CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – A new program at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center is graduating its first class this spring.
This is a special graduation for the school because it is the first class to graduate from the Valley STEM Academy at the school.
The program started in 2015, and this will be the first class to complete the entire four-year program.
Some teachers feel the success of the program is based on the different styles of learning. Teachers cross collaborate so the interest of the student is always the top priority. On top of that, instead of using a lab for just one period, some students use the lab for the whole day.
“I think the difference is that they really find a home here. The staff is really good at knowing each individual student, each individual student’s need. I feel like they find a family and place where they really belong,” said Melanie Brock, teacher at MCCTC.
Since the STEM program encompasses all four years of high school, students transfer from their home schools in 9th grade.
The success of the program has encouraged other students to enroll, and the program has doubled in size.
Some students have been so successful in their STEM classes they’re ready to take their education to the next level.
“I have two options, either going to college to be a programmer or I am going to the Marines. I’m going to be part of the military police or unmanned aircraft systems,” said Jack Armstrong, senior.
Gabriella Gensamer, also a senior, said her next stop is Youngstown State University.
“I’m going to Youngstown State in the Honors College. I have scholarships there and I am going to major in electrical engineering with a possible double major in math,” she said.
The graduating seniors in the program won’t be walking across the stage until May, but until then they’re going to encourage other students to explore other options.
The Mahoning County Career and Technical Center and The Valley STEM Academy will host an Open House Thursday, February 6 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Parents of students and students interested in attending MCCTC or Valley STEM are invited to visit and learn more about the opportunities at the school as well as see first hand how career tech has changed.
During the event, parents and students will have an opportunity to tour the schools, meet with instructors and current students, and even apply for next year.
There will also be information on every program in the Joyce Brooks Center inside the building.
For more information, visit www.mahoningctc.com.