CTE Showcase 2024

Cybersecurity and Network Technology Professor Giga Alqeeq instructs a high school student on PC to network connections.

Upstairs in Joan Stout Hall, a group of high school students in the Network Technology and Cybersecurity lab faced an enormous and intimidating network devices wall. Each student held a wire and awaited instruction from professors Dwight Hughes and Giga Alqeeq, who guided them in learning how to connect personal computers to network devices. During the hands-on activity, students learned how vulnerable computer communications are to interception by hackers.

These students were among about 350 high school students from 9th through 12th grades who explored degrees and programs at the Clark College CTE Showcase, a career pathways event on Clark’s main campus on April 23. This year, 21 high schools in seven Clark County school districts participated in the Career and Technical Programs Showcase funded by Guided Pathways. Participating schools outside of Clark County were Stevenson High School (Skamania County), Trout Lake High School (Klickitat County), and Mossyrock High School (Lewis County).

Cole Timpone, Clark admissions recruiter who coordinated the event, said, “I have personally spoken with countless students who are now enrolled at Clark, in large part thanks to their experiences at last year’s CTE Showcase, and the connections they made that day with Clark faculty and staff. Building upon last year’s success, this year’s event was even larger.”

Exploring Career Pathways

Each high school student chose two workshops to attend from a list of 24 offerings, including observing CTE classes in action. These included various allied health programs, Automotive Technology, Addiction Counselor Education/Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Services, Diesel Technology, Welding Technology, Phlebotomy, Surveying and Geomatics, Engineering, Cybersecurity and Network Technology, Digital Media Arts, Cuisine Management, Early Childhood Education and Professional Baking and Pastry Arts and more.

Workshops in Gaiser Hall included financial aid and scholarships, admissions, career exploration, Running Start, and more.

All over campus, high school students met Clark faculty, learned about specific programs, experienced demonstrations, and participated in hands-on activities.

Diesel Technology Professor Jeff Rush talks to high school students about career opportunities.

Diesel Technology: After leading students on a tour of the Diesel Technology shop, Professor Jeff Rush talked about his own career and encouraged them to consider a career in Diesel Technology, a trade that pays a living wage and has attracted many women: “There are many women in the industry. I have made from $55 per hour up to $160,000 a year working in this field. There is so much opportunity for upward mobility.”

Welding Technology: Professor Wade Hausinger led students around the welding facility where Clark students welded and worked on projects. Hausinger encouraged students to consider a welding career. “Welding is everywhere. You can go anywhere in the world to get a job. Industry people need more welders. Clark students are being hired and making $34.95 per hour to start. That’s $72,000 a year.” He added, “One of my students just got a job at Vigor Industrial.”

Chef Earl grills veggies while talking to high school students about Clark’s Cuisine program.

Cuisine Management: Wielding metal tongs, Chef Earl Frederick stood on the patio outside McClaskey Culinary Institute, where high school students were gathered in front of him. As Frederick grilled zucchini slices and veggie kebabs for the students, he talked about the program’s depth and opportunities for hands-on real-world experience: “We want you to be able to work in any kitchen. There is plenty of opportunity.” The students asked questions, and then eagerly sampled the grilled veggies.

Similar presentations played out all around campus as high school students explored potential career paths.

“An important component of the Guided Pathways model is assisting students with identifying and beginning a career pathway,” said Rhianna Johnson, director of Guided Pathways and Partnerships. “Events like the CTE Showcase expose students to different career fields and support them in exploring their options. It is important that students understand that there are multiple different ways to ‘do’ college, including shorter career technical education programs that lead directly to the workforce, along with transfer degree pathways.”

After the workshops and lunch, students attended a resource fair where 20 Clark departments and offices shared their programs and services with the students and educators. During the resource fair, high school students filled out scavenger hunt cards asking questions about the programs and student support services they had learned about. Students who submitted their completed cards were eligible to win a Clark College Bookstore gift card.

Cole Timpone, admissions recruiter and event organizer starts off the event in Gaiser Student Center.

Timpone summed up the event: “It’s one thing to hear about the different program options available at Clark College and the careers that they prepare students for, but at the heart of the CTE Showcase is the opportunity for students to participate in hands-on activities that allow them to try out these programs for themselves.”

Participating High Schools

  • Battle Ground: Battle Ground High School, Prairie High School, Summit View High School
  • Camas: Discovery High School, Hayes Freedom High School
  • Evergreen: Evergreen High School, Heritage High School, Legacy High School, Mountain View High School
  • Hockinson: Hockinson High School
  • Ridgefield: Ridgefield High School
  • Vancouver: Columbia River High School, Fort Vancouver High School, Henrietta Lacks Health and Bioscience High School, Hudson’s Bay High School, Skyview High School, Vancouver School of Arts and Academics
  • Washougal: Washougal High School
  • Klickitat County: Trout Lake High School
  • Lewis County: Mossyrock High School
  • Skamania County: Stevenson High School

Photos: Clark College/Susan Parrish