West-MEC offers info sessions on CTE careers

Career and technical education field faces teacher shortage

Photo courtesy West-MEC
John Mulcahy speaks to newly certified adult education students.

Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC) — a public career technical education district — faces an issue affecting schools statewide: unfilled teaching positions. Industry professionals looking for a career change are part of the solution.

“CTE provides students of all ages with the skills, knowledge and training needed to succeed in future careers and to become lifelong learners. In total, about 12.5 million high school and college students are enrolled in CTE across the nation,” said John Mulcahy, assistant superintendent of Adult Education and Professional Development.

Across Arizona, there are more than 70 CTE programs with 328,000 students enrolled. Even with the demand present from students for CTE classes, finding teachers is difficult. One answer is to help industry professionals transition into the classroom. Individuals with three or more years of industry experience can become CTE teachers in their respective fields.

“What we strive to do is work with industry professionals to best pass their knowledge onto the next generation through lesson planning, classroom management and other teaching-focused training,” Mulcahy said.

West-MEC is holding two informational sessions for those interested in becoming CTE teachers. The sessions cover what it means to be a CTE teacher, how to receive training and job possibilities.

The class is Transitioning to CTE Teaching. Sessions are held 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 23 and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 5 at START at West-MEC, 5405 N. 99th Ave., Glendale. START is a program in a facility on the West-MEC campus that opened in 2014 that gives workers at local businesses a place to collaborate and help high school students work alongside professionals in high-tech fields. START is the first West-MEC program to help students transition to careers in software engineering, marketing and media.

For more information on the sessions, call 623-738-0024.

West-MEC is a joint technical education public school district that focuses solely on innovative career and technical education (CTE) programs that prepare students to enter the workforce and pursue continuing education. West-MEC CTE programs provide students opportunities to earn college credit and industry credentials. West-MEC serves more than 29,000 students from 46 high schools across 3,600 square miles in the northern and western cities of the Phoenix metropolitan area. West-MEC now also offers adult education programs. Visit www.west-mec.edu for more information about West-MEC’s career-driven education opportunities or follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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