2016-02-25 / Opinion

NACTC Opens Doors to College and Careers

To the Editor:

More often than not, when people hear the term “career and tech” they think of the outdated vocational centers that rose in popularity during the post-war era. While serving an important purpose, those programs were geared toward students of low academic achievement and strictly working class backgrounds. For those considering college, vocational education was not an option and was seen as a means to blue collar employment with limited socioeconomic mobility. Back then, you had to choose between college or career. Today, at the Newport Area Career and Technical Center (NACTC), this couldn't be further from the truth. With college debt mounting and a rapidly changing global marketplace, students and families are looking to access more robust, personalized experiences that will lead them to multiple college and career pathways.

NACTC, the regional career and tech center serving students from Little Compton, Portsmouth, Tiverton, Middletown and Newport, prepares students for both college and career through a combination of strong academics, technical application, real-world learning and industry certification. Students can chose from six accredited career and tech programs, including Academy of Information Technology, Advertising ~ Design & New Media, Automotive, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts and Residential Carpentry where students work on community projects and in student-run businesses and paid internships. Students are able to graduate from high school with a better understanding of career options and solid job readiness skills, such as communication and problem solving, which are critical for success in college, career and citizenship.

The outcomes of NACTC alumni speak for themselves in many ways, and while some students go directly into their career of choice, the majority of today's graduates go on to attend college. In fact, many students have stated that participation in NACTC gave them the extra edge they needed to get in to some of the country’s most competitive schools –including Virginia Tech, Parson’s School of Design and Harvard.

To learn more about the NACTC programs, attend the NACTC Info Night on Wednesday, March 2, 6 p.m. at the Newport Area Career & Technical Center.

Kerry M. Clarke College & Career Readiness Coordinator Newport Schools

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