Mount Airy City Schools (MACS) has been awarded a Career and Technical Education (CTE) Grade Expansion Grant for approximately $50,000 per year renewable for the next seven years. This opportunity was created by the North Carolina Education and Workforce Innovation Commission, North Carolina State Board of Education, and the North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction. This program will expand CTE offerings and access by prioritizing the inclusion of students in sixth and seventh grade through grant awards provided to selected local school administrative units for up to seven years. MACS was one of 14 school districts in the state awarded this grant and the only one in the Piedmont-Triad.
This expansion grant will allow MACS to provide additional CTE services at the middle school level. A highlight of this grant will be the addition of a new Career Development Coordinator (CDC) position for Mount Airy Middle School. This new role will serve as a hybrid position that will allow a staff member to be employed full-time at the middle school teaching for part of the day and serving as a resource for students. The program will allow students support as they are educated and engaged in the multiple pathways available to them as they transition to high school. As the Health Science, Engineering, and Technology career pathways continue to grow in MACS, the CDC will be able to connect students with industry related job-shadowing and internships. Students will have access to CTE courses that provide career exploration and foster a culture centered on career readiness. The CDC will provide experiences around CTE that will allow for careers through the variety of paths available past high school such as certificates, diploma, or degree programs at Surry Community College. While this program expansion will offer middle school students more access to CTE it also aligns with the pathways available at Mount Airy High School.
Dr. Phillip Brown stated, “We are proud of our grant writing lead Ms. Penny Willard for securing this opportunity for our students. We understand that career development needs to start as early as possible and this grant helps us address that need head-on.”
CTE Director Larry Davis noted, “Research has identified middle school as a time when students can benefit the most from career exploration, a process of building self-awareness, learning about potential careers, and developing a plan for reaching future goals. Students with greater exposure to Career and Technical Education are more likely graduate from high school, enroll in a two year college, be employed, and earn higher wages.”
This program will begin at MAMS in the spring of 2018.