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Leaders in Learning: West Ada pre-engineering students given tools to excel

These HS students are getting their hands on the same exact engineering tools used in the industry! (CBS 2 Photo)

In the West Ada School District, high school students who are looking to pursue engineering careers in the future are getting a head start right now.

The district offers a career technical and education pre-engineering program that is top-ranked nationally.

Each year, a whopping 96-percent of students who go through the program go on to get a post-secondary education in pre-engineering.

It's a feat that students and administrators say would not be possible without the team of dedicated teachers at the heart of the program.

"There's a great foundation among all the teachers," said Andrew Smith, pre-engineering teacher for West Ada CTE. "We have a strong professional learning community. We collaborate, we work hard together to make sure students have common assessments. That they're all learning the same things. That they're all achieving those same skills."

There are seven pre-engineering teachers total — each specializing in a different wheelhouse of engineering, from electrical to mechanical.

The purpose of the program is not only to encourage students to pursue careers in engineering, but to also make sure that they are better prepared for the next step after high school.

For that reason, the teachers all worked together to make sure the students are get their hands on the same exact tools that are used in the industry!

"The teachers, the administration, everyone does their part and really focus on the students," said Elijah Archuleta, a junior at Renaissance High School.

The program is offered to anyone attending high school in the West Ada School District. Students attend the first two years at their home high school and then they go to the CTE center at Renaissance High School for the program's final two years,

Students attend the program for half the day and the go to general education classes at their home high school for the other half of the day.

In the future, the pre-engineering teachers hope to bring more opportunities for the students to intern with local companies, like Micron and Rekluse.

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