I M - - m - (SECOND OF THREE ARTICLES) One of the themes of the campaign to establish I a vocational-technical education program in Washtenaw County is: "Meeting the Needs of Youth." Planners intend to do just that if the voters approve a one-mill levy to finance such a program Dn Dec. 18. What is the reason 'more and more counties in the nation are adopting such county-wide, sharedtime vocational programs? Basically, the reason is money. Good vocational programs are expensive to equip and opérate. In order to meet the interests and needs of students, courses should be available to prepare them for at least a dozen different occupations. But the typical high school does not have enough students- nor enough money- to offer that many courses. Henee, the idea of equipping a centrally-located program to prepare youngsters for a wide range of occupations is gaining in populanty. In Washtenaw County, the area vocational center would be located on the campus of Washtenaw Community College and would be used cooperatively by students from all participating high schools who want to develop saleable job skills The majority of courses would probably be otfered at the central facility, but many classes would also be offered at area high schools through a poolmS High-school 'students would attend the center on a half-day basis during the llth and 12th grades Public, parochial and private school students would hp admitted Those who have dropped out of high school couldbe admitted through their local school Inthe late afternoon and evening, the center could be used for adult technical classes. The center could also be used during the summer months for Dost-hieh school training. All high-school students in the county would be admitted to the program tuition-free fL& school students would be expected to pay a small ■■■■- m-- - -HU The high-school students would take au i vocational classes, as well as extra-curricular I ivities, at their home high schools during the I other half-day. Students would gradúate and I ceive their diplomas from their home high schools I Vocational programs are expected to be ■ fered in the following areas: automobile I ics building and grounds maintenance, business I machine repair and service, carpentry and I work commercial foods preparation and service, I data processing machines operation, draftmg, ■ trical repair and maintenance, industrial machine repair and maintenance, industrial machine shop I operation, retail sales, and secretarial and office I machine operation. The following programs also are bemg considered: auto body repair, cosmetology, farm I equipment mechanics, horticulture and I I ture electronics, medical-clinical office assisting, I nursing aide, pre-nursing, weiding and printing. Approximately 2,000 students are expected to I be enrolled when the program is in full operation. I I This is abóut 25 per cent of the projected total I llth and 12th-grade enrollment in the county. Officials expect the program to be in full I eration by the fall of 1970. In the interim, some I vocational programs would be operated in I porary facilities and in existing high-school I oratories and classrooms. Individual high schools I would continue to provide basic exploratory industrial arts classes for general education and preparatory classes. The center would be owned by the Washtenaw Intermedíate School District and operated by Washtenaw Community College in conjunction with the school district. Students would be transported to the center by their home high systems. Similar programs have been highly successïul in most of the 1,200 area centers located in all parts of the country. In Bucks County, Pa., for instance, the 10-year-old program has a one per cent dropout rate. For every trained gradúate, there are placement requests from several employers. Approximately 30 per cent of the graduates go on to college. In Michigan, Jackson County is operating a county-wide vocational program for high-school students in conjunction with Jackson Community College. Calhoun, Jenesee, Ingham, Kent, Lenawee and Oakland counties have passed millage issues I and are preparing to construct facilities for j I ty-wide area vocational programs. Oakland I County is building four area centers to serve the high-school students in its populous county.
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