H-F Applied Academics Department gets a new name

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H-F Applied Academics Department gets a new name

December 15, 2020 - 20:57
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The Applied Academics Department at Homewood-Flossmoor High School will now be called the Department of Career and Technical Education.

The recommendation to change the name was presented by Superintendent Von Mansfield to the school board’s Planning Committee on Thursday, Dec. 10. 

The newly named Department of Career and Technical Education offers courses in technical skills such as woodworking, welding, machine tool technology and repair. (Chronicle file photo)

The department in the 1960s was known for classes such as “Foods” and “Shop.” Today’s courses require students to meet 21st century objectives and learn skills that will be used in future employment.

The new name matches the title used by state and federal government agencies for programs that relate to family consumer sciences, business education and technical education and industrial technology.

Under the Department of Career and Technical Education umbrella, H-F offers three tracks – business education, family and consumer sciences and career and technical education. The department offers specialty programs such as:

  • Project Lead the Way for engineering skills.
  • Technical skills such as woodworking, welding, machine tool technology and repair and automotive management.
  • Business skills in personal finance and investment, web site design, accounting and business and personal law.
  • Clothing, interior design, culinary, child development and early childhood education. 

Several of the programs offer internships for hands-on work experience, and a number of courses are paired with Prairie State College so that students can earn high school and college credit at the same time.

Students learn automotive management through H-F High School's Department of Career and Technical Education. (Chronicle file photo)

H-F is receiving the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Grant from the federal government, and Illinois most recently passed the Post Secondary Workforce Readiness Act to support career and technical education.  

“We can stay consistent with our grants,” said Jennifer Hester, director of curriculum, instruction and professional development.

Mansfield said the name change is “in keeping with our long-range facilities plan.” The fine arts program, now located in the new Fine Arts addition, vacated space adjacent to several Department of Career and Technical Education programs and the superintendent said he is hoping to see the space converted for use by the department. 

Planning Committee Chair Debbie Berman thanked Mansfield for the recommendation.

“It updates our mission in that area, and it’s always good to be consistent with the sources of funding we’re asking for,” she said.

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