Vernon Township High School Constructs an Educational Relationship with Temple University

Temple ribbon-cutting

Pictured, from left to right: Drew Krause, James Shenise, Dr. Rashida Ng, Dr. Clifton Fordham and Dr. Kate Wingert-Playdon, of Temple University, James Trusa, Joseph Piccirillo and Michael DeVore

Recognizing the emergence and tremendous value of Career Technical Education (CTE) in both the academic setting and in the workforce, Vernon Township High School has now forged an educational partnership with Temple University in Philadelphia to strengthen the offerings and opportunities of its cutting-edge courses. This alliance was officiated on Monday, August 22nd, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a signed agreement by Superintendent Arthur DiBenedetto and Asst. Superintendent Dr. Charles McKay of Vernon Township School District, and Dr. Kate Wingert-Playdon, Dr. Clifton Fordham and Dr. Rashida Ng of Temple University.

Marking the university’s first foray into high school partnerships, Temple University will focus its efforts on building relationships with Vernon Township High School students as they progress through a three-year program in the new Construction Engineering CTE program. Taken in consecutive years, the Construction, Facilities and Maintenance I and II courses will be taught by VTSD faculty members: Michael DeVore with help from Tony Ciaburri, the district’s Robotics teacher.  The third level course, Introduction to Engineering will be taught by Jon Bruno.  All three instructors are certified in Career Technical Education, and all three courses will provide prospective students with the opportunity to attain college credits, before even stepping foot onto campus. Temple University, and other similar four-year universities, will accept these matriculated credits when the student enrolls into the school’s Facilities Management or Construction Management programs of study. Likewise, should the student attend a two-year college, Sussex County Community College will give concurrency credit for all three classes in the program.  If the student chooses to go directly into the field, Vernon Township High School has also forged an agreement with Local 68 Union of Operating Engineers in Fairfield, NJ.

Regardless of the student’s desired pathway to higher education, the three-year CTE program at Vernon Township High School will be able to leverage the student’s technical coursework towards his/her future college degree and career.

(Pictured, from left to right: Michael DeVore, Dr. Kate Wingert-Playdon, Theresa Coughlin, Dr. Clifton Fordham, Joseph Piccirillo, Drew Krause, Arthur DiBenedetto, Brad Sparta and Dr. Charles McKay)

Temple contract signing2

Pictured, from left to right: Michael DeVore, Dr. Kate Wingert-Playdon, Theresa Coughlin, Dr. Clifton Fordham, Joseph Piccirillo, Drew Krause, Arthur DiBenedetto, Brad Sparta and Dr. Charles McKay

Focused on preparing students for their careers, the CTE program at Vernon Township High School has also joined forces with local industry partners to initiate student recruitment opportunities. Mountain Creek, Local 68 and the Vernon Township School District’s Maintenance Department are counted among these industry partners, facilitating the transition from school to the workplace, for interested program participants.

Through the Construction Engineering CTE program, Vernon Township High School aims to extend its reach and bridge the gap between high school and employment, and just as importantly between secondary education and higher education. Together, Vernon Township High School and Temple University have fostered an academic setting for the students of this Construction Engineering CTE program. As a vocationally-focused cohort of students, the participants of this program will be privy to campus visitations and mentorship opportunities with Temple University staff members through visits to the high school and to the university in Philadelphia.  Students will also work directly with S.C.C.C. to move directly into their construction management programs, with 11 earned credits upon graduation from high school.

This type of nurturing, educational relationship will be formative to the development of the students, courses and programs of the Vernon Township High School, as it transitions into a more academically-comprehensive environment.