Career Center Seeks to Erase ‘Vocational’ Stigma

Students get hands-on experience with industrial tools, computers, vehicle repair and lots of other technical skills.

But don’t call the Prosser Career Education Center a vocational school.

The school changed its name and logo earlier this year. But Alan Taylor, director of career and technical education, said the change is more than skin deep.

“For years, there was this idea that if students weren’t going to college that they were going to vocational school,” Taylor said. “It’s not just a plan A or plan B for students. We ask them what they want to do and secondly, what kind of training that will take. I don’t want to beat up on the word vocational, but it just kind of brings stereotypes with it, unfortunately.”

Rather than preparing students for going straight into the workforce with a set of skills, he said Prosser aims to get students a whole set of opportunities. With more than 3,000 college credits and more than 740 industrial certifications awarded last year, he said students have the ability to take their knowledge with them to college.

“We’re about career and technical education,” Taylor said. “We’ve actually placed it in our name. We do think that if we can get people into our facility and experience it, they’ll be surprised at the opportunities we make available to our students.”

Many of the programs at Prosser can earn students college credit free of charge to local universities, such as Purdue University or Vincennes University. (Read more.)

Via Jerod Clapp, AP on

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