Southwest Vermont Career Development Center
What is a Regional Technical Center?In the past, people thought of vocational education as a pathway for people who would enter a narrowly defined workforce directly after high school graduation. Today, technical education is so much more. As our economy and our communities grow increasingly complex, the needs of our students to have diverse, rich educational experiences is increasing. Technical education is uniquely prepared to provide students with this richness by connecting them with state of the art resources and experts from a variety of fields.
In Vermont, technical education is provided by sixteen regional technical centers. While these schools are most often adjoined to an academic high school, they provide different educational services to a much wider constituency. Students generally enroll in technical programs as juniors or seniors. Through the technical program and associated courses, students continue to earn credits towards graduation from their sending high school as they expand their educational experience.
Students choose to enroll in technical programs because of the opportunities they provide. Students are engaged in their studies because they are learning about fields that interest them. They learn about and use up to date equipment and technologies, and they make connections to the industries and careers that interest them both through working with teachers who are knowledgeable about the field and by making direct connections to companies through job shadows as work based learning with regional employers.
In technical education, students learn by doing. They develop and work through projects, gathering related theoretical understanding and academic skills along the way. They come to see the skills that they are developing as critical to the success of their endeavors; thus their investment in learning is increased. Further, in modern technical education there is great emphasis placed on the acquisition of transferable skills, as our students will go on to a great variety of continuing education and career experiences.
Technical education, at its best, teaches success, encourages lifelong learning, and provides opportunities to go beyond one's academic training.
We believe that:
- Every individual has a need for and a right to career education.
- Each student has unique talents, interests and needs.
- Learning must be active and experiential, project based and an integration of academic with vocational/technical skills.
- The curriculum must be flexible and must encourage each person to develop to their fullest capacity.
- We are partners with the and community in developing informed, responsible and participating members of society.
- Education includes the development of cultural, social, moral and ethical standards.
- Our instructional role is to facilitate exploration of career areas, development of skills useful in life and careers, self-directedness, and reflection on experiences.
- The school atmosphere must be safe, positive, and respectful.
- Continuous evaluation of programs and performance is a means of providing the highest quality education and training results for students