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CTAE graduation rate hits high of 96 percent

Blog Post: What Georgia’s CTAE graduation rate means for students

December 14, 2017 – The graduation rate for students involved in Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) programs has risen to 96 percent in Georgia.

This rate – which applies to students who complete a Career Pathway – exceeds the statewide graduation rate by 15.4 percentage points.

“Students need to be engaged and see the relevance of their education – and CTAE makes that happen,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “We continue to see that students who complete a Career Pathway are prepared for their future – whether that’s higher education, serving in the military, accepting an apprenticeship or going directly into their career. CTAE connects Georgia’s K-12 schools with business and industry, building a qualified pipeline of students who are ready to participate meaningfully in Georgia’s industries and communities. It’s a win for Georgia’s economy and a win for Georgia’s graduates.”

Georgia’s CTAE program leverages partnerships with industry and higher education to make sure students are ready to take their next step after high school. Students can take courses in more than 100 Career Pathways within 17 Career Clusters, earn recognized industry credentials, participate in work-based learning and apprenticeship opportunities, and serve as leaders through membership in co-curricular Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs).

“Pathway completion helps to keep students in school and helps to get students focused on a very important target – their careers,” State CTAE Director Dr. Barbara Wall said. “Pathway completers are more likely to graduate and more likely to continue in post-secondary education.”

Students who complete a Career Pathway are prepared to pursue higher education (through the University System of Georgia, Technical College System of Georgia, or another institution), enter the military, accept an apprenticeship opportunity or immediately begin their career. Below, learn about four Career Pathway completers whose CTAE experience helped them find success after high school. Click here for even more stories.

USG: DeAndria Wiggins, Web and Digital Design

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DeAndria Wiggins, a 2017 graduate of North Springs High School in Sandy Springs, discovered her love of technology through the Web and Digital Design Career Pathway. She’s now majoring in computer engineering at Georgia State, minoring in computer science, and interning with the Fulton County Schools Help Desk.

“Technology is a growing field, and you never run out of things to do – you never run out of things to learn,” she said.

DeAndria said she’d tell a high school student deciding whether to pursue a Career Pathway to “go for it”.

“There are so many doors and opportunities that they should take advantage of,” she said. “This is the last thing I thought would happen – it’s crazy how things fall into place when you pursue something that’s meaningful to you.” 

TCSG: Jake Howard, Agricultural Mechanics​

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Jake Howard just graduated high school in May – but he’s almost finished with his degree at Ogeechee Technical College.

Thanks to dual enrollment and the Agricultural Mechanics Career Pathway at Southeast Bulloch High School, Jake found a perfect career fit in the electrical industry – and was able to get started right away.

In addition to his grandfather, Jake – who’s been on the President’s List for the past several semesters at OTC – credits his ag teacher at Southeast Bulloch with helping him discover his talent for electrical work.

“My ag program meant a lot to me, and the Pathway I took meant a lot,” Jake said. “It’s taken me farther than I really would’ve imagined.”​ 

 Career/Apprenticeship: Will Treadwell, Public Safety

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The Public Safety Career Pathway helped Will Treadwell, a 2014 graduate of Rockdale Career Academy, begin his career immediately after high school.

Now an officer for the Conyers Police Department, Will said the Public Safety Pathway at RCA gave him a base of knowledge in subjects like case law and law enforcement tactics.

“It helped me get prepared to jump into a law enforcement career as soon as I got out of high school,” Will said. “My classes gave me a lot of knowledge that helped me out through the police academy, because we’d already studied a lot of things that officers deal with on a daily basis.”

Will praised the collaboration between RCA, the Conyers Police Department, and the Rockdale County Sherriff’s office.

“It’s amazing how well they work together,” he said. “We’re still pulling employees from RCA in our department.”​ 

Military: Clayton Shivers, ROTC

Clayton Shivers CTAE.jpg

The ROTC Career Pathway at Troup High School was the first step in Clayton Shivers’ military career. He’s now continuing that path at the United States Military Academy – West Point.  

“When you have been working toward a goal for four years and you finally achieve it, it is a feeling that is out of this world,” Shivers said. “It feels great.”

Candidates for admission to West Point must apply to the Academy and receive nominations from their representative in Congress, their two U.S. Senators, and the Vice President of the United States. After the application process, approximately 1,300 cadets are chosen to enter the Academy in July.

Troup High School Senior Master Sergeant Kevin Jefferson said Shivers was a “stellar performer” in his Career Pathway.

“His selection at West Point does not come as a surprise for us because he has been a stellar leader,” Sergeant Jefferson said. “We anticipate him doing very well at the Academy.”

Click here for more stories from CTAE Pathway completers.