VINELAND_While most of the discussion about the new full-time Cumberland County technical school has focused on design plans and construction costs, there hasn’t been a lot of talk about the school’s new curriculum.
But Dr. Dina Elliott, superintendent at the Cumberland County Technical Education Center, said the school will offer students many new options and the training needed for today’s competitive job market.
Elliott said the new full-time school will welcome its first class of 200 full-time freshmen in September 2015. Each year thereafter, the center will welcome another freshman class until all four grades, none to 12, are in place.
“This will give our residents a full-time facility, right on the college campus, to get the proper training they need,” she said. “This is an investment that will spur economic development throughout the county for our residents and our county’s future.”
The new 200,000-square-foot facility, will be a four-year full-time high school with academic and technical disciplines fully integrated.
Elliott explained that students can opt to follow a Career and Technical Education Program (CTE) major – which will provide students with the option of employment immediately after high school with the option of continuing their education in a post-secondary program. Or, students can choose a Career and Technical Education Program of Study – a major that is more rigorous and that prepares a student for more post-secondary education after graduation from high school.
The curriculum offerings will include: Allied Health Services, Auto Technologies, Construction Trades, Cosmetology, Culinary Science, Engineering/Manufacturing, Information Technology and Law and Public Safety.
Cumberland County Deputy Freeholder Director Doug Long formed a curriculum committee of local educators who met over the course of six months in order to map the new school’s curriculum.
“I am so excited to see another piece of the puzzle come together,” Long said. “Especially the central piece of what a student’s day-to-day life will entail and what opportunities will be available to them.
“Now students will be able to have all their education and training in one location, which I am very pleased about.”
Elliott said details are still in the works for the school to offer evening programs for adults.
She said administrators will continue to review CTE program offerings to meet the needs of students as well as meet the current needs of business and industry.
Applicants will be selected from the population of eighth-grade students residing in each school districts in the county as well as from the private school’s in the county. Students will be selected to attend CCTEC based on the grade point average, standardized test scores, admissions assessments in math and reading, a personal interview and recommendations from their district’s guidance counselors.
Bob Garrison, of Garrison Architects, said the facility will be placed on three current parcels of land south of the Cumberland College Campus near Route 55. Garrison noted that site engineers recently finished phase one of a report that showed the area to be environmental safe and clean, containing very little wetlands. Some of the 50-plus acres of land for the project is still in negotiation for purchase.
Garrison said the facility plans will be submitted to the New Jersey Department of Education for approval. Cost of construction is estimated to cost $70 million, of which debt service funding is anticipated to cover more than 70 percent of the bill, or about $50 million.