February marks CTE (Career and Technical Education) Month and to dive deeper into the curriculum, we stopped by a welding class at Frenship High School.
A state-of-the-art facility, the FHS welding classroom rivals any in the state, even those of higher education institutions. With several bays and thousands of dollars worth of industry-standard equipment, students are able to train using the best options available and are set up for success from the moment they enter the room.
The FHS welding facility was enhanced in 2017 as part of the 2014 bond projects and serves many high school students looking to hone their skills. The class is led by teaching veteran Brent McFarland who has been in education for 27 years.
“We teach welding basics all the way through to advanced welding,” said McFarland. “Many students take the welding classes to gain general knowledge about welding so they can build or repair metal projects at home. Others will actually enter the industry. Some have expressed interest in becoming pipeline welders to welders in local metal fabrication shops.”
The program has 85 students from assorted backgrounds and with various learning needs. Both boys and girls are enrolled in welding, and there are a couple of special education students who make up the diverse student group taking the classes.
“I have an uncle who is a pipeline welder and it made me want to try it,” said FHS Junior, Megan Smith. “I really like the class. I have good friends who are in here with me and it’s really cool to learn how to use all the tools.”
CTE Coordinator for Frenship, Amy Baker, shared that the enhancements to the facility made a huge impact on the program.
“Due to renovations and a greater emphasis on welding certifications and career preparation, we have seen the quality and caliber of the both the students and program increase,” said Baker. “We are grateful to have a true Agricultural Welding Career Pathway that provides up to three years of hands-on instruction. We have employers eager to interview and hire our students.”
“Industry-recognized welding certifications are available to students in the program,” said McFarland. “These certifications allow students the opportunity to enter the industry and move up the career ladder faster.”
To find out more about the Frenship CTE Program, click here.