Despite closure of Arizona Technical College, VACTE plans to expand centralized programs

Bob Weir

Bob Weir

COTTONWOOD – In the short term, the recent closure of Cottonwood’s Arizona Technical College will affect expansion of some centralized programs by Valley Academy for Career and Technology and Education.

In the long term – the Career and Technical Education program is “going forward,” according to V’ACTE Superintendent Bob Weir.

In November, the Verde Valley’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program announced plans to expand its list of centralized offerings in 2017-2018. According to Weir, programs that would have been joint ventures with the now-defunct post-secondary school will be handled either solely by the CTE program or with the aid of yet-to-be-determined partnerships.

“We’ve been working with Dennis Willis [of Arizona Technical College] and have purchased some equipment for our CNA program,” Weir said. “And we’re going to run construction ourselves. Unfortunately, my HVAC and lab assistants are on hold.”

Said Weir, the lab assistant program would not be available until the 2018-2019 school year at the soonest.

“But we are working on a program to take the HVAC later in the 2017-2018 year,” Weir said. “We’ll be fine.”

For the 2016-2017 year, V’ACTE offers centralized programs in fire science, nursing, welding, and digital film and television. Late last year, the VACTE governing board approved Weir’s plan to gather data to aid expansion of centralized programs for the 2017-2018 school year, to include Medical Assistant, Construction Technology, Lab Assistant, Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC), Law Enforcement and Culinary Arts.

Most CTE courses provide both college and high school credits for enrolled students, with many of the programs funded by either VACTE or by grants.

Weir also said that the HVAC program would not only be available to high school students.

For more information, contact VACTE Superintendent Bob Weir at 928-634-7131.

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42 and on Facebook at @CampVerdeBugle

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