By Dianne Walker
For the last two years our daughter, Shen, has been attending the Traverse Bay Area Career-Tech Center on Parsons Road. She has had a great experience there and I wanted to write to let the community know about this wonderful and underutilized asset.
The TBA Career—Tech Center offers students from the five-county area training in 21 occupational programs. Approximately 1,100 area students are currently enrolled in 11th and 12th grades, and attend the Tech Center for a half day either in the afternoon or morning. They attend their regular school for the other half day for their core classes of math, science, English and history.
Shen and I were very impressed by the state-of-the-art equipment and up-to-date technology to which these students have access. Tenth grade area students are invited to an open house to preview what programs are offered. The mission of the Career—Tech Center is to prepare students with skills and learning experiences for employment and life-long learning. It is very common for Career—Tech students to find well-paying jobs right after graduation. For many of them, they have a head start on post-secondary training.
Shen has been home-schooled since sixth grade. She knew that in 11th and 12th grade she would be attending the Career-Tech Center. We let her choose the program she wanted. She attended the open house and previewed several programs and decided the Allied Health program was the most interesting.
This two-year program introduces students to the skills and knowledge needed for employment within the diverse health care fields. Shen was given work experience at Munson Medical Center and the Grand Traverse Pavilions. The skills she learned, and was able to practice, gave her a great learning experience in the medical field.
During the time I was helping Shen, I also learned the miracles of the human body. We learned together how the systems of the body all work together and it is so fragile yet resilient.
I encourage you, if you have a young high school student, to take them on a tour of the TBA Career-Tech Center and see if they are inspired to pursue one of the careers they offer. Shen has experienced a wonderful learning and growing opportunity. Career-Tech staff has taught her to be responsible, be on time, and not miss school and to put her best foot forward.
Our family would like to thank the teachers, counselors, and administration at the Career-Tech Center. We learned it is a great place to prepare our daughter for her future careers.
The Career-Tech Center motto: Where can Career-Tech graduates go? Anywhere in the world!
About the author: Dianne Walker is a retired Traverse City Area Public Schools mathematics teacher who served as Traditional Math District Supervisor and created the SCI-MA-TECH program at Traverse City Central High School. She is the wife of state Sen. Howard Walker.
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