Career and Technical Education
Milton Hershey’s words are still the cornerstone of our approach to education today. Our renowned Career and Technical Education (CTE) program pushes our students to explore career options and then accelerates their growth by giving them tailor-made instruction with the ability to work in their chosen career path.
Why do you have students focus on career paths?
Studies show that students with a career concentration do better in all areas of high school. By expanding the career technical education program, we’re better preparing our students for success. MHS students are able to choose from 11 different career pathways. Through academic lessons and hands-on instruction, students gain a particular job skill; career/technical training offers a wider variety of training in a particular field.
“The main object in view is to train young men and women to useful trades and occupations, so that they can earn their own livelihood.” – Milton Hershey
In health and science, for example, students will receive a foundation that goes beyond a basic program. Students also will learn from professionals in the field at nearby Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
What career paths are available?
In fourth grade, MHS students begin exploring 11 career pathways, and in ninth grade, they narrow their areas of interest to four. In 10th and 11th grades, MHS students finally choose one career pathway to devote their attention. They can choose from the following concentrations:
- Agriculture & Natural Resources: This pathway gives students hands-on experience with crops, floriculture, beef cattle, goats and horses. Since Mr. Hershey included agricultural instruction in the Deed of Trust, this is one of the most historic pathways offered.
- Automotive Technology: Students gain experience in the automotive field by learning how to service and maintain automobiles. The program has achieved National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation accreditation and provides specific lessons on brakes, steering, suspension and engine performance.
- Business/Financial Management & Accounting: Students develop leadership skills and work with technology to prepare for carers in finance, marketing, advertising, sales, management and entrepreneurship.
- Computer Technology: To prepare students for careers in Information Technology, the pathway introduces students to web development, data communications, computer programming, and maintenance of computer hardware and software.
- Construction/Carpentry: Students learn the fundamental skills to succeed in the construction industry. They participate in all phases of on-site construction and help build homes in the local community.
- Culinary Arts/Restaurant Management Services: For students who are interested in culinary arts, this pathway incorporates a mix of theory and hands-on work. Students learn about various cooking methods, ingredients, recipes, safety and sanitation, food costs, marketing and menu design.
- Electronic Media & Journalism: Students gain skills in writing, research, production, time management and shooting videos. With an on-campus television studio and advanced equipment, students prepare for careers in broadcasting, journalism and media relations.
- Engineering & Design: Students who plan to study engineering, architecture or advanced design in college can develop their skills in this pathway. They will study natural sciences, mathematics, reading and writing, and computer-aided design application.
- Graphic Communication Technologies: For students who are interested in graphic design, print production and digital art, this pathway allows them to experience the process of creating real-world products. They learn about digital file preparation, image capture, binding and finishing, measurement and interpersonal skills.
- Health Science: Students prepare for health-related careers that involve treating injuries and illnesses. They can choose to receive specific instruction in therapeutic, diagnostic, support services, health informatics, or biotechnology research and development.
- Law, Public Safety & Security: With a courtroom and forensics lab on campus to enhance classroom instruction, students learn about different types of law, the criminal justice process and how to investigate crime scenes. They also develop their public speaking, legal writing and research skills.
Learn more about our CTE pathways here.
How do you provide workplace experiences?
Another benefit of the CTE program is the opportunity it provides to gain valuable workplace learning experiences. MHS partners with The Hershey Company, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, the Hershey Center for Applied Research Inc., and many local businesses to give students a meaningful work experience.
Students may participate in a culinary co-op at The Hotel Hershey, an internship at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, or do job shadowing at a local printing company. Whatever the CTE pathway chosen, there are opportunities for students to learn and to start building their résumés for the future.
Would my child obtain professional certifications?
Beginning in 9th grade, students are encouraged to participate in industry-recognized certification exams. With the support of CTE teachers, students rigorously prepare for these exams, and many CTE pathways offer multiple certification opportunities.
In the classes of 2012 to 2016, 100 percent of graduating seniors earned at least one industry-recognized certification in his or her area of study. In the last five-plus years, the number of certifications has nearly tripled for MHS students.
Industry experts from local businesses, universities, and professional organizations partner with MHS to administer many of the certification exams.
Do you have specialized teachers in the program?
We have our students learn from the best instructors who are experts in their respective field and national and state educational organizations are taking notice:
- Law, Public Safety and Security career pathway was awarded the national Excellence in Action Award from Advance CTE, an organization that advocates for high-quality Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs throughout the nation.
- Dr. Jaunine Fouché, MHS STEAM and Agricultural & Environmental Education Director, was one of the recipients of the 2016 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).
- MHS Music Teacher Cristal Sheaffer was selected as a 2016 WGAL-TV Teacher Impact Award recipient.
- The Hershey Honors Authentic Business Management Program, a collaboration between MHS and The Hershey Company, won the 2013 Outstanding Business/Education Partnership Award presented by the Pennsylvania Association for Career and Technical Education.
- The Graphic Communication Technologies program earned the 2013 Frederick D. Kagy Education Award of Excellence, presented by the Printing Industries of America. This was the first time a Pennsylvania school won the award.
- The Hershey Honors Authentic Business Management Program also was awarded top honors for Workplace Innovation in 2012 by PR News.
- Law, Public Safety, & Security teacher Dave Curry was named 2012 Residential Educator of the Year by the Coalition for Residential Education (CORE).