Marshall’s Career and Technical Institute valuable educational resource

“When will I use this skill in real life?”

That’s a common question asked by high school students everywhere.

A renewed emphasis on vocational education is on the rise in Marshall. After overcoming several hurdles, the opening of the Marshall Public Schools’ new Career and Technical Institute is providing substantial opportunities for regional students to get hands-on training in a variety of professions and is sure to be a boon to the community.

Located on North U.S. Highway 59 in Marshall, the CTI currently offers advanced training in automotive repair, welding, and a certified nursing assistant program. Such real world experience enhances the high school curriculum and offers supplemental and affordable alternatives to the traditional college path. It serves the community by introducing students to needed career paths while expanding education to help students find good paying jobs whether or not they eventually pursue higher education.

At their best, CTI integrates career training with college preparation. This institute grows the traditional scope of high school education in ways that are meaningful and will likely to be of interest to a good number of students.

That the CTI is a reality can be credited to the efforts of MPS and area businesses, including U.S. Bank, the Taco Bell Foundation, T-Mobile, and others who donated a total of over $150,000 toward the project. The success of this project demonstrates how education at its finest is a collaborative team effort between schools, private businesses, and individual members of the community.

The opening of the CTI was delayed due to the lack of available materials and higher than anticipated construction bids. After overcoming these obstacles the new CTI shows tremendous promise. The CTI building is expansive with a total of 9,890 square feet of space. The southern end of the building holds classroom space for the certified nursing assistant program, while the northern end houses automotive and welding classes. The building holds equipment of all sorts needed to teach students the realities of these professions. Not just desks and whiteboards, but life size mannequins, wheelchairs, and welding stations populate these classrooms.

The great advantage of the CTI is that it provides workplace training to students while they are still in high school and helps them to identify their interests and assets before they graduate. Typically, this type of assistance is available to students only after high school, which for some, comes too late to help them try out professions for which they are well suited. Studies show that completion of career pathway programs correlates with higher graduation rates and ACT scores. Such programs also promise to address increasing labor shortages.

While there has long been practical high school education in the form of wood shop and home economics, career and technical education today is being reformed into a powerful career preparation tool. This type of practical training is increasing not just in Marshall, but across the United States.

Nationally, in 2020-2021, over 8.3 million students participated in career and technology education. Different regions of the country develop different types of vocational training programs based on their own local needs, in areas such as finance, education, business, computer and energy technology, and engineering.

With room to grow, Marshall’s new CTI is an asset to the community that hopefully will grow to expand offerings in even more professional training programs.


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