Pinellas gets three more 'Centers of Excellence'
It doesn't get enough attention -- and it's not happening as fast as business leaders would like -- but the Pinellas school district is moving the ball with career and technical education.
This month, three more career and technical programs in Pinellas high schools were designated Centers of Excellence, bringing the total to 12 in three years. The latest to earn the distinction: the Graphic Arts Academy at Dixie Hollins, the Center for Advanced Technologies at Lakewood, and the Transportation Academy at Northeast High.
The centers are programs that have earned an industry seal of approval for providing a path to high-wage, high-skill jobs. Independent committees, made up of industry experts and employers, make the call.
Pinellas hopes to have one center in each high school by the 2010-11 school year. At this point, 10 high schools have centers, including Northeast, with three.
In a related development, two centers -- the Criminal Justice Academy at Pinellas Park High and the Academy of Finance at Northeast -- just earned a prestigious "model" status from the National Career Academy Coalition.