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Sussex Tech is putting students to work for capstone experience

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Recent Sussex Tech graduate Gabrielle Guy of Laurel plans to become an oral surgeon, a goal boosted by her work-based learning experience in an oral surgery office in Seaford during her senior year.

Sussex Technical High School has announced a new work-based capstone experience for its incoming freshman class that is set to transform the school’s career and technical program.

The upcoming freshman class will have the opportunity to work part-time for half of their senior year. The idea  is to give students more real-world experience, while supporting the needs of local employers.

The Tech Career Capstone demonstrates Sussex Tech’s commitment to career and technical education, said Board of Education President Warren Reid. It follows on the strategic plan adopted this summer by the Board of Education grounded in the district’s new core statement, “Preparing Students for Their Future.”

“Our students graduate ready for careers or college, so no matter their path, they have a place,” Reid said. “As a district, our path forward includes working hand-in-hand with local employers and business leaders to help prepare our students for success.”

Sussex Tech is working to modify schedules and curriculum to make sure students have more time to focus on their technical concentration. Students can choose from 17 areas of concentration, including automotive technologies, carpentry, and early child care and education.

“Our graduates already possess solid career and technical skills, with many of them holding valuable industry-standard certifications,” said Superintendent Stephen Guthrie. “We are giving them hands-on experience in the workforce that will help prepare them even more for careers or college and enhance the quality of a Sussex Tech education. It’s a win-win that helps employers fill their own skills gaps and identify potential new hires early on.”

About 75 students have piloted the program by picking up additional part-time work during their senior year. The full program will be phased in by 2023.

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