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Spotlight on Career and Technical Education Programs at Pleasant Ridge High School

Posted Date: 02/06/2017

     This month’s spotlight on CTE (Career and Technical Education) programs offered at Pleasant Ridge High School features sophomore Norman Highfill and Gary Silvers’ Animal Science Pathway.  Norman has been very involved in the Agriculture Education program at the high school, having taken Intro to Agriculture and Weldingas a freshman and he is currently enrolled in Animal Science and Advanced Welding.  He has also participated in several Career Development Events (CDE), which in everyday language are the judging contests the PRHS FFA chapter has been so successful in over the years.  Norman, only in his second year of judging at the high school level, has been recognized for his judging skills.

     Norman has indicated he would like to run a feedlot when he completes his formal education. Norman assists his father with the day-to-day running of the family farm where they have approximately 80 head of cattle.  Norman will be able to utilize the skills he has acquired in the classes within the Animal Science Pathway.  For a student, such as Norman, to be a Pathway Completer, he has to take an Introductory Level course (Intro to Agriculture), a Technical Level course (Animal Science) and an Application Level course (he will choose from Advanced Animal Science, Ag Business Management, or an Ag Internship course).  

     To pursue his interest in becoming a feedlot manager, it will benefit Norman to continue his education past high school.  With the courses available through theAnimal Science Pathway at PRHS, Norman can qualify for college credit from a community college. These credits can be transferred to a four-year college or university where he can obtain a degree in Animal Science, with an emphasis in Livestock Nutrition, something he wants to pursue for his career goals. 

     The opportunities that Norman, and other students with similar interests, have at Pleasant Ridge High School will help our students accomplish their career goals.  All of the coursework needed to complete the Pathway is offered at the high school and Norman’s involvement with CDE’s will enhance his chances of getting scholarship offers that will reduce the financial responsibilities on him and his family. 

     There are a significant number of majors, and job opportunities, for students who are interested in the Agriculture field. To be specific, out of the 22 million people who directly work within the agricultural industry only 2 million are actively involved in "farming" on a daily basis (Bureau of Labor Statistics). The vast majority work as either food/agricultural scientists or in business related careers, such as marketing and merchandising. Through the courses offered through the Animal Science Pathway, as well as the other pathways in place at PRHS, students are allowed to discover what they may want to do after graduation from high school.