MCCTC to introduce three new programs, academy
By Billy Ludt
February is Career and Technical Education Month, and the Mahoning County Career & Technical Center is expanding its list of programs.
MCCTC is adding programs in wildlife and fisheries, computer networking and cybersecurity and clean-energy technology starting in the 2018-19 school year.
Marketing director Jessica Cene said the programs were developed from surveys given to incoming and current students.
“This school is based off of feedback from staff, our students,” Cene said.
Clean Energy and the Environment and Networking and Cybersecurity will be part of the school’s STEM Academy, and Wildlife and Fisheries in be in the Global Academy.
As the programs are implemented, MCCTC will hire faculty, but the number of hires depends on enrollment. Enrollment is open for the next school year.
“All of our academies are driven by output,” said Mara Banfield, principal of curriculum and instruction. “Our biggest thing is we want to have a landing place for the kids. We have a lot more kids that come here that want to have a head start on college.”
In addition, a college preparation academy will be added as the sixth academy at MCCTC.
The five academies comprising MCCTC are Machine Team, STEM Academy, Global Academy, Academy of the Arts and Shield Academy.
The Machine Team includes programs on welding, engineering, precision machining, auto collision and truck and diesel studies.
The Academy of Arts focuses on arts-related trades, such as cosmetology, culinary, design and the creative arts.
The STEM Academy has science, technology, engineering and math coursework, and students can enroll their freshman year.
Global Academy has programs in automotive technology, aviation maintenance, building and construction, electricity, and wildlife and fisheries.
The Shield Academy houses the public safety, medical occupations, early childhood education and exercise science programs.
“One of the biggest things we’re capitalizing on is the industry-credentialing piece,” Banfield said.
Earning industry-recognized credentials is a path to graduation in Ohio. Every program in the MCCTC’s five academies has industry-recognized certifications students can earn.
“You look at the amount of time they spend in a lab. That’s 1,000 hours of experience that they wouldn’t have otherwise,” said Anthony Cycyk, an English teacher in the Machine Team. “Having that can prepare them for an internship or going directly to the workforce.
“At college, that’s money spent for experience in an institution that they can get here for free.”