Going Beyond Traditional Learning

exectuive summary

The current system of education, operating on an educational model created during the era of the Industrial Revolution, does not provide students with the range, depth, and style of learning and skills that are compatible with our country’s rapidly evolving workplace. This is especially true for those students who are often not successful in traditional high schools, academically disengaged, and in desperate need of a more individualized and career-focused education environment.

Mission Statement

Career Tech Charter will be an independent, open enrollment, public high school focused on developing the next generation of innovative STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) professionals, preparing students for career success and building capacity in local industry by creating a highly skilled workforce, future leaders, and entrepreneurs.

CTCHS_Logo_455x1700.png

Vision FOR THE FUTURE

Career Tech will provide students with a seamless transition between high school and community college, as well as opportunities for career exploration and training in the Engineering, Technology, Healthcare, the Trades and other STEM-related fields. At Career Tech, students will not only graduate with a wealth of preparation -- a high school diploma, experience in community action and entrepreneurship, computer and coding skills, a thorough understanding of our democratic government and judiciary system, and strong workforce skills -- they will also have the opportunity to earn the important career credentials they need in the form of a college Certificate or Associate’s degree. Based on their chosen career path, these students will be competitive in seeking employment, will have options to apply to trade or apprenticeship programs, or can continue their education by matriculating to a four year college or university.

This is a multi-phase project. New research proves it is innovation that most significantly and directly impacts our economy and can improve the human condition. Over the long run, the creation of our Makers Middle Charter School will provide an opportunity to develop a solid academic foundation, an innovator’s mindset, and workforce skills, and instill a strong, sense of community for our students and families. Additionally, more young women would choose to attend at this age than might self-select for the high school, and there is a higher likelihood they would stay throughout high school. In tandem, our Innovations Elementary Charter School will ensure a strong foundation of academic and technology skills for all of our students, as well as have them embrace the more innovative “Maker’s Model” of learning. As more research has brought to light the critical nature of early childhood learning and its long-term impact on success, we have included a Pre-K Program as a part of our comprehensive school plan. This creates a unique, cohesive, and progressive Pre-K-12/Careers learning community.

After Graduation

Career Tech Charter graduates can choose to secure employment, apply for an apprenticeship program, or continue their education at a four year college or university.

graduation

INTERESTED IN ATTENDING CAREER TECH CHARTER?

The Opportunity

By 2025, the Pittsburgh region alone is projected to have a deficit of 80,000 skilled workers. For example, trades people who maintain our city’s infrastructure are retiring at a rate higher than individuals are being trained to replace them. Nationally, by 2019 there will be a demand for 6 million cyber-security professionals, and coding is becoming a fundamental skill globally. Additionally, more than 400,000 new businesses are launched by entrepreneurs each year in the U.S. Pittsburgh holds significant opportunity for those motivated individuals but unfortunately loses considerable human capital because many of its students have become disengaged from the traditional education system, disconnected from the community, and disenfranchised with the opportunities that currently seem to be unavailable to them. Often these students are quite bright and capable of creative problem-solving, collaboration, and communication at a professional level, if given the proper chance.

Core Beliefs

Today’s creative thinkers need to be encouraged to become the future leaders in innovation, to build sustainability in our city, region, and nation, as well as navigate and succeed in the global economy.  Students will not only master the functional skills of their career field but also be financially literate, technologically capable, and understand the fundamental practices of business and entrepreneurship.

Our focus is on cultivating life-long learners who embody the tenet that success is a process which requires effort, failure, persistence, and personal growth in order to reach academic and career goals.  Students will engage in the classroom as active, hands-on learners mastering the core curriculum, technology and trades knowledge and awareness, and fundamental workforce skills, actualizing their potential for long term academic and career success.

Career Tech students will understand that we are all stakeholders in the community and collaboration is the key to improvement.  Students will become actively invested in their community through service learning, internships, collaborative projects, and cooperative education agreements designed to bridge the perceived distance between neighborhoods and the collective community at large, demonstrating that every individual can contribute to positive change.

The COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

Unlike traditional schools, our new Whole Person Education Model engages students through real-world, cross-curricular, situational learning so they become capable, career-ready individuals.

Today’s creative critical thinkers need encouragement to become future leaders in innovation; to build sustainability in our city, region, and nation; and to navigate and succeed in the global economy.

Students will not only master the functional skills of their career field, but they also will become financially literate, technologically capable, and familiar with the fundamental practices of business and entrepreneurship. Our focus is on cultivating life-long learners who embody the tenet that success is a process requiring effort, persistence in the face of failure, and personal growth in order to reach academic and career goals. In the classroom, students will be hands-on learners in the core curriculum, technology and trades areas, and fundamental workforce skills, actualizing their potential for academic and career success.

The Team

Career Tech’s founders are local educators and parents, each with 10+ years of successful urban teaching experience at the award-winning City Charter High School in Pittsburgh, PA. 

Maureen Anderson, Ed.D. is certified in Business, Computer, and Information Technology (K-12) and Social Studies.  She has worked in the corporate, government, and nonprofit sectors, as well as has the global perspective from living and working overseas, before spending a decade teaching Career Readiness and Post-High School Planning, followed by a staff position. Anderson is also a member of the Remake Learning Network.

Angela Musto is certified in Mathematics and all Science content areas and is known for creating and implementing engaging, interactive curriculum focusing on real world scenarios. 

Both Anderson and Musto have presented at national conferences and earned their Administration credentials through Point Park University. 

Trish Howison is also a second-career teacher with a background in computer programming and holds teaching certifications in Mathematics for elementary, grades 6-9 and 7-12, as well as Business, Computer, and Information Technology (K-12). 

The founders received input from a wide variety of area stakeholders, including industry representatives, those in higher education, area professional, neighborhood, and non-profit organizations, and community members. 

The insight from area youth who were in school and/or are now active in the workplace was also sought, giving the needed voice to their experience and perspective.

The Promise

Career Tech students will understand we are all stakeholders in the community and collaboration is the key to improvement. Students will become actively invested in their community via service learning, internships, and cooperative education agreements designed to bridge the perceived distance between neighborhoods and the community at large, demonstrating that every individual can contribute to positive change.

By preparing students for career success, Career Tech will develop the next generation of innovative Engineering, Technology, Healthcare and other STEM-related and Trades professionals and will offer local industry the highly skilled technicians, professionals, and entrepreneurs sought after in the Pittsburgh region and throughout the nation.

The PARTNERS

Career Tech plans to open in the 2019 - 2020 school year with 100 students in the ninth grade and adding a grade each year.

By utilizing a network of community partnerships, we are working to raise capital investments, while noting that by the third year of operation, the school will be self-sustaining.

Our focus is cultivating relationships with stakeholders committed to providing much needed educational options to students and creating the workforce required for continued economic growth and development.

With input from industry leaders and through collaborations with the Community College of Allegheny County, Trade organizations, and other certified training and apprenticeship programs, Pittsburgh will be home to Career Tech, one of the most innovative, efficient, mission- driven, open enrollment public high schools in the country.

Every student, regardless of zip code, deserves a quality education and the opportunity to reach their full potential, and our region’s economic prosperity depends on its schools preparing our students for the needs of the ever-changing workplace.

As a key stakeholder, Career Tech asks for your help in building the community collaborations necessary for fostering the long-term success of our school, its students, and the sustainability of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Region.

In the NEWS

Read co-founder Maureen Anderson’s testimony before the Board of Education on 12/18/17.

Career Tech Charter’s Whole Person Model of Education explained.

Learn why Looping, an educational best practice, is integral to our school design.

What is situational learning and what does student learning look like in this model?  Read about the Framework of Inquiry that supports our real-world learning experiences.

Read more in our Executive Summary.

View a comparison of Career Tech Charter High School’s graduation outcomes to Pittsburgh Public’s CTE and Magnet program outcomes.

Review the RefocusED, Inc (501c3 non-profit) Prospectus.

View Career Tech Charter High School’s Situational Learning Brochure.