The most commonly offered career and technology opportunity in local schools last year was the Skilled Trades Commercial Carpentry Track.
Data from the Department of Education shows 52 different opportunities in career and technical education in the area. Those opportunities range from a single course to full certifications in the field.
The Kentucky Department of Education’s 2020-21 Career and Technical Education Program of Studies contains information on each type of course and program. Each of the opportunities available to students across the state are listed under overarching categories.
Those categories are agriculture, business and marketing, construction technology, education and training, engineering technology, family and consumer sciences, health science, information technology, JROTC, law and public safety, manufacturing technology, media arts and transportation.
Across 10 districts, a single opportunity is available in a maximum of six districts for the previous school year. Only one — Skilled Trade Commercial Carpentry Track — is offered in six districts. Those districts are Ashland, Boyd, Carter, Lawrence and Lewis Counties as well as Russell Independent.
Two are offered five times. State Registered Nursing Assistant (SRNA)/Medicaid Nurse Aid (MNA) is offered at Boyd, Carter, Fairview, Greenup and Lawrence Counties. Kentucky Department of Transportation 3-G is offered in Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Greenup and Lewis Counties.
Eight other opportunities are offered in four districts. Those include animal science, horticulture, fundamentals of business, marketing, horticulture and more. Six other opportunities, including welding, computer programming, electrical technician and phlebotomy are offered in four area districts.
Fifteen of the remaining opportunities are in two of the 10 area districts and the final 20 are in a single district.
Ashland has three opportunities only in its district, all of which are NOCTI opportunities, which stands for National Occupational Competency Testing Institute. The opportunities are advance criminal justice, CAD 1 Certificate and the online portion of biotechnology.
Boyd County also has three unique to the district, which are network administration, fashion and interior design, and digital design and game development. Greenup also has three opportunities to itself in the area, which are iCEV Elanco Fundamentals of Animal Science, iCEV Bayer Crop and Plant Science and ASE Student Certification. Russell has two to itself, which are Certiport Digital Literacy IC3 and Autodesk AutoCAD Certified User.
Carter has the largest number unique to the district between the technical center and two high schools. Most are taught at more than one building in the district, but not all. Carter’s unique opportunities include four different carpentry opportunities, OSHA 10, hospitality travel tourism and recreation, and agricultural power, structural, technical systems.
It is important to note, Carter County’s totals are a combination of the offerings at the county’s career and technical center and the two high schools. There are opportunities that are listed for East or West Carter that are not available on the other end of the district or at the technical center. Culinary and food services and agribusiness are only available in the district at East Carter. Horticulture, hospitality, travel tourism and recreation, animal science, consumer and family management as well as environmental science are among those at only West Carter, according to KDE data.
The majority of programs end with a certificate, most of the remaining conclude with and end of program assessment and the rest are apprenticeships. No district has more than one apprenticeship. Five districts — Ashland along with Boyd, Carter, Lawrence and Lewis Counties — have an apprenticeship opportunity, according to KDE data.
Not all opportunities to take a course in a subject mean the district has an entire program in the subject area. Ashland has five programs as of 2021-22, which include a new FFA program, which is not among last year’s data used here. The district’s low number of full programs is the motivation to add a career and technical center to the district, which is in the midst of the approval process, as previously reported by The Daily Independent.
The data doesn’t clarify which opportunities are full programs and which are courses that allow students to dabble in a subject and possibly seek to explore it further beyond high school. The opportunities are taught in both high schools as well as career and technical centers.
Boyd, Greenup, Lawrence, Lewis and Russell have single high schools with access to a career technical center on or adjacent to the high school, while Ashland, Fairview, Raceland and Elliott County have only a high school building in which programs and courses are offered, according to their district facilities plans submitted to KDE.
Carter County is a bit different with two separate high schools and a career and technical center that is approximately 3 miles from West Carter High School and about 13 miles from East Carter High School.
Including both types of opportunities the district with the largest number of opportunities in career and technical education is Carter County with 25, which includes 13 at the Career and Technical Center, 17 at East Carter and 21 at West Carter, according to the KDE data.
Ashland has 21 different listings the most in a single school. Boyd County has 20 between the high school and career technical center. Greenup has 16 between in its technical center and high school.
Lawrence County and Fairview each offers eight. Russell offers six, Lewis County offers five, Elliott County has four and Raceland-Worthington has two. These numbers, of course, are relative to which is a program and which is a course. However, the numbers still give a glimpse into variety.