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Academies, Career and Technical Education

Academies, Career and Technical Education

Jody Reeves Executive Director


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The Department of Academies, Career and Technical Education provides leadership and support to teachers in the Technical Education field which prepares high school students for postsecondary education and the demands of the 21st century economy. All courses provide an environment where students can learn the relevance of combining technical skills with academic knowledge. Various resources and training workshops are available to assist teachers and staff in delivering quality instruction in these areas. Development and implementation of the Academies education model in high schools are also led from this department.


Description of Program
Technical Education is offered in Gwinnett County Public Schools in order to better prepare high school students for the demands of the 21st century economy and postsecondary education. All courses provide an environment where students can learn the relevance of combining technical skills with academic knowledge.


Career Pathways
The Georgia Department of Education has developed Career Pathways that will allow students to concentrate their studies in an area of Technical Education to prepare for a seamless transition from middle school to high school to postsecondary training in college or technical school. Pathways have been developed in 47 areas for 2009-10. While all courses may be taken as a stand-alone elective course, the strength of the Pathway lies in completing an established program of study that leads to validation through an industry-based assessment. Contact your local school to find out which Pathways are offered at each location.


1. High School Areas of Study

Business and Computer Science
All courses in Business and Computer Science are offered as elective credit. Mastery of business skills with project-based learning and leadership development activities through Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) will give students a competitive edge for the global marketplace. Students can complete a Career Pathway in the areas of Small Business Development, Financial Management-Accounting, Financial Management-Services, Computing, Interactive Media, Computer Systems and Support, Computer Networking, and Administrative Information Support.

Students who are interested in competing in a global society should prepare by registering for Marketing courses. Students who are in Marketing classes may further develop their skills through participation in DECA, a student organization. Students can complete a Career Pathway in the areas of Marketing and Management, Fashion Marketing, Marketing Communications and Promotion, Travel Marketing and Lodging Management and Sports and Entertainment Marketing.

Family and Consumer Science
These courses provide students with the opportunity to complete a Career Pathway in the areas of Early Childhood Education, Teaching as a Profession, Culinary Arts, Interior Design and Nutrition and Food Science. Some schools also offer students the opportunity to participate in FCCLA (Family Career Community Leaders of America).

Technology Education/Engineering
Students are introduced to skills, techniques, and working conditions of professions related to the fields of technology and engineering. The student will have the opportunity to be involved in problem solving processes. Students learn about robotics, lasers, pneumatics, materials and processes, engineering technology, electronic, engineering, computer aided drafting (CAD) and computer-assisted design and production. Reinforcement of math, language arts, science, and social studies is integral to the Technology Education curriculum. Students can participate in competitive events through Robotics teams or through the Technology Students Association (TSA). Students can complete a Career Pathway in the areas of Engineering Graphics and Design, Energy Systems, Electronics, Architecture, Engineering, and Manufacturing.

Video-Broadcast Journalism/Communication Technology
Students who choose to take Video Broadcast Journalism have the opportunity to have hands-on experience in the development of visual communication. Development of media includes project management, script development, editing, and studio work. Students work as a team to produce news stories, editorials, features, and documentaries. Students will acquire the knowledge and skills to be lifelong effective consumers and producers of visual communication. Students should have basic computer and keyboarding skills and strong written communication skills.

Maxwell High School of Technology
Maxwell High School of Technology offers 13 cutting –edge programs, with state-of-the-art technology, equipment and facilities that go beyond what is available in traditional high school classrooms. Students from all GCPS high schools may enroll in these programs to explore industries in depth and gain real-world experience before entering college or joining the workforce. Students may register for Maxwell through local school registration. Open house events generally are held in late fall, prior to class registration. Transportation is provided to and from GCPS high schools. Students may complete a Career Pathway in the areas of Aircraft Flight Operations, Auto Collision Repair, Auto Services, Commercial Art, Construction, Cosmetology, Early childhood Education, Electronics, Engineering Drawing and Design/Architecture, Graphic Communications, Healthcare Science (Emergency Services, Medical Services, or Nursing) Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice or Welding.

