Friday letters: Students need career option

March 14, 2014 

— I work in a progressive school district that understands the needs of all kids. Career prep is a district-level “diploma,” graduating 50 to 65 students each year. These students have completed all the competency requirements, 200 hours of successful employment, the state-required health and science classes and a career and technology education class.

Many of our students continue their education at Midlands Tech or through military service. They’ve told us that earning this alternative, career-based diploma was a lifesaving opportunity toward becoming self-sufficient, taxpaying citizens.

South Carolina needs a vocational/career-based option for students. Without it they become high school dropouts with minimal skills or opportunities for advancement. As manufacturing continues to grow in the Palmetto State, the need for skilled workers also will grow. Without a viable option for our high school students, South Carolina will not be able to capitalize on creating its own workforce.

Betsy Dye Kinsella

Career Prep Director

Richland Northeast High School

Columbia

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