Preparing Students for Postsecondary Education and Beyond: Butler County Area Vocational and Technical School Empowers Students with the Skills They Need to Succeed in Postsecondary Education and the Workplace

Article excerpt

AS DIRECTOR OF THE BUTLER COUNTY AREA Vocational-Technical School (BCAVTS), located in Butler, Pa., Joseph Cunningham works to empower students with the skills they need to succeed in their education and future employment. In the beginning of his career, Cunningham worked as an HVAC technician and subsequently pursued a degree in vocational education. After graduation he was offered a job as an HVAC instructor at BCAVTS. He continued his education and became an administrator at the school after six years of teaching; this led to the directorship, which he has now held for seven years.

Cunningham considers himself a progressive thinker who strives to maintain a high-tech, state-of-the-art career-tech school that works to improve student outcomes. BCAVTS's motto is to provide an education "empowering students with the skills necessary for continuous development, education and employment." When students leave the school, they are ready to go into a career, pursue further education or both. His staff works collaboratively with the BCAVTS Joint Operating Committee to help students attain these goals. So providing students with pathways to postsecondary education and work is essential; to that end the school is actively working with postsecondary institutions to establish articulation agreements so that students have seamless transitions to further education after they leave high school. …