The Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center will introduce a natural resources management program next school year, the school’s first new addition in at least seven years, said Superintendent Rick Smith.
The new offering will prepare students for careers in fields such as soil and water conservation, forestry, parks and recreation, wildlife management and environmental consulting and will be open to 10th graders in Springfield City or Clark County schools through the CTC.
“There’s such a local interest in wildlife and fishing and forest management, so I think those are careers that certainly students that go through this program would be interested in,” said Smith. “Clark County has a long history with parks and recreations, and a program like this would prepare students for a career like that.”
A 68-acre wooded property owned by the CTC will serve as a land lab for the program, and the school is already working to build relationships with industry partners to provide opportunities for students, said Josh Jennings, director of career technical education.
“I think it’s a great program for the school to offer and one that we support and feel that we would be able to offer them some opportunities for hands-on learning for the students there,” said Leann Castillo, director of the National Trail Parks and Recreation District which operates 23 parks. “I think it would be helpful to develop skills of workers that live here in our community and may be able to produce workers for the future.”
The CTC also is working on agreements with Hocking College, a technical school in Southwest Ohio, and Clark State to provide smooth transitions into higher education for students, said Smith.
“Like with all our programs here, there would be some industry credentials that students would end up with in the field and then there would be some articulation agreements,” he said. “That’s what we’re working on now with Hocking College or Clark State.”
The program will launch in the 2013-14 school year. Interested incoming juniors can call Jennings at 937-325-7368, ext. 153 for more information.