North Dakota students aren’t waiting until after high school to start learning on the job.
Career and technical classes are giving kids the chance to get their hands on the tools they need to get ready for what’s ahead.
It’s not all textbooks, and lectures here.
Instead kids are putting on their gloves, and tuning up their job skills.
“Figuring it out yourself, so me just building the circuit and seeing it work, and me testing it, that’s just the coolest part,” Marcus Yeado, Bismarck Career Academy, junior says.
Only a junior, Marcus is one of many students who are getting ahead in high school, by getting hands on.
“You get an early look at what you can do instead of just going to college and immediately going into a technical class that a lot of people don’t know about,” Yeado says.
Marcus is one of many North Dakota students that takes advantage of career and technical classes.
“We can go out and do welding, we can go out and do robotics like I did, we can go out and do electronics,” Yeado says.
Teaching kids skills they can’t always get from cracking a book.
“Classes like this one are giving kids a head start and helping them decide where they want to go when high school’s over,” Yeado says.
“The electronics articulation program, specifically, if you take all three years [at the Bismarck Career Academy] you finish high school with 28 college credits, so I got to skip my entire first year of college,” Reilly Hedegaard, Bismarck State College, sophomore says.
Putting him on an accelerated career path while this student is taking advantage of all her options.
“I took both Medical Related Careers II and CNA because I want to be a doctor when I get older and Med II helped me figure out what I want to be,” Megan Anderson, Bismarck Career Academy, senior says.
And no matter where they end up, in an exam room or the computer lab, for these kids, it’s never too early to jump into their future.
After high school, North Dakota students are eligible for the North Dakota Scholarship for Career and Technical Education.
Schools who offer those classes in high school consistently see more kids receive that scholarship to continue their schooling than those who don’t.