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Commissioners Get Firsthand Look at the Positive Effects of Career and Technical Education


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As part of Buncombe County’s commitment to a healthy, safe, well-educated and thriving community, our strategic priorities include helping children succeed and building a diverse workforce. Career and Technical Education at Buncombe County Schools aligns with these priorities by integrating work-based learning opportunities that prepare students for careers.  

County Commissioners and leadership staff boarded a school bus and toured several Buncombe County School locations that are leaders in career and technical education, with an emphasis on the field of early childhood education.

The tour began at the Nesbitt Discovery Academy, where the average GPA of students is 4.1. This Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) high school focuses on career and college readiness and is a state of the art facility recently built using funds from the School Capital Fund Sales tax.

The next stop was A.C. Reynolds High School where officials met with students and teachers focused on early childhood education. A.C. Reynolds hosts a high quality preschool classroom where children showed commissioners their paintings, drawings, and the new letters they learned. Thanks to lessons learned in this classroom, these young children enter kindergarten ready to succeed, and high school students can graduate with knowledge, technical skills, industry certifications and college credit… ready to enter the workforce and careers.

The next visit was to the T.C. Roberson Early Childhood Program facility that is home to the new Pro Start Food Lab. The Pro Start curriculum is taught in modern, ADA compliant facilities and is CTE-based. CTE is Career Technical Education and allows students to earn industry certified credentials while in high school. More than 3,200 students across Buncombe have earned industry recognized credentials in not just hospitality and food, but also in Microsoft programs, CNA, ServSafe, Financial Literacy, First Aid, CPR, Hunter’s Safety, Career Safe OSHA, and Career Readiness. CTE thrives in Buncombe with a 98 percent graduation rate for CTE students.

The last stop on the tour was Erwin High School which is also home to a new Pro Start Food Lab where County officials were treated to some food prepared by Erwin High Family and Consumer Science Students. While touring Erwin, officials visited the Early Childhood Program and heard from students, parents and teachers about the value of access to not only high quality child care but also career-focused learning.

Career and Technical Education programs in Buncombe County are helping children enter school with the building blocks to succeed and graduate work and/or college ready. Buncombe County is working toward a healthier community by caring and investing in our children's development and education to improve our community for future generations.

For more information on the Commissioners' Strategic Priorities click here.

Find out more about Buncombe County Schools CTE program here.