The East Baton Rouge Parish Career and Technical Education Center is planning to grow for the 2021-2022 school year with the expansion of the Early College Academy, a dual-enrollment program that enables high school students to earn enough credits to graduate with a two-year associate’s degree.
CTEC partnered with Broadmoor High School on a pilot of the program that launched last September with just a handful of high school freshmen, offering credits toward degrees in automotive and IT.
Beginning this fall, CTEC is opening the program to freshmen from all of the public and charter schools in the parish and is adding a process technology curriculum to the mix.
“This gives a lot more opportunities to young people,” CTEC Executive Director Summer Dann says. “When they get out, they have options to go to work or they can go straight to a four-year college or they can still go back to community college or a two-year school. I’m excited. Now, we just need more kids in it.”
Since opening its doors in the Ardendale urban village in fall 2018, CTEC has graduated 200 or so students.
Most of those students entered as high school juniors, however, and split their day between their regular high school and the dual-enrollment facility. Upon graduating, they had course credits that count toward an associate’s degree and also job certification in any one of nine areas.
Dann says that the program continues to grow and attract students, despite the challenges of the past year. But the Early Career Academy will enable more students to take advantage of what CTEC has to offer, by starting them younger and enabling them to go further after they graduate.
New EBR Schools Superintendent Sito Narcisse has made expanding dual-enrollment programs like CTEC’s a priority for his administration and recently said he would like all high school students in Baton Rouge to graduate with an associate’s degree.
Dann is enthusiastic that Narcisse’s support will increase interest in CTEC and help grow enrollment to 300 for next school year.
“We have been doing virtual recruiting and we have open house March 23 until 7 p.m.,” she says. “Now, we just need students to come.”