The vo-tech program has been an option for SHS students for around 15 years. This two-year program attracts students due to its variety of hands-on classes and has seen a significant increase in enrollment from previous years.
The number of students involved in vo-tech has doubled since last year, going from 9 to 18.
Hutchinson Community College offers vo-tech classes in many areas such as Auto Body, Automotive Technology, Machine Technology, Residential Construction, Welding Technology, Medical Aide, and CNA.
These classes appeal to the more hands-on learning students and allows students to get out of a desk and into a work environment.
“I’ve never touched a book in that class,” said senior John Schweizer, “I haven’t set foot in a classroom, and the best part about it is not having to do that kind of stuff.”
For some students, vo-tech is a means of leading into another career.
“I want to do welding for art, for sculpting,” junior Abby Wohlgamuth said. “I saw the opportunity to take welding during high school so I took it.”
Others, such as Schweizer, who is in his second year of vo-tech, chose their area for future options.
“Construction is something I can use for just about anything I can do my whole life,” Schweizer said. “I’m not sure if it’s going to be a career yet or not.”
While the students do get college credit to kickstart their education and career, the grading scale can be strict.
“We have to pass certification,” junior Kyler Edwards said. “It’s either a pass or fail grade, and if you don’t meet the requirements on it, you fail.”
Schweizer said he enjoys the fun atmosphere and different style of learning.
“It’s a great program and it’s a lot of fun. It’s work but it’s a lot of fun.”
Although the work can be hard, current students praise the program and encourage involvement.
“I would advise the sophomores to go for it,” said senior Alexander Brasher. “It’s life skills that you’ll need through everyday life.”