Reaching beyond a traditional classroom, eight Lawrence County High School students are piloting a Career-Technical Education initiative in partnership with Ashland Community and Technical College (ACTC). This high school experience now consists of attending classes onsite at ACTC, taking online virtual classes, and maintaining a flexible schedule individualized to the student’s career pathway.
Even though Lawrence County Schools has always strived to provide students with an individualized learning to meet the needs of each child, in 2019 the district began a Personalized Learning initiative to expand the opportunities for our students. The mission of Personalized Learning is “Lawrence County Schools: ALL IN for building relationships to personalize learning that inspires, challenges, and equips each student to dream, to persist, and to succeed.”
Eight Lawrence County High School students are attending Ashland Community and Technical College (ACTC) at Technology Campus on Industrial Parkway in order to obtain high school and college credit. As part of the district’s Personalized Learning initiative four juniors and four seniors report to Technology Campus instead of LCHS 2-5 days a week, depending on the program in which they are enrolled. Of these students, five of these students are enrolled in the Electrical Technology program, one student in welding, one student in Industrial Maintenance, and one in Automotive Technology.
These eight students were selected after a rigorous vetting process which included students first declaring an educational pathway as part of their Individual Learning Plan (ILP). From that point, it was determined what pathways desired by students were not already part of the career-technical programming at LCHS. Those students desiring pathways not currently offered were then vetted by determining if they met the following criteria set forth by the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS).
In order to participate, students must meet any course-specific requirements noted in the KCTCS course catalog and AT LEAST ONE of the following:
- An ACT Composite Score of 16;
- OR ACT Mathematics 16 AND ACT Reading 16;
- OR any accepted equivalent from the KCTCS Assessment and Placement Policy;
- OR a high school grade point average (GPA) of 2.5;
Once the selected students were finalized, an agreement with ACTC and LC schools was approved. Students report to LCHS on the days they do not have scheduled classes at ACTC. However, these students must follow the college schedule by attending on days LC is not in session. (For example, Lawrence County Schools and ACTC did not have the same fall break. Students were required to attend classes at ACTC, even though the school district was on fall break.) Students are both enrolled at LCHS and ACTC receiving dual credit for college classes they successfully complete.
Students currently involved in this pilot and their respective programs are: Junior Brandon Davis, Industrial Maintenance; Senior Matthew Hawken, Welding; Senior Gavin Lambert, Automotive Technology; Seniors Braydon Wilks, Nathan Wilks, Brayden Hensley, and Juniors Logan and Luke Preece in Electricity. A ninth student Christopher Skaggs has been completing on-line courses in Machine Tool Technology and will begin on-campus in January.
“LCHS is focused on the career interest of the students. These interests vary from needing a Doctorate to a Bachelor’s Degree in college to an Industry Certification. To assist students with these career choices all students complete ILPs (Individualized Learning Plans). During our DAWGS, Coaching students are able to explore possible careers and select a career pathway. Sometimes the careers of interest are current pathways in our CTE department however this is not always the case, “stated Principal Christy Moore.
Local businesses and organizations have supported this initiative with the Louisa Rotary Club donating $75 to each of the electrical students for equipment and tools. In addition, Riverside Generating donated more than $5500 to the electrical students to assist with their extensive tool list requirement. Nick Fluty, Manager at Riverside Generating is pleased that our industry can investment in the future workforce and support LCHS with this program.
The Career-Technical Personalized Learning Initiative will be expanding next year. Students at LCHS are now completing their Individualized Learning Plans (ILPs) and choosing a career pathway. Depending on their plan, students will be involved in the vetting process for the 20-21 school year.
“Our district’s success depends on our ability to help students reach their personal goals,” said Superintendent Robbie Fletcher. “Personalized learning is an initiative we began researching over a year ago, and we believe it is the future of Lawrence County Schools. We are in discussion with other colleges in order to expand these offerings for the 2020-2021 school year. If our students’ career pathways lead them to be teachers, doctors, mechanics, welders, lawyers, electricians, or to any other career, we will strive to provide opportunities for ALL through personalized learning.”
For more information about the program or how business and industry may support this STEM initiative, please call Chief Academic Officer Cassandra Webb at (606) 638-9671.