School is out for the summer. For students who were part of Greenwood High School’s non-traditional programs at the Career and Technical Center this year, however, summer is a great time to test the skills they’ve acquired.
A non-traditional student is a student of the opposite gender enrolled in a class that has traditionally been dominated by one gender. Examples are a female student enrolled in the automotive service technician class or a male student who wants to be a registered nurse enrolling in a health science program.
A student must be a sophomore before he or she can enroll in one of the CTC’s non-traditional courses. At the end of this school year, the students were treated to a barbecue and received certificates for their enrollment.
One student, Otis Hudson, wants to own his own restaurant one day. He enrolled in the culinary arts program. Culinary arts students learn more than just how to cook. They learn about the food service industry, management skills and the different tools and techniques used in a kitchen, as well as learning to prepare every day meals. At the end of the first year of the class, students are able to take a recipe that serves four and convert it into a recipe that serves 400.
Hudson recently completed the ProStart National Certification Exam given to all culinary arts students across the state. His instructor, Emma Dunlap, said Hudson passed “with flying colors.”
“I plan to have a career in the food service industry,” Hudson said. “I hope to give people a new taste, something that will open their eyes to worldly cultures. I want to enlighten the taste buds of many people from every corner of the world.”
Another non-traditional student, Brent Moreno, enrolled in the health science curriculum this year as a sophomore.
He said he chose this class because of his interest in the medical field. Health science is a two-year skills program that introduces students to health careers, the basic health sciences and basic health career skills. In the first year, students learn about basic health care skills, legal and ethical issues, medical terminology, body systems and health care career possibilities. In the second year, the primary emphasis is to engage students in advanced skills while gaining an in-depth knowledge of health care careers, including job shadowing experiences in health care facilities. Moreno said he has learned many hands-on activities from his instructor Carol Love.
“My greatest motivation has always been the fact that I love helping people,” he said. “Being a registered nurse would allow me to do just that.”
Kelea Swims chose construction, which is part of the trade and technical program. This program provides students with the academic and technical knowledge and skills they need to prepare for further education and for careers. Swims said her goal is to become a contractor.
“My experience with my instructor Richard Reese has been wonderful,” she said. “I have made a tissue holder and a shelf, and I’ve learned to use tools that even the males have never used. My favorite tool is the miter saw.”
Swims also said being in the program has shown her that “there are jobs that males typically do that females can also do.”
For automotive service technician instructor Harry Davidson, Tia Wilson has been one of his brightest students. Wilson said she chose the automotive program because she likes to be hands-on when learning. Wilsons said she does not plan a career in the automotive industry, but she can still brag about her problem-solving skills, and she hopes to be able to use her knowledge to become more independent wherever her career path takes her.