PORTAGE | Nearly half of Portage High School juniors and seniors are enrolled in vocational education classes.
Superintendent E. Ric Frataccia said this week that interest is growing and he's hoping to help expand interest and offerings in vocational education.
"I think the world is changing for the kids," Frataccia said.
Students can earn certification in a field during high school and then continue on to post-secondary education in that field or find work after high school graduation or a combination of both.
Just more than 600 Portage High School students are enrolled in one- or two-credit vocational education classes.
Child development, with 109 students, is the most popular, followed by introduction to engineering design with 102 students and nutrition and wellness with 97 enrolled.
Other vocational classes that have piqued interest of Portaqe High School students are digital electronics, adult roles and responsibilities, advanced child development, advanced nutrition and wellness, civil engineering and architecture, computer programming, industrial repair and maintenance, interpersonal relationships, introduction to construction, introduction to fashion and textiles, introduction to housing and interior design, introduction to manufacturing, principals of business management, principals of engineering and sports and entertainment marketing.
Frataccia said he is hoping offerings to students will expand in the future.
He said he has had conversations with the chancellor of a local university on starting a steelworker of the future program and is hoping the schools can work with NIPSCO on developing a program that would allow students to earn a certification in energy utility while still in high school.