Students explore career pathways at Thomas Edison

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Thomas Edison High School offers many unique courses. Students who complete their courses are rewarded certifications.

Two schools in one day, two different curriculums in one day, four different commutes in one day; just another day for students who go to WJ and Thomas Edison. The Thomas Edison High School of Technology offers programs to 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade students interested in studying specific technology education programs.

What Edison provides is a truly unique experience for students. Not many other schools in the county can offer the courses such as Law Enforcement, Leadership and Automotive Technology just to name a few.

Some students who see what is offered at Edison immediately take advantage of what is being presented to them. While WJ does provide many classes that prepare students for what they want to study, or what they want to do in life, Edison specializes in areas that are not given much attention.

“When I learned more about the Edison program I was interested in pursuing graphic design as a career and now I am in my second year of the graphic design program. Taking the Edison course has helped me figure out what I want to do as my career…” senior Megan Fairbanks said.

Life post high school is looming over the horizon for all students. It is a weight that seems to never lighten, and one that seems to grow heavier closer to graduation. Students must take English and math courses every year of their high school career, at least three different state approved science courses and three different history/social science courses. That is why many students try out classes which are deemed not ‘core curriculum’.

“My friend who went to Edison told me about the variety of courses offered by Edison and Architecture was one that caught my eye. With all of the certifications and opportunities in my architecture class offers a great chance to plan out my future and it helps me get into great colleges,” senior Luka Nikolava said.

Many students who attend Edison believe that it is something more students should take advantage of. Out of the roughly 3000 students that go to this school, only 31 are enrolled in Edison classes. The first take away from the enrollment data at Edison is maybe that not many people know about the opportunities at Edison, but some Edison students believe it may not be the case.

“Well I feel like a lot of people know, but the way the counselors make it sound, they make it sound like it is a super difficult class or course, and it is not as hard as they make it sound. Really they should just give people more information on classes,” junior Anthony Floyd said.

The reward for students who take the classes at Edison are county recognized certifications. These certificates are in conjunction with the credits students receive for completing courses in their ‘regular’ school.

“I would say it helps you a lot, you get certificates while you do your programs. So it helps you for your career and future, and I feel like everybody should try and do it because it sets you up for a career path,” Floyd said.

Setting up a good foundation for college and a future career is a difficult task for many students. There are plenty of different variables that go into creating a good launching point before graduation. For students to get a head start in a career path they want to explore, it is a huge opportunity that many believe should not be turned down.

“…the Edison program offers a lot of real world skills in classes used in the career path you want to take. Sure you don’t get to see your friends as often but the things you learn in the classes have a long term effect and ultimately help to better your skills and get you ready for going into the workplace,” Fairbanks said.

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