February is Career and Technical Education Month, a national campaign to increase awareness and celebrate the value of programs that prepare students for the world of work. This is the fourth in a series of stories focusing on CTE in West Michigan.

A Local CTE Success

According to a national survey of students and their parents, CTE students are more likely to have a post-high school plan, including college. While CTE used to be the college alternative, today’s programs provide opportunities for college credit, credentials and meaningful work-based learning experiences.

This is the path that Muskegon Heights Academy graduate, JaTeryn Moore followed. She attended the Allied Health and Health Science Academy program at the MACTC (Muskegon Area Career Tech Center) from 2013-15. During that time she was also enrolled in the Early College program at MCC (Muskegon Community College), giving her head start on a college degree. At the age of 19, she graduated from MCC with an Associate of Arts and Sciences.

JaTeryn has also become a leader and innovator in her community. She was inspired to start the group Y-C.L.A.S.S. (Young Courageous Ladies of Ambition, Success and Service) to address the high percentage of high school women who become pregnant and don’t graduate on time or take advantage of opportunities for continued education. The group engages female minority students, ages 14 to 17, teaching them professional skills and the importance of community service. It also provides a community of support to combat peer pressure.

In addition to giving back to her community, JaTeryn is continuing her education and career aspirations in medicine. She will graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University this spring. And she’s not finished; she’s planning to apply to medical school next!

Opportunities in Muskegon

The MACTC offers a variety of career-readiness programs to build bridges between careers and classrooms. In addition to the Allied Health Technology program that JaTeryn participated in, students within the MAISD (Muskegon Area Intermediate School District) can take advantage of career development in one of 15 programs in the construction, health care, information technology, manufacturing and professional service industries. Learn more at muskegonisd.org/career-college/ctc-new/.