Marion County Tech Center wants to add broadcast journalism, aviation | Tuesday news

RACHEL – The Marion County Tech Center wants to incorporate broadcast journalism and aviation into its catalog of available courses.

Ahead of their regular meeting, the Marion County School Board held a special session Monday night with Jay Michael, director of the MCTC, to discuss new classes planned at the technical center for high school students.

The Board of Directors met in the MCTC Multipurpose Hall on its campus next to North Marion High. The first of the two courses offered is an audiovisual journalism course.

“It would be journalism [course]”said Michael.”[West Virginia University] is a big, big journalism program. That would give [students] a great start in a great local option. “

The second program is an introductory aviation course. Michael called it an exploratory course, allowing students to test the field and see if it interests them, without spending thousands of dollars to enroll in a college-level course at Fairmont State University or the Pierpont Community. & Technical College. .

Students taking this course would not complete high school with additional certifications like in other courses offered at MCTC.

If the aviation program kicks off as planned, students will complete the course before their junior year, allowing them to enroll in the aviation course at Pierpont or Fairmont with a head start.

“I think this program will give [students] one step ahead when they enter a program, ”said Michael. “To have these four [aviation] the classes will give them a great experience on their own, and if they don’t decide to continue after high school to do so, that’s okay too. It’s just exploratory. “

Michael said he is sure the students and Marion County will benefit from these two new programs.

“These two programs, in my opinion, are win-win programs,” said Michael. “They’re good for kids … and I think we’ll attract a whole different kind of student.”

Board members are in favor of the technical center moving forward with the planning of these programs.

“I like the idea of ​​broadcast journalism,” said Donna Costello, vice-president of the school board. “For these students to go back to their schools and record and report what is happening… I really appreciate that [idea]. “

Teaching positions for these programs will be posted once planning is complete.

Regular session

After the special session with Jay Michael on the MCTC, the board began its regular business on Monday evening. Most of the items on the agenda were routine business transactions, but Donna Hage, Principal of the Marion County School, gave some numbers regarding enrollment.

Preliminary figures, before the official count in October, show a drop in registrations compared to last year. Current figures show that the number of enrollments is 7,418 students, compared to 7,664 students last year, a decrease of 246 students.

These are preliminary figures, but if the number of students enrolled remains this low, that would mean a decrease of more than $ 1 million in state funding.

“It’s not official, we won’t have official numbers until October,” Hage said.

One factor contributing to the decline in enrollment is an increasing number of parents who are choosing to home school their children. At the start of the fall semester, 661 students were home-schooled, now 708.

Costello questioned why parents took children out of schools and several parents in attendance took turns shouting, “I can answer that.” Costello calmed the crowd and allowed Hage to respond.

Hage said the pandemic and its rules and complications are a factor in these parents’ decisions.

“There are a lot of conversations, [the reason for home schooling] is not something a parent clarifies through a form or through an email, ”Hage said. “But I think the pandemic certainly had an impact on those decisions. “

The council will meet again on September 15 at the central office at 1 p.m. for a special session, then a regular session on September 28 at the central office at 6 p.m.


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