Do your high schools still offer vocational technical classes?

When I was in my jr and sr years I went to this Vo-Tech School. Since it wasnt in our home school district we were bused about 25 miles to this school. The class days were about 3 periods long.

Comparing then and now the only 2 I remember still there are office education and nursing. But back then they also offered auto mechanics, welding, electronics, auto body, and agricultural education.

In looking at my local high schools they call it “Industrial technology” now but there is very little hands on anymore and the only one still offered is Woodworking. The others are drafting, computers, and areas related to medical fields.

I’d like to ask, did any one you all take vocational courses?
Do your local high schools still offer them?
Do you think they were wrong to drop them?
Do you see them returning?

For us those would have been different high schools, but we did get that kind of courses between 5th and 8th grades.

In my case and circa 1980, they were:
“Intro to technology”, 5th grade. Taught by a guy who was actually the draftsmanship teacher and who barely knew which end of a screwdriver was the handle. A bit of electricity, a bit of mechanics. Despite the bad teacher, it was the beginning of my love of DIY. Dude got better once he’d had time to actually learn some DIY himself (we were his first group).
6th to 8th: draftsmanship
6th to 8th: another course which offered, in groups rotating by three-month terms, typing, sewing and hand-crafts (marquetry, decorating mirrors or pottery…). Some of us were so bad at sewing that eventually the teachers decided to let us just pick up different kinds of handcrafts in different terms (phew) and let those who really, really, really enjoyed sewing take a term of sewing and one of embroidery. I swear I’m less dangerous with a foot-long saw than with a one-inch needle.

We also got Music in 6th to 8th, which like the above was not a requirement of the national curriculum.

That school and its sister HSs across the street are still known among Engineering and Architecture schools for the quality of the Draftsmanship. My nephews attend it now; I’m not sure what will they have available when they get to 5th as it gets reviewed every few years, but I know there will be “off-curriculum subjects” and that some of them will be related to the kind of jobs for which you need Vocational HS or Art HS, not College-track HS.

Yes, in CT there is the Vo-Tech high school option and the Ag school option which is embedded within the regular high school. Here in NY there is BOCES which offers technical school classes as well.

A lot of this has been moved to community/junior colleges, which almost always have a full and robust vocational program along side the “first two years of a four year degree” route. They offer certifications and associates degrees, depending on the field. K-12 school systems often work with the community colleges on these programs.

As Manda JO said, I think a lot of those programs have moved over to community colleges. Here in Columbia, MO, however, there is still a vo-tech school for high school aged students, the Columbia Area Career Center. They have programs like welding, construction, auto repair, food service, etc., along with some business and health services programs.

ETA: They also have programs for adults.

There is a very, very nice and well-funded vo-ed in the Cleveland area, the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center.

Yep. The local high school has vo-tech classes including auto mechanics, woodworking, agriculture, and metal working, including welding. Certain healthcare options are available as well as culinary classes. These are taken at the high school or at the nearby regional technical college. Some programs, such as LPN, are started at the high school and finished at the tech school. A good student can still graduate high school here and get a good-paying trade job.

Yes, computering classes are available, too, but I believe the current fetish of people using “technology” to mean ONLY computer tech is narrow-minded.

There are actually a bunch of them. Every school district in Ohio is part of a Career Technical District: The larger school districts like Cleveland are their own, and smaller districts collaborate. And each Career Technical District has a facility (usually at one of the public high schools) where students from that district can take vocational classes. Lakewood High School, for instance, hosts West Shore Career Tech, which serves Lakewood, Rocky River, Westlake, Bay Village, and maybe a couple of others I’m forgetting. I don’t know all of the trades that WSCT supports, but it’s at least construction, auto repair, cooking, and electronics.

When I was in HS, there were three voc-tech (as we called them) HSs in Philadelphia and they did do things like auto repair and the like. I have no idea if they still exist. Ordinary HSs offered very little in the way of voc-tech, basically courses like typing and business arithmetic.

Here in Quebec there are no such courses in HSs as far as I know, but the communitiy colleges offer them. The name of the community colleges are College d’Enseignement General Et Professional (CEGEP) and the professional means, in this context, voc-tech. General means preparatory to University. Students cannot go directly to university but must go through a CEGEP first.

