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Hands-On Learning Courses Help MCS Students Become Career-Ready

Hands-On Learning Courses Help MCS Students Become Career-Ready

Montgomery County offers several classes and certifications to jumpstart student’s future careers

At Montgomery County Schools, we believe that a student’s high school years can — and should — be just as formative as the years that precede them. So during the four years they’re here, we’re committed to educating our students at the highest level possible.

Part of that commitment is reflected in our Career and Technical Education (CTE) Courses, which are designed to help students begin preparing for the future right now.

CTE courses provide students with the academic and technical skills, knowledge and training necessary to become successful in both their future careers and the global community. CTE prepares students for the world of work by introducing them to workplace expectations and providing opportunities to develop skillsets and earn professional certifications, all inside a hands-on environment.

CTE courses offered in Montgomery County Schools include the following fields:

  • Agriculture
  • Automotive Technology
  • Business
  • Engineering
  • Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Firefighting
  • Furniture and Cabinetmaking (Woodworking)
  • Health Sciences/Nursing
  • Masonry
  • Woodworking

Each course is designed to teach students an array of knowledge and skills from beginner-level to advanced, and many come with either professional certification or college course credit opportunities.

Daniel Kern has been teaching Furniture and Cabinetmaking courses in Montgomery County Schools for 14 years. He believes that the CTE courses are one of the strongest components of MCS because of the benefits they provide students in preparing for future careers.   

“Montgomery County Schools is very progressive when it comes to helping our students reach their full potential. We are always looking for ways to better our students and teach them valuable lessons and marketable skills that will equip them for a successful future in whatever career or field of study they pursue.”

Avery Pipkin, a graduate of West Montgomery High School, is a former student of Kern’s who knows this to be true. As a sophomore at Appalachian State University (ASU), his involvement in MCS’ CTE courses ended up influencing his educational and career decisions.

He took woodworking for all four years at West Montgomery, earning several certifications and awards in the process, and even received a scholarship from the Architectural Woodwork Institute to study Furniture Design at ASU.

Pipkin credits the hands-on learning provided by the CTE woodworking course for his decision and success:

“The hands-on learning aspect of this course gave me a tangible skillset that has proven to be priceless,” he said. “It helped me gain a better understanding of woodworking as well as gave me a head start in my career. I have work to show for my time spent in the shop as well as certifications that helped me when applying for college and internships and will hopefully help land job opportunities.”  

Casey Galloway, the instructor of MCS’ firefighting courses and an 8-year veteran of the City of Fayetteville, NC’s Firefighting Department, says the CTE courses can do more than just teach students skills and important educational lessons: they can also help them learn about themselves.   

“These courses are invaluable because they teach our students that there is a bigger world outside of high school. CTE classes expose them to real-life situations and how to be aware of and appropriately react to them,” Galloway said. “They also teach our kids a lot about themselves as individuals — how do you react to certain situations? How do you analyze a problem and what do you do to resolve it? These are the kinds of things that will help them succeed in the real world.”

To learn more about the CTE courses, their curriculums and potential certifications, please contact your school’s Guidance Center.