VINELAND — Cumberland County Technical Education Center's Class of 2020 — totally 241 students — assembled at Cumberland County College Friday for a meet and greet before they begin class in the fall.
As the future students mingled and got to meet each other, Superintendent Dina Elliott addressed the parents about the upcoming year and possible rumors that may have swirled about the admissions process and dropped courses.
The 241 students were selected out of 500 applicants through an admission process that looked at a student's final grades from seventh grade, their first semester of eighth grade, and the results of two tests they took for math and language arts.
"A lot of people feel that it should have been a lottery process, which is employed when you talk about choice schools or charter schools." Elliott said. "They employ a lottery. That is not what county vocational schools employ. We are, by law, are allowed to have admissions criteria. We need to ensure that students are going to be successful in their career pathway — whether they going to be in college or the business world — that they are going to be prepared."
Elliott also addressed the parents the fact that Millville Public Schools and Cumberland Regional High School has announced that it would not allow CCTEC students to participate in its high school sports. According to Elliott, she is working with those two school districts and the Department of Education to find middle ground.
Kelly Perry, a parent from Bridgeton whose daughter is attending CCTEC in the fall, hopes that they resolve the sports issues.
"I do hope that it does get ironed out," Perry said. "It's not the end of the world but I think it's the well rounding of school — the social aspect, the educational aspect."
During her presentation to the parents, Elliott showed off a slideshow of pictures of the new $70 million CCTEC facility, which is located next to the Cumberland County College campus. She also announced that CCTEC students can earn credit for Cumberland County College through its duel enrollment program — which the parents applauded.
The incoming fall freshman will be the first full-time class for CCTEC — to go with the brand new building. CCTEC will continue to instruct its adult students in the evening and have its part-time students.
Late last month, the CCTEC Board of Education voted that the part-time students this upcoming school year will not have plumbing/HVAC and electrical programs due to a lack of enrollment. According to Elliott, this will not affect the full-time students and their future enrollment into those programs because they will not even have the option to choose one of those trades until later on into their CCTEC stay.
"The students in their freshman year will have an overall understanding of construction trades," Elliott said. "When they become juniors and seniors that's when they will start to specialize in plumbing, electrical and HVAC."
By the time Elliott's address was complete, the parents applauded the new opportunities for CCTEC students — even as they were given a plethora multi-colored forms on which to fill out their child's information.
For Bridgeton resident Frances Acevedo, it was her son that recognized the opportunities for CCTEC students, pushed to be enrolled in CCTEC and was accepted into the business program.
"I'm very excited for him," she said. "He showed the initiative and wanted to be a part of it. I think this is a very good path for him."
August 4, 2016 | Source