A Different Kind of Student
Debbie Ogilvie started her career in education as a special ed teacher in K-12 schools.
A new employer at the time moved her (from New York) to southern California to work with career colleges—and she’s never looked back.
“These students are older, they’re driven, they have other responsibilities,” Debbie says, “and they work so hard to learn the skills that can get them a job.”
Career and technical schools span the country—”from Maine to Alaska,” Debbie says.
They provide hands-on training and certifications for a variety of specific, industry-related jobs.
“This includes electrical, HVAC, automotive, photography, surgical technology, physical therapy,” Debbie says. “Health care programs are very popular right now and are growing.”
Debbie and her colleagues at Pearson help these schools with content, lab resources—and navigation through a robust certification process.
“These students need a job quickly,” she says. “And these programs work.”
A graduation ceremony at Pima Medical Institutions in Tucson, celebrating the school’s 100,00th graduate. (Photo: Courtesy of Pima Medical Institutions)
Career and technical schools often have close ties to local communities and businesses.
Debbie describes a recent example from Texas:
“A handful of companies approached a technical school to see if they could start training future employees with skills that were needed locally.”
And the value of career and technical education goes both ways.
“Businesses need these employees,” she says, “and these schools empower their students to find work.”
“Many of these career and technical graduates are the first members of their family to graduate from college,” Debbie says.
“Whole communities turn out for graduation ceremonies,” she says. “There’s so much pride.”
“For twenty years, I’ve seen this pride and felt this pride,” Debbie says. “I see how hard these students work—and I see them succeed.”
A graduate of Pima Medical Institute in Arizona talks about graduation, in a video produced by the career and technical school.