U-46 to showcase career programs in Elgin, South Elgin and Streamwood for community leaders

Updated 4/7/2016 12:25 PM

How are Elgin area high schools educating students for careers in technical fields?

Elgin Area School District U-46 will give community partners a firsthand look at how the district prepares its students for real-world jobs.

Fifty local business, government and state education leaders will tour the career and technical education programs at Elgin, South Elgin and Streamwood high schools Wednesday.

"These organization leaders offer the vision, knowledge and the experience to help us continue to prepare all students for college and careers," U-46 CEO Tony Sanders said. "We could not accomplish our mission without their support."

The tour idea developed through discussions between U-46 leaders and the Alignment Collaborative for Education (ACE), which helps coordinate community resources to support the district's priorities, including ensuring high-quality career and technical education programs.

Visitors will travel by bus to the three schools from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. to learn about their coursework.

Officials will highlight Elgin High's culinary arts, welding and health care services program, Streamwood High's business programs and precision manufacturing classes, and South Elgin High's early childhood education courses and automotive program.

Through some of these programs, U-46 students can earn national certification in various disciplines and credits for college or postsecondary school training. The district is working toward national certification for all its career and technical education programs.

"For a long time there has been sort of a myth that the students were either college-bound or they were vocational education students," said Kinasha Brown, U-46 coordinator of career and technical education. "Many people don't realize how modern career education meshes the two together."

The tour will culminate with a panel discussion with Sanders, Advocate Sherman Hospital President Linda Deering, chairwoman of the ACE governing board, and ACE Executive Director Raquel McCormick.

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