LOOKING TOWARD THEIR FUTURE — Juniors from IHS listen attentively as Rebekah Peitz of ICC talks to them about the many programs available through ICC West when they toured the facility Thursday. Taina Copeland | Staff Photo
LOOKING TOWARD THEIR FUTURE — Juniors from IHS listen attentively as Rebekah Peitz of ICC talks to them about the many programs available through ICC West when they toured the facility Thursday. Taina Copeland | Staff Photo

More than 120 Independence High School juniors invaded Independence Community College West Thursday to tour and check out the technical programs offered at the campus. Programs visited included vet tech, EMT, Allied Health, cosmetology and culinary. 

ICC assistant director of Enrollment and Retention Management Rebekah Peitz guided several large groups of students through the campus explaining what was involved in the variety of programs and what it would take to become a tech student.

“We have large groups in every single department out here,” said Peitz. She then explained the vet tech program to students stating, “Some things have changed with the admission process and I’ll go over those a little bit. In the past we used to require students to have their pre-reqs completed before they interviewed or applied for the program, that has changed. Now students are actually allowed to complete their pre-reqs their first semester the program.”

Piety said those pre-req’s include General Chemistry, Biology 1, Intro to Vet Tech, English Comp 1 and Public Speaking. “I know a lot of students usually take Comp 1 and Public Speaking while they are still in high school,” she said. “That happens quite a bit so we will take that off your degree plan for that semester and you will have a little bit of a lighter load.”

Students learned the process for enrolling in any of the offered programs at ICC West. Students must interview to enter any of the programs and Peitz explained the Senate Bill 155 option to them. SB155 was passed into law July 1, 2012 with the main purpose of stimulating growth in Career & Technical Education at both the secondary and post-secondary level in Kansas. According to ksde.org, the Kansas workforce will increasingly demand a more highly-technical and highly-skilled worker and Senate Bill 155 is aimed at meeting those future demands.

The four financial aspects of the bill are, tuition reimbursement for high school students enrolled in college-level CTE courses; incentivizing high school students graduating with an industry-recognized certifications which lead directly to high-demand occupations in Kansas through a Certification Incentive program; transportation reimbursement to school districts transporting high school students off-campus to complete college-level CTE coursework; and CTE Marketing campaign to promote the positive impact of CTE on education and the workforce.

“It’s definitely something to think about,” Peitz told the students. 

Peitz said some of the programs are available while the student is in high school. “It’s kind of cool because our culinary program is actually working to make it so they can complete it in high school and culinary is covered by SB155,” she explained. “EMT is that way as well and cosmetology is working on making that a possibility so a lot of these programs out here are trying to fit. A lot of high schools are going to Career Pathways and we are trying to fit that mold to make sure that we are still able to help our students out.”

Peitz said more than 200 students have visited the ICC West campus this semester. “We are really trying to make sure they get a little bit more exposure to ICC West because I don’t think a lot of people know what all we have to offer,” she said. 

To find out more about the certification programs available at ICC West, visit indycc.edu