School has started once again, and new students are learning the lay of the land while seniors are back to the grindstone at CPAVTS! With the new year, CPAVTS has seen plenty of changes, from its new Computer Programming course to upgrades made to the Dental Assisting and Advertising Art and Design programs; but one constant throughout every new school year is the variety of experiences our students receive. One of those initiatives is a double-faceted series of field trips that provide students with an inside look at post-secondary institutions and local employers.

“These college tours allow students to see what is expected of them at the post-secondary level,” said Lori Britcher, one of CPAVTS’s guidance counselors.

Typically, students will visit HACC for a “trades day” in the fall and return for campus tours in the spring. They will also visit Pennsylvania College of Technology for campus tours—once in the fall and once in the spring. During these visits, students receive an introduction to the school and a general tour of the campus. After this, they branch off into specific classrooms and laboratory areas associated with their fields. Since level two students are the ones participating in these tours, it gives them insight into college life and helps them determine if continued education is the right path for them.

The employer visits connect students with local businesses and provide an in-depth look at industries related to their program areas. These trips are planned for level one students who have just entered a program at CPAVTS; this means that they receive a closer look at the types of jobs they can pursue after graduation and determine which type of career is the most suitable for them.

“Employers provide us with a tour of their facility, explain what their company does, and offer insight into any certifications or educational qualities they look for in employees,” said Ms. Britcher.

Local industries and post-secondary institutions have been invaluable in CPAVTS’s growth as a career and technical education school. Companies such as Lobar, JPL, and CACCC, Inc. have hosted industry tours for the past two years, and these companies (and dozens more!) provide various other types of support—from participation in the cooperative education program to offering generous donations to our programs to serving as members of our programs’ advisory boards. HACC, Penn College, and many other institutions offer College in the High School or accreditation credits to CPAVTS students, saving them time and money if they choose to pursue post-secondary education.

Tours of local colleges and businesses are just one way our students earn a comprehensive education. From the excellent instruction and hands-on training to industry certifications to employability skills training, CPAVTS ensures each student graduates ready to work and ready to learn. Open House night is coming on November 2, so come find out what our students already know: that with an education at Cumberland Perry AVTS, you can unlock opportunities unlimited!