Submitted by Bryan Sterns
Director, Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center

Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center serves high school students from both Calhoun Middle-High School and Gilmer County High School along with adults from the area continuing their education.

Nine programs of study (Automotive Technology, Building Construction, Business Education, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Environmental Technology, Health Occupations, Networking Technologies and Welding) are available to high school and post graduate students.

In addition, two Alternative Learning Centers serve high school students in need of credit recovery, and Adult Basic Education is provided which includes GED classes and testing.

Since opening in 1975, there has been a decrease in funding for the Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center. Instructors have taken it upon themselves, with no extra pay, to secure funding through grant writing. The West Virginia Department of Education, Division of Adult and Technical Education annually awards Program Modernization Grants of up to $20,000 for new technology and equipment to keep programs current with industry. This spring seven instructors from C-GCC submitted grant proposals for the 2010 fiscal year, and a record four were awarded totaling $51,000.

Instructor Mike Jackson requested funding of a firearms simulator and homeland security lab to address the newly approved Content Standards and Objectives (CSO's) for his classes. Similar to the training at the West Virginia State Police Academy, students will learn proper weapon use in simulated situations. The modernization grant for the Criminal Justice program was $17,000.

A grant of $16,000 was awarded to Networking Technologies. New student workstations, a server with software and network security, and a fiber optical installation kit were requested by instructor Zane Gherke. To hone their 21st century skills the thinking and reasoning, students will utilized this new equipment and be prepared for the workplace.

With President Barack Obama's call for computerized health and medication records, instructor Karen Blankenship requested five new classroom computers and software for the Health Occupations lab. The medical record software is similar to that used at Minnie Hamilton Health Center to provided training to students in this program of study. The modernization grant awarded to Health Occupations totaled $10,000.

An $8,000 modernization grant was awarded to the Environmental Technology program. A class set of 10 global positioning system (GPS) handheld units, geographic information system (GIS) software, and two new classroom computers were requested by instructor Kris Snyder. With the GIS software students will be able to combine known data with spatial relationships and determine the use of natural resources.

Modernization grant proposals emphasizing innovative thinking and 21st century skills are given most favorable consideration. These grants cannot be used to fund personnel or facilities.

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