Yep, quite a few programs. I never took any of them, but one of my (female) friends took Metal Shop for kicks instead of the more typical art or music class. She won all the awards that year.

Our local high school has its own vo-tech classes, including stuff like Precision Machining, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Woodworking-Carpentry, a bunch of courses that used to be called Home Economics, and even a state-mandated Personal Finance course. They also partner with the area vo-tech schools for something called “career clusters” where students attend both schools.

I took the “college prep” track in school. There were fully technical high schools in the area, as well as a vo-tech program which had students remain at their home school but go to the votech center for the vocational classes.
My son starts high school in a couple years and most likely will go to a vocational school. So it exists here.

There were also many offerings like “wood shop” and similar at the regular school, which any students could take as electives. And I know my kids have some pretty interesting electives in regular school starting in 7th grade, including more modern technology.

I was in the college-prep track, but also took a class that got me my CNA, which let me have a really good-paying job in school and was the basis for the rest of my career. That program is still offered.

My high school also offers welding/metal shop, carpentry/construction, agricultural science, ROTC, and web design. The last one made me smile; it obviously was not offered thirty years ago. There is a decent market for the first two items listed locally, and the area is still near enough farms that “ag” is a reasonable class (most of the kids in 4-H took it back in the day).

I never went, but our district here has a nice one in its own building next door to one of the high schools. I drive past it on my way to work. Judging from the electronic sign in front, it gets lots of support from Silicon Valley industries.

Heh, you guys prompted me to look up what my former high school is now doing. I graduated in 1981, so eons ago. It’s firmly in farm country in central California. At the time, they had the usual college prep track courses and votech classes like auto shop, woodworking and typing. They also had two agricultural classes: I forget the name of the first one but it focused entirely on prepping us for a future in the FFA (Future Farmers of America). I liked the animal and farming stuff we learned but hated that the teacher pushed so hard on the FFA.

The following year I took the next ag class, which was called Animal Health Technology. They bused us out to the “school farm”. We did some book learning about the usual farm species, diseases and nutrition. We also did some hands on stuff that I still treasure to this day: administering vaccinations and injections, docking tails, castrations, slaughter and butchering, and artificial insemination. We spent a couple months in the lab dissecting fetal pigs to learn mammal anatomy. Of course none of that I’ve ever used in my career as a software engineer/business analyst, but I love the memories.

So I had to look up if the school still has that program more than twenty years later… they do! :smiley:

My son has taken welding and woodworking and autoshop thorough high school.

Without trying to hijack this into a political discussion, HS diplomas aren’t what they used to be. One used to be able to have a good job/career with just a HS diploma & now I think you need to continue on to achieve the same level. [/non-hijack].
our county has 3 vo-tech schools, East, Central, & West; your local HS determines which one you go to. My local one has 14 program tracks.

My son’s high school has programs to teach auto repair, welding, machine shop, computer repair, carpendry and other vocational skills. But it’s a regular high school, and also has classes in AP Chemistry and World HIstory, etc. But it you take the vocational classes, you can graduate with certification in welding or collision repair, etc.

The tech ed department of our local high school offers:
Computer Assisted Design
Introduction to Engineering Design
Manufacturing Technology
Architectural Design 1 and 2
Graphic Communications
Material Processing
Construction Technology
Video Production

We also have one of the state tech high schools (magnet schools run by the state, rather than by the local school district) in our town. They have:
Automotive Collision Repair and Refinishing (auto body)
Automotive Technology (auto mechanical)
Bioscience and Environmental Technology
Computer-Aided Drafting and Design
Culinary Arts
Information Systems Technology
Plumbing and Heating
Tourism, Hospitality and Guest Services Management
(They also have regular high-school classes such as maths, history, English, &c. Students alternate several-week blocks of tech and academics - for instance, while 9th- and 12th-graders are in the shops, 10th- and 11th-graders will be doing academics.)

Oh, and in the middle schools all students have a semester of “shop” and a semester of “home ec” (I forget what the current terms are) each year.