The Pass Christian High School commons area was overflowing with enthusiasm on Thursday, March 31, 2022, as Pass High class members eagerly learned about various educational opportunities during the 2nd Annual Pirate Career Readiness Academy (PCRA) Expo.
Career technical educators and key personnel from the Pass Christian Public School District, Pass Christian Police Department, Hancock County School District, Gulfport School District, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, ARMY, and the ARMY National Guard were on hand to share information with students regarding job requirements and the specific training that is available to them. While still in high school, Career Pathway students essentially “test drive” career tech positions in a safe and supportive environment, thereby giving graduates an advantage when it comes to applying for positions in their chosen career field.
Understanding that the Pass Christian Public School District is on a mission to “empower all students to be college-career ready learners, critical thinkers, and contributing citizens,” providing real-world experiences is a critical component of their high school offerings.
Currently, Career Technical Education (CTE) programs and Career Pathways include areas such as Architecture and Drafting, Automotive Service Technician, Carpentry and Construction, Culinary Arts, Early Childhood Education, Engineering, Health Science, Law and Public Safety, Polymer Science, Precision Machining, Teacher Academy, and Welding.
Additionally, career exploration is available in the areas of Auto Mechanics, Food Service, Maintenance, and Technology, as well as through the MS Power Energy Academy, the Ingalls Shipbuilding Academy, EMT Academy, and through JROTC.
Pass High students feel fortunate regarding the avenues of real-world study available to them. Kameron Bates, a senior at Pass High stated, “This class (Energy Academy) has presented me with further opportunities with expanding my career options. I am hoping to get an internship this summer because of the opportunity the school gave me to take this class.” Landon Taylor, current sophomore shared, “I attended the PCRA Expo to see what I can take my junior and senior year. I am interested in the welding program. I want to get a job welding after high school instead of going the traditional college route.”
Given the plethora of options, it’s easy to see why students may have a difficult time narrowing their choices to one target area and, therefore, why it’s important to provide ample exposure to career training choices during expos such as this one.