Career technical education year-round in Kingsport

Rick Wagner • Aug 18, 2019 at 8:06 AM

KINGSPORT — Career technical education didn’t take a break over the summer and is already cranked up for the fall, CTE Director Bo Shadden told city school officials recently.

Shadden reported on the summer programs offered through CTE at D-B, in partnership with Northeast State Community College, and he added that a new auto body work program started this month. Many of the summer programs gave students college as well as high school credits, and some adults were in two classes.


The summer offerings included health science clinicals, which drew interest from 63 students but ended up with room only for 11, who got dual credit.

Additionally, the certified logistics associate program drew two students interested in supply chain management.

In the drone, or unmanned aircraft systems program, about a dozen students, and some adults, will take the Federal Aviation Administration’s drone test by late August. 

Other programs included Google G Suite, a non-credit landscaping class, and a cosmetology class that could help students move toward 1,500 instructional hours required to be eligible to take a test to get a cosmetology license in Tennessee.

Three students worked as summer information technology interns for the school system, helping get technology up and running at the new Regional Science and Technology Center/Dobyns-Bennett High School addition.


Heath McMillan, director of the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing, said he was impressed with high schoolers who took a welding program at the RCAM in the Academic Village. He said students showed up as early as 7:15 a.m. for the first day of a welding class that started at 8.

RCAM also has taken off as a dual enrollment cohort, going from 24 high schoolers enrolled last year to 94 this year.

“It’s exciting to see that going from 24 to 94,” Kingsport City Schools Superintendent Jeff Moorhouse said. “It’s only an opportunity when you take advantage of it.”

Looking to the future, McMillan said he hoped to connect the CTE programs of high schools and NSCC to apprenticeships.


At NSCC’s Pal Barger Regional Center for Automotive Programs, a program that was planned in the summer started in August with 38 students enrolled in introduction to collision repair, a three-hour college credit course, and 13 students in collision repair paint and refinishing, a four-hour college credit course. Both are dual enrollment.

That center is located on Center Street at the former Free Service Goodyear Tires retail location Barger donated to NSCC.