Welcome to Career Tech!
Career Tech is an accredited public charter high school. It serves students by means of a carefully crafted program that mixes the best of traditional and technology-based education. Students take the majority of their classes working with a teacher on site. To balance schedules, at least one third of students’ class credits are earned online or in the field. Online classes are web-based, meaning that students are in school anywhere they can access the Internet. Outdoor education programs in the marine and environmental sciences, woods and metals fabrication, culinary arts and drone technologies are available to all students. This extends our school campus and instructional hours which allows students great flexibility in managing their learning. Students attend a three hour morning or afternoon session at the school, and are then expected to spend sufficient time outside of the building working to complete their studies. Career Tech enrolls an average of about 55 students each year in a student-centered, active learning environment.
Career Tech has been AdvancED Accredited since 1996.
A Bit of History
Back in 1999, Career Tech was called First Resort, and was an alternative high school serving students who were not enjoying success in a traditional high school. In 2000, the school converted to a charter high school, with the charter granted by the Lincoln County School District and the charter held by Community Services Consortium (CSC), a non-profit community action agency that serves Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties. CSC is a parent organization that funnels federal, state, and grant funds to effectively serve low income residents of these counties. In the years since becoming a charter high school, Career Tech has been continually refining itself and improving its focus, which is to be a technology-based workplace simulation that provides students with engaging, relevant courses that prepare them for a diploma and train them for success.
Career Tech is a workplace simulation. This means that students are “hired” for a quarter at a time. At the end of each 9-10 week quarter, students meet with their family and school staff for a performance evaluation. We examine productivity (credits earned), attendance and employability skills. Students who are making adequate progress are invited to return. Most students make adequate progress. Students who are not earning minimum credit requirements are placed on a work plan for the next quarter. If a student is unable to maintain minimum progress for two quarters, we work with the student and family to find a school environment that more closely matches their needs.
School to Work
At Career Tech, the concept of preparing for a career is so important that the word “Career” comprises half of the name of the school. In addition to working for a diploma and acquiring state-of-the-art technical skills, all students must plan for their future after high school. In addition to being “employed” in a simulated work environment, students must complete one half credit in Careers. This includes a student’s specific plan for their transition following high school along with the steps to achieving that plan carefully spelled out.
With satisfying careers as the ultimate goal, students are encouraged to gain work experience in five ways:
- Unpaid technical aide or instructional aide positions at Career Tech
- Volunteer (again unpaid) positions in the community
- Paid positions funded by various grants
- Paid positions funded through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA)
- Unsubsidized paid positions in the community
In all five of the above, students submit an application and a job description. Students receive elective credit upon submission of a performance review signed by their supervisor.