The Oxford School District has officially unveiled its new Practical Engineering Center. The ribbon cutting ceremony took place on Wednesday at 10 a.m. on the campus of Oxford High School.
The center is designed to accommodate the growing number of Oxford students at the Oxford High School Vocational and Technical Education (CTE) program.
The two-year CTE courses are designed to provide students with many options beyond high school. OHS offers a total of 17 programs, to name a few, such as Television Broadcasting and Production, Sports Medicine, Cooking, Fruit and Computer Science.
Students in grades 9-12 have the opportunity to experience work-based education and real-world work experience in collaboration with business, industry, economic development and post-secondary institutions.
CTE Director Steve Hardle said the programs are focused on getting students ready for what they want to do after graduation.
“It gives students the opportunity to receive practical education on the campus,” Hardle said. “Most of the lessons and lessons in these programs are project-based, so it is a very important lesson. There is a high level of skill in these programs and for the students to excel, they really have to do something. Not just paper, books and pencils. Instead of scratching the robot and programming it, the developer builds, builds, and develops things.
The new facility will include three of the 17 programs: lifting engineering, construction / electric wiring and heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
OSD had previously shared resources with the Lafite County School District for the CCE construction program, but the growing enrollment and number of students required OSD to create a conducive environment for students.
Of the approximately 1,300 students, CTE enrolled 587 students for the 2022-23 academic year, more than 40% of whom are Oxford High School students. According to Hardwell, the goal is to get at least 50% of OHS students enrolled in CTE.
“Our student population has reached the point where we can support these programs on our own,” he said. “We had children who could not participate and some did not want to participate because they had to leave the campus to do so.”
Many areas of the high school campus were considered, but the district decided to build the center next to the main school building, next to the high school theater. Accessibility does not allow students to complete their studies on time, but it may encourage enrollment.
OSD Superintendent Bradley Robertson said the school district has a responsibility to provide more ways to educate students.
“Our direct connection is to make sure we are preparing young people for the college world and to explore the world of work,” Robertson said. “We think we can achieve that by expanding our vocational and technical education program and expanding this pathway for our students in Oxford.”
According to Roberson, a community is just as strong as the school district and the school district.
Mayor Robin Tanehil echoed the principal’s statement, “Every great community is focused on a great public school system, so in Oxford, we are blessed to have this wonderful school district.
“I think we are all focused on our future workforce and this is a wonderful step forward,” Tanehil said. So we’re very excited and I think this will be a great addition to the Oxford School District.
Visit to learn more about the Oxford School District Vocational and Technical Education Program www.oxfordsd.org/ Page / 8931.