Grayson High School Technical Education Program
The Technical Education Program at Grayson High School offers 13 innovative instructional programs in a state-of-the-art facility, located on the Grayson campus. Students from all GCPS high schools may enroll in these programs to explore industries in depth and gain real world experience before entering college or joining the workforce. Students may complete a Career Pathway in the areas of Biotechnology, Commercial Photography, Computer Information Technology and Network Systems, Culinary Arts, Digital Media and Animation, Environmental and Conservation Science, Environmental Horticulture, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, Music Recording, Music Technology, Travel Marketing and Lodging Management, Veterinary Technology, and Video Production and Television Broadcast.

Work-Based Learning
Work-Based Learning is a useful tool to assist students in applying knowledge and skills that are learned in the classroom to real-life situations in the workplace. Contact the Work-Based Learning Coordinator at your local school for more information on the appropriate course placement. Co-Op and Internship placements are available for students in all Technical Education program areas.

Junior ROTC
Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) is a four-year progressive program which is open to all students in grades 9-12. GCPS offers JROTC units at five locations-Air Force units at Shiloh High and North Gwinnett High, Navy units at Duluth High and Peachtree Ridge High, and a Marine unit at Parkview High. Students attending other schools may participate in JROTC by traveling to these schools for part of each day or transferring to one of the schools full time. Students who complete three years of JROTC fulfill the Health and Physical Education requirement for graduation.

Air Force Junior ROTC (AFJROTC) program provides leadership training and an aerospace science program for high school students. The mission statement of the program is to develop citizens of character dedicated to serving their nation and community. The yearly course of instruction (180 hours) is divided into two categories: academic and leadership. Academic studies include one year of the history of air power and national defense, two years of science to include aerodynamics and space operations, and one year of cadet corps management. Leadership studies include Air Force customs and courtesies, cadet corps activities, study habits, time management, communication skills, leadership/management studies, and wellness.

Navy Junior ROTC (NJROTC) offers four years of progressive leadership training based on a curriculum of naval science. The NJROTC coursework involves the study of engineering in the naval environment, maritime geography, naval history of the world, international relations, human behavior, total quality leadership and followership, seamanship, and navigation. The series of courses includes orientation field trips to military facilities, mini-cruises aboard naval vessels, transportation via military aircraft, leadership camps, and optional competitive co-curricular activities after the school day ends.

Marine Corps Junior ROTC (MCJROTC) is a four year progressive program of instruction designed to emphasize leadership education and leadership development. Basic training in leadership tenets, military history, military customs and courtesies, military organizations, citizenship, physical fitness and health, drill and ceremonies, marksmanship, time management, financial management and planning, communication skills, and career preparation is included in the cadet’s orientation to Marine Corps leadership through individual challenges and team-building exercises. An orientation visit to a Marine Corps installation every other year helps further define the roles and missions of the Marine Corps. Cadets also have the opportunity to compete in extracurricular sports as a member of the Precision Rifle Team, Drill Team, Color Guard, Physical Fitness Team, or Orienteering Team. Riflery is a Georgia High School Association varsity sport and the Precision Rifle Team is open to non-ROTC students at Parkview High School.


2. Middle School Programs of Study

Technical Education programs are part of the “connections” block for middle school students. Technology Education, Computer Science, Family and Consumer Science, and Careers are possible offerings at middle schools. Students have the opportunity to develop skills that will be needed in high school and beyond.


3. Assessment

The programs under Technical Education and Computer Science do not have standardized tests such as the ITBS, but do have standardized end-of-course exams. All courses have Board-adopted Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) that are required as part of instruction and assessment. Several of the programs at Maxwell High School administer the written and performance exams based on the particular industry that certifies the program. Twenty courses are articulated to the courses offered by the Gwinnett Technical College so that high school students do not have to repeat foundational courses.


4. Core Materials

Each of the courses under Technical Education and Computer Science has Board-adopted core textbooks and materials. Additional non-core materials are frequently provided in support of offering current instruction in rapidly changing technology areas.


Jody Reeves,Executive Director

Jody Reeves, Executive Director

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