Four Cities Compact Gives Students Options for their Future
Students attending high school in Copley, Barberton, Norton and Wadsworth have the option of getting a head start on their careers thanks to the terrific Four Cities Compact, a program that allows students of those four schools the opportunity to take part in comprehensive job training guided by professionals in several fields at each of the schools. One of three different types of career tech planning, a compact consists of two or more districts that share in providing Career Tech Education to students. In Four Cities Compact, the programs are housed in one or more of the member high schools, and students from all schools in Compact are given opportunities to attend programs housed in other districts. Students may attend two different high schools each day.
Not only do students get professional training in areas like Nursing, Criminal Science, Automotive Care and Animal Science, but they still get to attend their local high schools for their core classes. Using the four schools means Four Cities Compact can offer more than 20 programs for the approximately 700 juniors and seniors who take part.
According to Four Cities Compact Director Roger Wright, the number of students who participate has actually gone down slightly during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Prior to this year, we had rising enrollment each of the previous five years,” Director Wright said. “We were taking in more and more students, and I think being able to continue using your own high school for core academics is a big selling point.”
The programs offered via Four Cities Compact are chosen based on data and need, with some often added thanks to help from businesses in the area. Pharmacy will be the 21st program this coming Fall, and that came about thanks to industry need.
“In Northeast Ohio, the medical industry is huge,” Wright said. “And as we thought about new programs, we kept hearing from pharmacy professionals that ‘pharmacist’ was a career on the list of being ‘in-demand.’ We also did a survey of students a few years back, and pharmacist and pharmacy tech were rated as two careers students were interested in. So, it was an easy decision to add that to the program.”
Enrolling in the Four Cities Compact not only allows students the chance to experience different career paths, but also allows them to get a leg up on their studies should they choose to continue in college. “We’ve had students who take the engineering program, for example,” Wright added. “By the time they start their engineering coursework in college, they are already way ahead of everyone else in terms of comprehension, experience and knowing what they want to do with their degrees. It’s a great example of what can be accomplished with a career tech education.”
For more information on Four Cities Compact, visit www.fourcitiescompact.org.