ANDERSON — Are you a Madison County student who wants to jump-start your future?
Anderson High School’s D26 Career Center is accepting applications for students interested in participating in a career program during the 2022-2023 school year.
The application deadline is March 31. Students or guardians with questions can contact D26 at 765-641-2046.
D26 offers 15 career pathways, though offerings vary each year depending on the number of interested students.
In the health sciences certified nursing assistant course, students have the opportunity to earn their CNA certification and dual credits with Ivy Tech.
Students in this program use the skills they learn in class on mannequins in their mock clinical lab. After showing their proficiency, students have the opportunity put their skills to the test in real life clinical situations.
Students interested in working at factories such as Nestle, Keter North America or Red Gold should consider enrolling in the advanced manufacturing program.
“They learn all different kinds of things from electrical systems to pneumatics to molding,” said Jason Neal, director of D26.
Students also learn how to be safe in these types of work environments, including Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards.
A program that is unique to D26 is the veterinary careers pathway, as other local career centers do not offer it.
“We do lots of hands-on work with dummies … we learn how to draw blood, we learn surgical procedures, emergency procedures, and we also do grooming,” said Lindsay Carpenter, the program’s instructor.
One of the largest classes offered is the construction trades course. In it, students build a mock house in one of the classrooms at D26. Neal is working to develop a partnership with Habitat for Humanity so the students can go out and build a real house.
In the welding program, students learn how to do different types of welds and can earn about 40 specialized certifications. Each weld that a student can perform earns a different certification.
Students in the dental career pathway learn basic cleaning, tooth extractions and other dental procedures.
“We do lots of hands-on things in conjunction with videos,” said Wendy Bailey, the program’s instructor.
The career center also offers two automotive pathways: manufacturing and collision.
In the manufacturing pathway, students learn the mechanics of cars and how to fix common problems. In the auto collision course, students learn to work on and repair damaged vehicles.
In the culinary arts and hospitality pathway, students learn about food safety and how to cook food.
The newest career pathway at D26 is the human and social services course. In this course, students learn ways to become a helper, such as a social worker. The course focuses on how to help and build up community.
“(It’s) just a lot about building community and the services we have to help one another,” Jana Witte, said the program’s instructor.
Students who are interested in working with children often take the early childhood education course. These students learn skills needed to work with children up to age 8.
The courses instructor, Holly Gingrich, also teaches the education profession course where students learn skills needed to teach ages 8 through middle school.
Students not only learn in class via instruction, they also have the opportunity to craft their own lesson plans and carry them out with a class.
For those interested in becoming part of law enforcement or have an interest in learning about the criminal justice system, Neal suggests taking the criminal justice career pathway.
The courses in this pathway are taught by two former Anderson Police Officers, Shannon Cleckley and Deena Dunn.
In the first year, students spend time learning about the courts, corrections and law enforcement. In the second year, students delve deeper into law enforcement and even practice doing investigations and have a mock trial.
Craig Stephenson teaches the emergency medical services program at D26.
In his class, students learn how to administer first aid, CPR, breathing control and how to deliver babies. After completion of the course, students earn their Indiana state emergency medical technician certification.
The final course that D26 offers is the fire and rescue one. It is team taught by all members of the Anderson Fire Department.
Students learn things such as how to suit up quickly and how to find people or animals in the dark. They also have access to the training facility that the city fire department uses.
This article appeared in The Herald Bulletin on March 6, 2022.