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  • Writer's pictureRick Joseph

Captivating Career and Technical Education

Amazing! I was astounded by what I experienced at the Oakland Schools Technical Campus Northeast. Students highly engaged in meaningful learning. An extraordinary breadth of course offerings and career paths. Passionate instructors who are expert educators and leaders in their field.

My antiquated understanding of Career and Technical Education was blown to pieces the moment I walked onto the sprawling campus. The atmosphere was very professional and businesslike. The students were all very actively involved and their work was purposeful.

Young people from high schools across northeast Oakland County eagerly arrive from their home schools to spend a half day working in a career path that is most appealing to them for the 21st century. There is no question that these young people are destined to not only do meaningful work immediately but to enter into programs that afford them a myriad of future possibilities, from leadership roles to pursuing college and advanced degrees.

The walls between the classroom and the real world are completely torn down at the OSTC. From newer career opportunities like computer networking and mechatronics to more traditional offerings like culinary arts and cosmetology, students see and feel the relevance of their education. Every student I spoke with talked about the importance of doing something they enjoy and knowing they are embarking on a meaningful career trajectory.

I was able to benefit from the Culinary Arts/Hospitality program’s holiday buffet which featured a mind-boggling array of delicious lunchtime fare prepared expertly by the students themselves. The buffet was open to the public and one small example of the practical, real-world experiences students have every day at OSTC.

Dean Paul Galbenski and the Career Tree - a fixture in OSTC classrooms

Eagerly awaiting service at the holiday buffet

A student displays the fruits of his computer coding skills

Students' computer programming has practical applications in assembly technologies

Dean Paul Galbenski - Michigan Teacher of the Year 2012

A mix of old and new technologies abound

Practical applications are central to engaged learning

Cosmetology provides real service to the community through its public salon

These culinary educators are training the chefs of tomorrow

Pedal cars - an interdisciplinary effort

EMT training is part of Health Sciences

Real-world experiences are a part of the process

Troubleshooting and repair is critical to computer networking

The basics of soldering are essential

Construction technology builds and tears down onsite

The art and science of joining materials in construction technology

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