ETHS students in the Geometry in Construction course work on the frame of the Wildkit house. Photos courtesy of ETHS

ETHS Career and Technical Education Department helps students gain wide range of real-world skills

Students at Evanston Township High School are finding that success after high school is defined in new ways, and they can take classes that are grounded in real-world jobs. ETHS staff members from the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Department provided an overview of the coursework and programs at the D202 Board of Education meeting on Dec. 9.

Among the 250-plus courses offered at ETHS, CTE electives include classes in areas such as business management, communications, environmental resources, health sciences and engineering. ETHS students have the opportunity to earn industry-recognized certifications by completing designated CTE courses in the categories of Advanced Manufacturing, Automotive Technology, Early Childhood Education, Microsoft Office and Pharmacy Technician Training. In addition, coursework in public safety is offered in partnership with the Evanston Police and Fire Departments and Oakton Community College.

As a national Project Lead the Way (PLTW) school, ETHS also offers six engineering courses that focus on applying Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to real-world problems.  Like the Advanced Placement exams issued by the College Board, PLTW-affiliated colleges will accept high scores on the PLTW End-of-Course exam and award credit for the course taken in high school.

While many students are college-bound after high school, the realities of today’s local and global economies are leaving young adults with a strong need and desire to enter the labor market sooner rather than later. CTE coursework covers a full range of post-secondary options that can lead to both specific career development skills and better preparation for continued studies. Through high-quality CTE programs, students are not only gaining marketable skills, but significantly boosting their earning potential.

“Today’s students are digital learners, and their future learning and their future careers in the 21st century will require a solid foundation in Career and Technical Education, regardless of whether they choose to go to college or go on to other career and postsecondary opportunities,” said District 202 Superintendent Eric Witherspoon. “At ETHS, we offer our students remarkable career and technical education courses, and I encourage all of our students to take advantage of these far-reaching courses and programs while they are students here.”

ETHS has demonstrated a long-term commitment to developing and broadening ways for students to achieve post-secondary success. New this school year, the Geometry in Construction class is offered as an interdisciplinary course that provides students with a better understanding of both the geometry and construction content through the combination of academic and work-world contexts. In addition to preparation for subsequent mathematics courses, geometry in Construction provides students with hands-on experience in construction areas such as plumbing, roofing and framing.

ETHS has established a range of partnerships with businesses, nonprofit groups, post-secondary institutions and other organizations to develop work-based learning experiences for students. ETHS staff members are then able to connect students with specific information about apprenticeships, job training, certification programs and other post-secondary options.

Anyone interested in obtaining more information about CTE coursework and initiatives at ETHS may contact Shelley Gates, director of career preparation and Community Partnerships and CTE Department chair, at