Local college and high school partner in the name of education

Jobs in manufacturing and agriculture are prominent in the Tri-States, yet few students choose educational paths that lead to them.

John Wood Community College and Western High School in Barry have teamed up to try and make a difference for high school students through the Stem College career and academy.

"This is a great opportunity," Kent Hawley, the JWCC Dean of Dual enrollment said. "Not everyone in our district is going to be able to do this. Western is the only school that we can work with on this initiative."

The goal of the program is to better students in mathematics, a golden tool when working in the manufacturing and agricultural fields, while still earning high school credit.

"A great summer program that they can be apart of in order to take some math, get their math skills up to speed and see how they are going to use math in the real world," Hawley said.

"They also are going to have the opportunities to explore careers," Carol Frericks, the Superintendent of the Western School District said. "They will be able to check into those careers in agriculture and manufacturing to find out if that is the career path they want to build while they are in high school."

The Stem college career and academy offers sophomores, juniors, and seniors a chance to prepare for college while still in high school.

"People need to go to college so we can get better jobs," Western High school student Jessica Grammer said. "I think this is going to be a great opportunity and give high school students more a chance to some what is coming up in the following years."

With a five hundred thousand dollar grant, this opportunity for students is only available for the next three summers.

Faculty at both institutions hope by making the program enjoyable yet productive that students will take full advantage.

"Looking at the curriculum and aligning the curriculum and doing those kinds of things to make sure the experience is one that is memorable," Hawley said.

The classes will be held online as well as on the John Wood Campus over a four week period this the summer.