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Date published: 9/23/2012
Fredericksburg-area school divisions offer a variety of career and technical courses, from agriculture to sports marketing.
Each system operates differently. Some concentrate courses at vocational centers and others offer career-oriented classes at some high schools.
Spotsylvania County operates a Career and Technical Center where high school students from throughout the county go to learn skills and trades.
A few courses, including agriculture, marketing and technology, are offered at the individual high schools.
Auto service and repair is one skill students can learn at the Career and Technical Center near Courtland High. Last year, 73 students earned credentials in that field, and 59 are enrolled this year, school division spokeswoman Rene Daniels said.
Other tech center courses include nursing, carpentry, culinary arts, electricity, masonry, plumbing, cosmetology, and heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration.
Spotsylvania Superintendent Scott Baker said he hopes to continue expanding the center's offerings. He noted that courses aren't just for those hoping to enter a trade after high school.
Culpeper County operates career and technical classes at both high schools.
Rob Hauman, executive director of curriculum, instruction and technology, said the popularity of the programs is mixed.
The culinary, ROTC and marketing programs, specifically sports marketing, are very popular.
The agriculture and automotive programs are linked. Students work on tractor engines to learn about motors, and these programs are less popular.
The school system shares programs between Culpeper and Eastern View high schools because the division does not have the money to offer them at both schools.
King George County offers a variety of courses at its high school. They include drafting, building trades and agriculture. The school doesn't have automotive, nursing or cosmetology courses.
Kristine Hill, coordinator of curriculum and instruction, said that the vocational classes have been popular, and the division is interested in expanding its offerings.
One area that school officials would like to expand is nursing. Currently, King George students interested in nursing attend classes at the Spotsylvania Career and Technical Center.
"We certainly would like to expand, and there's a real need in health care," Hill said.
Staff reporter Pamela Gould
Lindley Estes: 540/735-1976