POCAHONTAS, AR Jan. 13 — BRTC is excited to announce it has been approved to permanently offer workforce education to high school students for both high school and college credit at no cost to the student at both BRTC Paragould and BRTC Pocahontas.
In its December board meeting, the Arkansas Career Education department (ACE) approved Black River Technical College’s application to transform BRTC’s Technical Opportunities and Pathways for Secondary Students (TOPSS) pilot program into a secondary technical center. Approval was also granted to extend the course offerings to the Paragould location.
For the past 3 years, ACE has allowed BRTC to run the TOPSS pilot in Clay, Lawrence, and Randolph counties and in Marmaduke. Greene County, however, was not included. As of the announcement in December, Greene County will be included in the secondary technical center’s offerings.
“This is a great opportunity for high school students to learn an employable skill that they can put to use immediately upon graduation,” said Darenda Kersey, BRTC Coordinator of Concurrent Enrollment. Students enrolled in BRTC’s secondary technical center earn both college and high school credit at no cost. Funding is provided by ACE.
The programs offered by BRTC’s secondary technical center are high demand, high wage programs selected by ACE. Workers in these fields are not only in demand locally but also statewide. Career paths currently offered in TOPSS are nursing assistant (CNA), phlebotomy, industrial electricity, machine tool, and welding.
The TOPSS pilot will end in May 2020. Students interested in attending BRTC’s secondary technical center in Pocahontas or Paragould in the Fall of 2020 will be able to begin registering in the coming months.
For more information, contact Coordinator for Concurrent Enrollment Darenda Kersey at (870) 248-4184 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://blackrivertech.org/technical-opportunities-and-pathways-for-secondary-students-topss.