Mar-20-14 Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno Promotes Career And Technical Education School Partnerships During Visit To Atlantic County Institute Of Technology
“The AMES program concentrates on all of the skills and knowledge that students need to prepare themselves for a variety of technical career paths, giving them a tremendous advantage whether they choose to enroll in college programs or directly enter the workforce,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno. “Atlantic County Institute of Technology is paving the way for our STEM students to change the way we think about math, engineering and science. New Jersey is proud to be home to such a progressive institute of learning.”
ACIT is the school of choice for approximately 1,100 high school students from 23 municipalities in a county that covers 566 square miles and includes Atlantic City. ACIT offers seven career academies and ten career major programs. Through these programs, students have the opportunity to complete an array of academic and career and technical courses to earn both a high school diploma and a technical certification.
The school is dedicated to providing each student the opportunity to reach his or her potential as a productive and successful member of the community. This is accomplished by offering students an innovative curriculum, which combines academic instruction, career-technical education, internships, and structured work experiences designed to bridge the gap between classroom learning and workplace skills. Graduates of ACIT programs are well prepared to pursue advanced education at the college level, and, if they choose, they have an edge in seeking employment in today’s competitive job market.
Students in the technical program pursue a rigorous course of academic and technical courses, including robotics, green technology, web design, database management, and computer programming. The FAA Tech Center provides work-based learning experiences that enable students to apply their skills to the real world. It also helps to guide the curriculum and provides guest speakers, as well as professional development for teachers, to keep the programs aligned with industry needs.
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey provides students in the AMES program with dual credit opportunities in the following areas: pre-calculus, calculus, physics, biology, and intro to sustainability. Over the course of the last year, AMES teachers have been fortunate to work with Dr. Patrick Hossay to develop a green pathway of study focused on sustainability and green careers that connect high school and post-secondary education. Stockton has also provided resources and staffing to help support ACIT programming. Additionally, under the direction of Dr. Hossay last year, Stockton graduate students helped conduct an energy audit with ACIT staff and students.
Lt. Governor Guadagno was joined today by Commissioner Harold J. Wirths of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and Marie Barry, director of the state Department of Education’s Office of Career and Technical Education. The state officials met with students, educators and representatives of the school and the academy’s partners to learn more about the math, engineering and science program.
“Creating partnerships such as the one at ACIT helps to develop high-functioning programs in our Career and Technical Education schools that are important to bridging what employers call the great skills gap preventing people from being hired after graduation from high school and college,” said Labor Commissioner Wirths. “Educational programs such as this ensure students will acquire the skills and knowledge that are being demanded by the employers driving New Jersey’s economy in the 21st Century.”
School representatives who took part in the tour included Dr. Philip Guenther, Superintendent; Ronald DeFelice, Principal; Jamie Moscony, Curriculum Coordinator; and Dennis Levinson, Atlantic County Executive. Representing the FAA Tech Center were Dennis L. Filler, Director of the William J. Hughes Technical Center, Holly M. Cyrus, Project Manager. Representatives from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey included Dr. Harvey Kesselman, Provost; Dr. Dennis Weiss, Dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics; and Dr. Patrick Hossay, Associate Professor of Sustainability.
There are career and technical education programs offered throughout New Jersey’s 21 county vocational high schools and in more than 100 traditional high schools. More than 90,000 secondary students participate in CTE programs, with approximately 30,000 of them attending the 21 vocational schools. Approximately 70 percent of the state’s vocational-tech students attend college. Every county features partnerships with business, industry, colleges and universities.