To better prepare students for the workplace or college, Elgin Area School District U-46 is considering changes to its health occupations and industrial technology course sequences.
Members of the district's Curriculum Revision Committee presented proposed changes to the school board Monday. A vote on the changes is expected at the Aug. 20 school board meeting.
If approved later this month, the course sequences will be renamed "healthcare science education" and "technology education." The revised curriculum is proposed for the 2013-14 school year.
"We think that this name change more accurately reflects the content and better aligns with the college courses that students will be taking when they leave our district," said Kellie Sikora, health occupations teacher at Elgin High School. "It aligns with Common Core and National Healthcare Foundation and by doing so provides expanded opportunities for our students in healthcare career preparation as well as in the area of the STEM -- science, technology, engineering and math."
Health care courses would include orientation to health occupations, human anatomy and biomedical sciences. Some courses would allow students to earn credits at Elgin Community College
In addition, Russ Bartz, technology education teacher at South Elgin High School, said there are connotations related to manufacturing that need to be dispelled and that industrial technology, or IT, was often confused with information technology. Technology education includes automotive technology and manufacturing and design technology.
"It changes perceptions about manufacturing, about it being dirty and all that," Bartz said. "We have a lot of jobs that need to train students for, the high tech jobs."
Board member Amy Kerber said the revisions will give students an advantage once they leave U-46.
"I am so encouraged by what you are bringing us, and I am even more encouraged by seeing the increasing opportunities for students to get articulated college credit as well as certifications they can use when they leave high school," Kerber said.