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Career Pathways Help Prepare SHS Students for the Workforce

BY: Micca Terrell

Many parents may not realize that Sycamore High School and schools around Tennessee offer pathways for students to pursue skills that will help prepare them for entering the workforce or easily transition into a postsecondary program for their career. At SHS and schools across the state, career and technical education (CTE) pathways ready students for success during high school and afterwards, according to the Tennessee Department of Education’s website.

There are 16 career clusters or areas of concentration for young people to focus on, including agriculture, criminal justice, digital art, engineering, family and consumer science, health science, and just added this year at SHS was education and training. “Each pathway allows for students to get hands-on knowledge, practical knowledge about their fields,” according to Jennifer Reist, SHS Academic Director.

The education and training cluster prepares students to become teachers, counselors, administrators, or early education providers in a childcare or daycare setting, Reist said. With educators always needed in school districts, this education and training cluster can help fill the gaps, according to the TDOE.

Due to COVID-19, engineering and health science pathways are seeing a lot of growth, she explained. Engineering, which is included under the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) cluster, exposes students to engineering and engineering technology as well as physics and other sciences. The health science program includes programs of study in diagnostic services, emergency services, nursing, sport and human performance, and therapeutic services.

In addition to the intensive learning in their field of choice, students also participate in professional organizations associated with their pathways and make valuable connections which will help them in the workforce, as well as compete in state competitions.

  • Engineering and Digital Arts participates in the Technology Student Association or TSA:

  • Health Science participates in HOSA-Future Health Professionals:

  • Agricultures participates in Future Farmers of America or FFA:

  • Dietetics and Nutrition participate in Family, Career and Community Leaders of America or FCCLA:

For more information about the CTE programs, check out the SHS website at Sycamore High School ( or give the school a call at 615-746-5013.

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