Students receive dual credit through South Tech

Page Kimzey
News Editor

Junior Kelaiah Killmade examines a cat at South Tech High School. Photo by South Tech High School
Junior Kelaiah Killmade examines a cat at South Tech High School. Photo from South Tech High School

As juniors and seniors, students are eligible to take dual credit at Webster and a school called South Tech High School.

South Tech High School is located in Sunset Hills and it provides bus services for students who need it.

Through this program, students currently enrolled in WGHS can go to South Tech as part of their school day to take classes that will prepare them for the fields that they choose.

Juniors who participate in this program arrive at the South Tech building for their first class at 7:29 a.m., then come back to WGHS at lunch time to go to their core classes including English, science, math or social studies.

For seniors it is the opposite. They attend WGHS for their morning core classes then go to South Tech for their 11:53 a.m. session.

At South Tech students can choose from 25 different programs including veterinary science, law enforcement, early childhood and carpentry. This allows students to explore close to any fields in which they have interest while still in high school.

This program is tuition free and still gives students high school credit for their home high school. There are 23 school districts in partnership with South Tech, for example Webster, Brentwood and Clayton.

From WGHS, around eight seniors and eight juniors, which is a lower number than the usual number of participating students.

According to Joe Hepfinger, WGHS-South Tech coordinator, WGHS has participated with South Tech for at least 33 years, and it used to be a full-day program where the student would spend the whole day at South Tech, no matter what district they live in. About 15 years ago, it changed to half days where the student went to South Tech for specialty courses and stayed at their home high schools for core classes.

Junior Kelaiah Killmade, studying veterinary science with hopes to be a veterinary surgeon, has positive reviews for South Tech and the veterinary program there.

“Right now we are focusing a lot on safety, but eventually we will learn how to groom. As well as learning how to skin scrape, and learn how to maintain animal’s health and care,” Killmade said.

As this is a very hands-on program, students will work with actual animals and perform tasks to aid these animals.

“We’re working with a lot of foster animals. We have a dog with no front paws, a dog with no back paws, and a dog who was starved in his home who we are working with right now,” Killmade said.

Because of this program through South Tech, Killmade will have her first two years of college done for free because she will have achieved her veterinary technician and assistance license in high school.

Junior Julian Archer also attends South Tech as well but studies something completely different. “I am studying CISCO Networking as a two year course,” he said.

This program can lead to jobs in the workforce like a computer and information systems manager, computer security specialist or system engineer, which Archer plans to pursue as his career. If networking doesn’t work out for him, Archer will still go into a career with computers.

“Its mostly how internet works and how it’s connected to computers. It’s a lot of computer work like how computers connect to other computer or how you can connect through Google Drive, and all sorts of things that are mostly internet based,” Archer said.

Archer is pleased with the hands-on experience he receives from South Tech and has high regards for the two-year ground-base knowledge he will have entering college.

Hailey Whitman, senior, is studying her second and final year at South Tech.

“I study cosmetology which is the study of hair and beauty type things. Anything like doing manicures, pedicures, hair treatments, stuff like that,” Whitman said.

Although many students go to South Tech to learn a trade to stay with long term, Whitman decided something else. “I want to go into it for a job in college. I decided this my freshman year somehow, and I see myself as successful in getting my license at the end of this year and my degree, then hopefully graduating.”

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