Parkway West students taking classes at Rosedale

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High school students who attend Parkway West Career and Technology Center in North Fayette are jump-starting their post-graduation studies by taking courses at Rosedale Technical Institute in Kennedy and at the Community College of Allegheny County.

Parkway West students spend half of their school day at the technical school and the other half at their home school districts — Carlynton, Chartiers Valley, Cornell, Keystone Oaks, Montour, Moon Area, Mt. Lebanon, Quaker Valley, South Fayette, Sto-Rox, Upper St. Clair and West Allegheny.

Now in the new partnership that started in January, 20 of the Parkway students are taking a course in automotive and diesel technologies at Rosedale — two-hour classes three days a week.

Neither the students nor their home school districts are paying anything for the classes, said Debbie Bier, director of admissions at Rosedale. The course is a $1,200 value for high school seniors and $3,200 for juniors who continue in the course next year. If they attend Rosedale after high school graduation, their credits earned will be applied to the associate degree they could earn at Rosedale.

“They’re learning to operate, repair and maintain equipment,” Ms. Bier said. Development of the Marcellus Shale “is among the factors driving the need for diesel technicians,” she said. “All graduates in the December 2013 automotive technology program secured a job prior to graduation.”

Darby L. Copeland, executive director at Parkway, said, “This is a wonderful opportunity. We are getting a lot of attention on this. Other schools are looking at” partnerships.

This is the second semester for a partnership between Parkway and CCAC. In that program, 21 students are taking college courses in health-related programs.

Dennis Wilke, president and director of Rosedale Technical Institute, said, “Working together we can help to close the technical skills gap our region faces.”

Linda Wilson Fuoco:

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