Building Careers

Electives Offer Certification Opportunities.


Jacob McCready, Emi Velez

Students perfect their skills while getting a jump start on making decisions for careers.

 Two-year programs that are offered as electives provide the opportunity for students to earn certification in fields featuring cosmetology, welding, and auto technology.

“They give us the opportunity to pursue careers outside of high school,” Senior and welding student Ashley Meottle said. “It gives you the opportunity to experiment with what you want to do before committing to a college or career, and I think that important for students today.”


In this program students are taught the profession of cosmetics and beauty culture starting junior year. Cosmetologists-in-training learn how to style makeup, hair, and nails, and are currently working on styling Halloween-themed designs. A total of three class periods are devoted to classroom teaching and for practicing skills on models.

 “I think it’s really nice to have a trade right out of high school, something to get me through college, and it’s what I want to do in life,” Senior and cosmetology student Danielle Whitehead said. “Everyone will always need a haircut. Someone’s always going to have to do it.


In the welding program, students learn to perform a variety of welding processes and techniques using provided tools such as torches and cutters on metals. As their skills improve, pieces are sent off to welding inspectors who determine certification by grading on stability and structure. Welders conduct a multitude of projects for the school and community and are currently welding parts of the balance barre for dance.

“I’ve always been interested in anything where you are working with your hands,” Senior and welding student Ashley Meottle said. “Being able to go out into the shop and not think about anything but just weld is pretty awesome.”

Auto Technology

Like the other electives, students can also earn certification for auto technology through the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). Throughout their training, students develop knowledge of concepts and skills related to automotive areas and their functioning. Students also get hands-on experience when working with parts of the automobile including brakes, engines and wheels by currently practicing on their teacher’s car.

 “You break it, we fix it. Just come here with your car and we’ll fix it for you.” junior Karl Causapin said. “We do brakes, we do wheels, engine, anything basically. I hope to better myself around cars and be able to fix cars efficiently.”

Not only do these courses allow students to learn and acquire skills in specialized fields, but also offer certification at a cheaper price compared to colleges. With certification upon the completion of high school, students have the opportunity to find work in salons or as . These programs are essential as they allow student to earn a trade upon completing high school and support themselves with a ready career.

“For people who need to work their way through college even if they’re not going to be a hairdresser for the rest of their lives, it is a really, really great opportunity to make money,” Whitehead said. “So you’re saving a lot of money and you’ll be able to support yourself for the rest of your life.”