneficial for all students, providing them with a foundation of academic knowledge and essential technical skills. CTE courses and programs introduce students to career options and assist them in making informed educational choices.
IS THERE ANY PROOF THAT CTE WORKS?
Yes, there are national studies that show:
Students who take two or more CTE courses are less likely to drop out of high school.
High school CTE programs prepare students for the many highly skilled, high wage, high demand careers.
Students concentrating in a CTE pathway are more likely to continue to post-secondary education or advanced training.
WHAT IS A CAREER PATHWAY?
A career pathway is a broad grouping of careers that share similar characteristics and whose employment requirements have many common interests, strengths, and competencies. Berrien County and the State of Michigan have six career pathways:
Arts and Communications
Business, Management, Marketing and Technology
Engineering, Manufacturing, and Industrial Technology
Natural Resources and Agriscience
HOW DO I ENROLL IN A CTE PROGRAM?
Schedule a meeting with your high school guidance counselor or CTE Director to discuss your options for enrolling in CTE programs offered at your high school or in other school districts
If you attend a non-public, parochial, or are homeschooled, contact your local public school and talk to the CTE Director or guidance counselor about enrolling in the CTE program of your choice.
ARE THERE SOME PROGRAMS THAT ARE JUST FOR MALE OR FEMALE STUDENTS (I.E. CERTIFIED NURSING ASSISTANT FOR FEMALES AND WELDING FOR MALES)?
Regardless of your gender, all CTE programs are open to every student. We have many successful female students in our Auto Tech or Welding programs each year, as well as many outstanding male students in our Professional Health Careers Academy (PHCA) and Allied Health programs.
WHAT IS THE PROFESSIONAL HEALTH CAREERS ACADEMY AND HOW DO I GET INTO IT?
The Professional Health Careers Academy (PHCA) is a program that is made possible through a partnership between the Lakeland Regional Health System, Berrien County PA56 Consortium, Berrien Regional Education Service Agency and Lake Michigan College. PHCA is a rigorous program that combines high school and college classes with hands-on experience in careers in the health field. PHCA students do seven rotations (hands-on experiences or job shadowing) throughout the year beginning in October. Each rotation is for three weeks and is three days per week. The remaining week of each month is then spent back in the classroom.
The second semester includes a Monday through Friday LMC Anatomy and Physiology college class.
The PHCA program is a selective admission program that requires the submission of an application packet and a formal interview. There are limited seats available for the program, so students are encouraged to apply in a timely manner to be considered for admission. Applications are normally available in your school's guidance office in mid-January to early February for the next school year, with interviews taking place sometime in March or early April. There are specific requirements to be accepted into this program, so talk to your school's guidance counselor or CTE Director to learn more.
CAN I EARN COLLEGE CREDITS IN MY CTE CLASS?
Many of our CTE classes offer opportunities to earn college credit through articulation, direct credit and dual enrollment, as well as 5th Year Early/Middle College. Please school's guidance counselor or CTE Director for more information on the possibilities of earning college credits in a particular CTE program.
WILL ALL OF THE COLLEGE CREDITS I EARNED WHILE IN HIGH SCHOOL TRANSFER TO THE COLLEGE OF MY CHOICE?
Courses taken through dual enrollment and direct credit are true college courses and are designed to transfer to other colleges and universities. Students can visit the Michigan Transfer Network to see how courses generally transfer from one institution to another. Because transfer requirements vary by institution, students should also contact the institution where they intend to transfer to verify how the courses will transfer to that institution.
WHO DO I CONTACT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT CTE PROGRAMS?
If you have questions about any of the CTE programs available in the county, you can speak with your school's guidance counselor or CTE Director. If you are not sure who the CTE Director is for your school, visit the Berrien County CTE webpage and click on the Staff link for a list of CTE Directors in Berrien County.
Berrien County CTE Facts:
How are Programs created?
CTE Works for the Economy Investing in CTE yields big returns for state economies.
CTE Works for Business CTE addresses the needs of high-growth industries and helps close the skills gap.
CTE preparing students to meet the needs of the high-wage, high-skill jobs that are rapidly becoming available in STEM fields in Michigan and across this country.