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STLCC Bus Tour Takes Mystery Out of CTE Programs for Area High School Representatives

March 18, 2014

Bus Tour  
High school teachers and counselors from districts in St. Louis City and County, as well as Jefferson County, recently participated in STLCC's first Career and Technical Education Bus Tour.

High school teachers and counselors from districts in St. Louis City and County, as well as Jefferson County, recently participated in St. Louis Community College’s first Career and Technical Education Bus Tour.

A group of 22 educators, plus enrollment management representatives of St. Louis Community College, toured the college’s Florissant Valley, Forest Park and Meramec campuses, hearing presentations from instructors in several of STLCC’s career and technical education programs.

According to Kevin Andert, career and technical education (CTE) transition specialist at Meramec, the bus tour was the result of conversations between Andert, Meramec recruiter Meredith Rauscher and senior counselors at Webster Groves High School.

CTE Bus Tour participants  
Tour participants read fact sheets about STLCC's
career and technical education programs before visiting
with program faculty members.

“The counselors expressed concern that they get to know the programs at the campus in their service area, but don’t get to learn about the programs at the other campuses,” Andert said. “For example, Webster Groves is most familiar with the programs at Meramec. The counselors wanted to know if there was a way to see all of the campuses so they can better advise their students. From that conversation, the bus tour was developed.”

After a meeting with CTE transition specialists Carla Jordan and Valerie Turner, and Joanie Friend, STLCC’s director of enrollment management, the planning began.

Many of the participants were teachers who are not normally the main target audience for STLCC’s outreach efforts due to their classroom commitments, Andert said.

“Teachers are in the classroom every day with our potential future students,” he said. “They need to be able to accurately and effectively advise their students.  They kept commenting that it is extremely helpful to see the programs first hand so they can picture which students would fit in which programs.”

Todd Beffa, a teacher with the Special School District who is assigned to Parkway Central High School, agreed with Andert’s assessment.

“I already encourage students to come here, and the CTE teachers are the ones who know the students,” he said. “I was completely caught off guard with what STLCC offers. I am very impressed.”

Ellen Clawitter, a 33-year veteran with the Special School District who teaches transition study skills at Mehlville High School, also was impressed by the STLCC offerings.

“Many of Mehlville’s students attend St. Louis Community College or other four-year colleges,” she said. “This tour has given me a fresher perspective of what this college has to offer.”