Many people look forward to February for a variety of reasons such as Valentine’s Day or the approaching end of winter. At Waubonsee Community College, we look forward to February as an opportunity to participate in Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month.
CTE is a large and critical part of what we do at Waubonsee. Every day students are learning the skills they need to work in a variety of career fields. These students are on the path to well-paying and in-demand jobs. While many students like Rodolfo Maldonado start their CTE studies at Waubonsee, others start even earlier. Because of our partnerships with area vocational centers and high schools, students can earn college credit in CTE fields while in high school. Students at Indian Valley Vocational Center “experience a college class” and Waubonsee’s dual credit program allows high school students from across the district to earn college credit in automotive technology, health information technology, welding and many other areas.
Rodolfo graduated from Waubonsee in 2018 with a certificate in Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and now works in the field. He told us this past October that our program “prepares you so that no matter what is thrown your way [on a job], you’ve got a way to navigate.” This is the exact sentiment that Shawn Ballee, Assistant Professor of Industrial Systems at Waubonsee, expressed in a Voices column in September 2018 when he wrote, “[t]he purpose of education is not simply memorization. The purpose of technical education is conceptualizing and understanding, and then applying those across a broad range of subjects.”
In August 2020 we will celebrate the reopening of our Plano Campus which will be the home of several programs including our new Cyber Security Program and our enhanced welding program. We are also in the planning stages for a new CTE facility on our Sugar Grove Campus. Both these facilities will provide many new opportunities for our Waubonsee residents.
I invite you to visit www.waubonsee.edu/cte to learn more about our CTE programs and opportunities. These skills and jobs are part of the fabric of every community and we celebrate the people who work in these fields during CTE Month.
Dr. Christine Sobek is the president of Waubonsee Community College