Prepping students

Published 11:00 pm Friday, September 21, 2012

Tiara Bass, 16, from Goshen High School; Alissa Bundy, 15, from Goshen High School; and Hazel Smith, 16, from Pike County High School, examine human organs made of plastic during a Health Sciences program class.

Local center for technology working to prepare students for college, life

As part of Workforce Development Month, the Troy-Pike Center for Technology is working to make the community aware of the many employment-related skills students are gaining at the school.

“We aren’t what people might think,” said Julie Simmons, center director. “As workforce needs changed, we have changed. Our goal is to be a college prep facility and a workforce training facility.”

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Simmons said she’s been at the school three years and enrollment has grown by about 300 percent.

There are now 432 students in Troy-Pike Center for Technology Programs that include pre-engineering, health sciences, database design, agriscience, construction and carpentry and welding.

“We are readying them for a lifetime of learning so they can think and move forward in their jobs,” Simmons said. “For many, this is just a stepping stone to college.”

Chris Jackson, 17, is a Goshen High School senior enrolled in the welding program at the center.

He said he’s looking forward to continuing his education at Alabama State University when he graduates.

“I think this will help me be more confident there,” Jackson said of the program.

Alissa Bundy, 15, also a student at Goshen High, said she enrolled to get a leg up on her future college classmates.

“I want to be a registered nurse,” Bundy said. “Whenever I go to college, this won’t all be new to me. I’ll have an advantage.”

Bundy is enrolled in the Health Science program offered by the center. Health Science classes include Foundations of Health Science, Diagnostic Services, Therapeutic Services, and an internship at Troy Regional Medical Center.

All students who complete programs earn a certification in their chosen field, as an added bonus to taking the classes.

“I am pretty proud of this school and these students,” Simmons said. “We have a high completion rate and an high placement rate.”

Buses take students to and from their home schools each day and service both the county and city school districts. The only extra cost is $20 per class for special supplies and other items needed.

“Students are graduating from here and becoming productive professionals and community leaders,” said Rachel Brooks, a counselor at the center. “I really encourage parents to take a look at all the opportunities here. The school is really not what many people perceive it to be.”

The programs at the Troy-Pike Center for Technology are open to most high school students and can be signed up for by visiting a home school’s guidance counselor.