CTE Offers Advanced Courses to Meet Workforce Demand

October 03, 2012

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia is joining Ohio and Pennsylvania to develop advanced energy, power and engineered systems courses for career technical students.

The West Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Career and Technical Innovation is spearheading the project to meet workforce demands of the rapidly expanding energy industry. Writing teams will share their varied expertise Friday and Saturday in Morgantown. Secondary career technical education and academic teachers will work with industry and post-secondary representatives to create courses three and four in the rigorous project-based curriculum.

Faculty from Marshall University, West Virginia University Institute of Technology, West Virginia University at Parkersburg and Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College will work with American Electric Power engineers, who have worked with the West Virginia Department of Education since the project’s inception last year. They will be joined by additional industry representatives from the oil and gas industry.

"When so many groups come together for a common purpose, our students will no doubt benefit,” said state Superintendent Jorea Marple.

The curriculum has attracted the attention of other states with similar energy work force needs. Representatives from the Ohio and Pennsylvania departments of education also are sending delegations to help with the writing. The event marks the first time that so many groups have collaborated to build such an important curriculum project. 

West Virginia was one of 12 states selected by the Southern Regional Education Board to spearhead the “Preparation for Tomorrow” curriculum for career technical centers.  Each state is charged with developing four standards-based career technical courses in high-demand, high-skill and high-wage career areas unique to its economical needs and opportunities. The course specifics will then be shared among the states.

West Virginia chose to design the energy and power curriculum for secondary schools to use in preparing high school students for careers in energy and power fields. The courses will then be available at career technical centers statewide. 

Other states are developing courses in aerospace engineering; construction design; health careers; science and technology; science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education; informatics; food and nutritional sciences; project management; automated material joining technologies; and renewable energy.

For more information, contact the West Virginia Department of Education at 304-558-2699.

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