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Pence, Ritz Find Common Ground In Career Education

While the governor and the state superintendent differ on the specifics of career education, they agree it should be a priority.

Columbus Area Career Connection class

Photo: Elle Moxley/StateImpact Indiana

A student in the machines trade program inputs information during a C4 Columbus Area Career Connection class on Aug. 30, 2012.

Governor Mike Pence says he is grateful Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz is focused on strengthening career and vocational education in Indiana’s high schools.

Pence’s emphasis on reviving career and vocational education is one of the tent poles of his education and workforce development strategy. But he says that does not mean discouraging Hoosiers from attending a four-year university either.

“The vision here for education should be, where can we start on success,” Pence says. “How can we make sure that, when our young people graduate from high school that they have the ability and the background to be successful where they want to start.”

Ritz says she wants to see more career readiness programs in high schools similar to the one she went through which led her to a career in teaching.

“I was in the classrooms, knew that’s what was for me and headed on my path,” she says. All kids, all careers need to have that kind of chance to explore at the high school level, to get that relevance to their course work and to know where they might be headed.”

Ritz says the career readiness programs should be able to lead to any type of post-secondary education, whether it is a vocational program or a two-year or four-year degree.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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