Wisconsin's First Career Technical Education Online School Opens

Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin announces exclusive partnership with Wisconsin Operating Engineers and Fox Valley Technical College for pre-apprenticeship, hands-on training, and dual credit

Feb 17, 2016, 11:00 ET from Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis., Feb. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new school has partnered with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139 (Operating Engineers) and Fox Valley Technical College to offer Wisconsin's first ever Career and Technical Education-focused online high school. 

Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin (WIDCA) is a tuition-free online public charter school open to students statewide in grades 9 – 12.  The school will serve full-time students as well as offer individual courses to students in schools that do not have access to CTE programs. The school is now accepting open enrollments.

"Wisconsin must focus on increasing education and job opportunities for the next generation.  This revolutionary new school helps meet our state's critical workforce development needs," said Terry McGowan, President of the Operating Engineers. "Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin will prepare our young people with the knowledge, skills, and training needed to access the many available technical and high-paying jobs that help our state grow."

This exclusive pre-apprenticeship program provides WIDCA students a head start on their career goals by earning technical and specialty trade credentials, college credits, and workplace experiences. Obtaining industry certifications opens the door to increased job opportunities for students in high-demand and high-paying jobs. 

"We are proud to partner with this school and support this important effort," said Fox Valley Technical College Associate Dean Mike Cattelino. "In growing and competitive industries, we need to do expand our support to students and empower them with employable skills so they can succeed in the workplace." 

Full and part-time students can access multiple versions of core high school courses and choose to take innovative CTE courses in four Wisconsin Career Clusters:  Architecture and Construction; Business, Management, and Administration; Health Science; and Information Technology. 

One of the school's most innovative offerings, developed through an exclusive partnership with the Operating Engineers and Fox Valley Technical College, is the Operating Engineers program in the Construction Pathway.  This one-of-a-kind "pre-apprenticeship" program directed by the Operating Engineers will give students hands-on experience and prepare them to enter apprenticeship training to become successful operating engineers – heavy equipment operators, mechanics, and surveyors – in the construction industry.  The Operating Engineers intends to offer summer camps for WIDCA students working through this career pathway at its state-of-the-art facility based in Coloma. 

Fox Valley Technical College, based in Appleton, will offer dual-credit, tech-prep opportunities for WIDCA students and is collaborating with the Operating Engineers to develop the curriculum used for the Operating Engineers program.  Fox Valley Tech will also help facilitate blended learning opportunities – online learning and face-to-face instruction – for students from a variety of campus locations, regional centers, and training sites.   

State licensed teachers will provide students instruction and support, and the school will use the award-winning curriculum and academic services provided by leading digital learning provider, K12 Inc.  

WIDCA is a nonprofit public charter school, governed by an independent board of directors and authorized by McFarland School District. McFarland also authorizes the Wisconsin Virtual Academy, a K-12 statewide online public charter school.

"Our mission is to serve the needs of every student and maximize opportunities for all," said Andrew Briddell, Superintendent of McFarland School District.  "This is the goal of our district and Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin.  We are excited to make this school option available to families across the state."

The school is accepting open enrollments through April 29. Online and in-person information sessions are being held across the state to give interested families the opportunity to meet staff and see the curriculum. To enroll or learn more about WIDCA, visit the school's website:  http://widca.k12.com.

More information:

International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139:  www.iuoe139.org
Fox Valley Technical College:  www.fvtc.edu
McFarland School District:  www.mcfarland.k12.wi.us
K12 Inc.:  www.K12.com

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SOURCE Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin