THROUGH THE ROOF: Clare-Gladwin CTE Enrollment Jumps 29 Percent

* As of June, 2016

(CLARE) – While officials with the Clare-Gladwin Career & Technical Education program work to determine how to maximize the opportunities for students gained with the passage of its millage request in May, there’s also a new variable: Enrollment is way, way up.

While the numbers are likely to fluctuate somewhat between now and the start of the school year, enrollment in CTE classes has increased by more than 100 students – almost 30 percent. According to Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District Superintendent Sheryl Presler, it’s a great problem to have.

“We were definitely hoping for an increase in enrollment, but I’m not sure anybody anticipated a jump like this – not that we’re complaining,” Presler said. “The passage of the millage meant we could follow through on our plans to offer Welding and Business Management immediately, and that accounts for some of the enrollment increase – as we mentioned repeatedly during the information campaign, those were high-demand classes.”

Voters approved the 1-mill, ten-year millage to be used solely for CTE programming on May 3.

Presler was quick to credit the information campaign with not only ensuring voters went to the polls with a solid understanding of the CTE program’s impact on students, communities and the local economy, but with helping drive student interest as well.

“The CTE information campaign definitely generated a heightened interest in the program from students and adults,” Presler said. “We worked very hard in person and online to educate people about the benefits of CTE and the thousands of local students who have graduated high school better prepared for work and college thanks to CTE.”

The jump in enrollment comes despite Coleman’s departure as a participating district. Next fall, that district will participate in CTE programs in Midland County, driving down the number of Coleman students at Clare-Gladwin’s CTE program from 21 to two. On the other hand, Farwell’s student participation in CTE is soaring this fall, rising from 35 to 95.

In addition to Welding and Business, CTE will offer Automotive Technology, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Digital Media, Health Occupations, Construction Trades and Education Occupations this fall. The millage will also offer students more opportunities in areas like work placements and certifications. Plans are also moving forward to develop Agri-Science and Manufacturing programs in the future.