Local NewsRaising The Bar


Career and technical education programs give students a head start

Posted at 11:29 PM, Jul 08, 2019

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — We've talked a lot about the need for career and technical education over the past few months.

Many of these programs feature skills that can lead directly to a job after high school, but that isn't the goal for most.

We show you how the CTE programs are Raising the Bar by giving students the skills that can pay off immediately, but are really giving the students a head start when they continue on to college.

Meet Danny, Catriana and Cristian.

An aspiring politician, fashion designer and business owner who all have one thing in common.

They credt Basic Academy's career and technical education program for giving them a head start on their dreams.

"I've always been interested in fashion, but I never thought I'd be able to pursue it because it is expensive."

Now the senior has designed a friend's prom dress and is hoping to head to a Los Angeles fashion school after graduation.

Catriana says the program taught her much more than fabric and sewing.

"It taught us how to merchandise, it taught us how to set up a store to make it appealing," she said.

At the same time Catriana is preparing for a career in fashion dozens of her classmates are learning about crime scene investigation learning science that helps put killers behind bars.

"We are doing a lab a week and it is really fun and really helpful," she said.

As they are dissecting evidence others are dissecting engines in auto shop.

No matter the subject all ten of the CTE programs have a common goal getting students lined up for a career after high school.

In many cases setting the stage for students who may not have college aspirations to pursue additional education to increase their income.

Principal Gerald Bustamante has a unique insight into the expectations students and their families set growing up just down the street and graduating from Basic himself in 1994.

That is why Bustamante takes extra pride in seeing alumni like Danny Vellan pursuing their dreams.

In Vella's case running for city council at just 18 years.

Something the teen say he probably would have pursued eventually, but was helped by his time at Basic Academy.

"I wouldn't be as prepared to run," he said.

Even as the students continue down their career paths they know they wouldn't be as far down those roads without the programs they started in high school.

One piece of advice all of the students we spoke with had for current students is for them not to be afraid to try out different subjects.

They also say the key to their success was getting involved with on campus activities.

What is Raising The Bar?

Together with parents, educators, business and community leaders, 13 Action News will lead the discussion on improving education in Southern Nevada. We will connect families with solutions that empower our community to build a foundation for a successful future. If you have a story idea, email us at raisingthebar@ktnv.com.