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CCTI application demand is high

Published June 26. 2018 12:34PM

Carbon Career and Technical Institute is attracting more students than ever.

Guidance counselor Eugene Colosimo gave the Joint Operating Committee a glowing report last week.

Colosimo’s statistics showed the school’s 2018-19 enrollment at 434 students total, with Palmerton Area School District topping the list at 131 students.

“Business is really good and really healthy. Applications are still coming in, and it’s probably the highest demand I’ve ever seen. With everybody’s hard work and the reputation of the school, students really do want to attend,” Colosimo said.

Delving back into the past year, Colosimo detailed testing including advanced placement in literature and composition, as well as calculus, which saw a total of 14 students participating. Results will be available on or after July 5.

PSAT participants dropped to 33 students for the past year.

“That was down slightly. Talking to counselors from sending districts, they’re also saying the same thing as to slightly lower numbers on the PSAT this year. We don’t know what’s causing that, but we’re always heavily recruiting,” Colosimo said.

Students engaging in the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute and National Institute for Metalworking Skills exams excelled this year, Colosimo said.

“For NOCTI, the numbers were good — 84 students were tested, 100 percent were advanced or competent in the written portion. I think that’s an all-time high. Combining NIMS and NOCTI, 76 percent are advanced overall, and 97 percent are advanced or competent overall,” he said.

The winter Keystone exams included 25 students testing in literature, 78 in algebra and 37 in biology, while the spring testing included 97 students in literature, 102 in algebra and 98 in biology.

Career and technical students can use a passing NOCTI score to fulfill graduation requirements in lieu of the Keystone exams, Colosimo said.

Touching upon the success of the Stepping Up program, Colosimo said that the positive behavior program was excelling with students.

“When students are doing well, we like to recognize them. If somebody’s reporting bullying, or a student takes home books for someone who is ill at home, anything that they see that helps us, we’ll give them a $10 Walmart card or gifts from the school store,” he said. “The students like that, and it works well.”

An update on notable success of CCTI students who have pursued the $20,000 Widener University Leadership Scholarship included another recipient for this year.

“Every year we’ve been getting a student into that since 2014, and this year it’s Karissa Nenscel from Palmerton,” Colosimo said.

Nenscel is also eligible for a $4,000 Wilkes University Guidance Counselor Award.

A breakdown of the class of 2018’s upcoming plans showed a very strong trend toward CCTI students jumping into the workforce, with 57 out of 94 graduates going right to work, 29 students pursuing college, three students attending a technical or trade school and four students entering the military.

“The workforce, it’s a very healthy job market right now. The numbers are at 3.8 percent unemployment, it’s very strong in the county and very strong in the state,” Colosimo said. “It’s a very, very hot job market, and students are taking advantage of that.”

Looking forward to the summer, Colosimo said that he is focusing on coordinating with students who need summer school or credit recovery, along with the new group of students from the sending districts.

As far as goals, Colosimo said that including more technology in student presentations is a priority, along with expanding links in the guidance section of the school website.

Colosimo said that based on the analysis of available figures for the past year and the upcoming year, things are looking up at CCTI.

“Students really like it here, and as you can see from the results, people want to come here. Brothers and sisters talk to each other, we get a lot of people from in a family. Things are going well across the board. It’s a good end of the year here,” he said.

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