Nashua’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) center, which prepares students for college and careers in industries such as biotechnology, engineering, healthcare, and trades, is launching a new initiative that aims to reach more English Language Learners and nontraditional students. With a grant from the NH Department of Education, the district will provide translated materials for parents and students and professional development for educators.
The goal of Nashua’s Career and Technical Education program is to open pathways for all students to be successful, and with district demographics rapidly changing, Director Amanda Bastoni said adjustments to the curriculum are in order.
In fact, there are now 126 students at Nashua High School North, along with another 169 at Nashua High School South, for whom English is not their native language. These students are, therefore, classified as English Language Learners.
This is a major part of the reason Nashua CTE is rolling out a new initiative, thanks to a $10,000 grant from the New Hampshire Department of Education, to attract ELL students to the program, including those who would be considered nontraditional.
A nontraditional student, Bastoni said, is defined in relation to traditional gender roles. This could include a female student in machining, engineering or automotive classes, or a male in the early childhood development or cosmetology programs. Classes such as photography or culinary arts would not fall into this category since the gender distribution is typically pretty even, she said.
“This pilot program is a step toward expanding the available pool of nontraditional CTE students by engaging non-trad ELL students and providing them with a structured pathway to success that allows them to reach beyond cultural roles to more fully embrace the diverse opportunities available to them in their adopted country,” Bastoni wrote in the grant application.
The CTE serves both high schools. About 7.3 percent of students at the city’s north high school are considered ELL, while the percentage is 9.1 for the south high school.
There are 24 Career and Technical Education (CTE) centers in New Hampshire, preparing students for a wide variety of career paths. Learn more:
- CTE programs engage learners while incorporating strong general education requirements
- Concord CTE Center Director: It’s time to rethink the pathway to school and career…
- Not your old school CTE?
- More on CTE