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BT Expands Programming to Seniors through Welding and Emergency Medical Tech


Seniors across Butler Tech campuses are in a countdown to graduation as they complete their two-year career tech programs. But for two groups of seniors, their Butler Tech journey is just beginning.

New this year, Butler Tech introduced two “senior only” pathways to meet the need for additional programming for students and the demand of the local workforce. Both programs, welding and emergency medical technician (EMT) consist of high school seniors who are eager to learn new skills and earn credentials but didn’t take the traditional two-year program route starting their junior year. Instead, these students spend half of their day at Butler Tech and the other half completing their academic courses at their homeschools.

“The senior-only EMT program is for those students who wish to gain EMT certification without having to go through a fire course, or want to complete their fire certification at a later time,” explained Chris Freeze, EMT Instructor.  “Either way, this program allows students to enter the workforce as an EMT right out of high school. They can start making a difference right away.”

Another distinct difference between these two senior programs is that they are each located on Butler Tech Adult Education campuses and often share lab space with adult education students. Freeze believes that sharing this environment with adult students introduces them to new ways of thinking and gives them the opportunity to get out of the traditional high school classroom environment. He also hopes that the exposure will show them the other opportunities that Butler Tech offers should they choose to continue their education after high school.

Similarly, Justin Back, instructor for the senior-only welding program says that having this one-year program will definitely give his students an advantage when entering the workforce.

“They will earn their weld certification in high school which will make their transition from education to the workforce seamless,” said Back.

Alyssa Morgan, senior from Lakota East High School, shared that she is loving learning all the new skills and being in the lab.

“I’m learning so many new skills and I have already decided that I want to continue my welding training after high school,” shared Morgan. “I hope to go on to work as a pipe welder in the future.”

Other students shared their post-graduation goals and it is clear that after only a few weeks in their new programs, they have high hopes for the future.

“My goal is to become a flight nurse someday,” shared Emily French, from Edgewood High School. “This program is just the start for me.”