Southeastern Regional Splits Computer and Electronic Engineering into Two New Vocational Programs

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) has become a growing field in society, taking the interest of many teenagers. Southeastern embraced this early by starting the Computer and Electronic Engineering shop. This shop taught students how to code in two of the most common languages, Python and Java, how to go through each step of the design process as well as basic circuitry. Students could utilize these skills and pursue careers in computer science, engineering, mathematics, and the development of software/hardware. However, with the constantly growing STEM field, the amount of knowledge that can be attained in either element of the curriculum has begun to have limits. These limitations have made it hard to get licensing to students and have made co-op near impossible. With this taken into consideration, Southeastern has decided to break this shop into two, Information Technology and Engineering Technology. With this divide, it will allow students to go more in-depth with different subjects.

Information Technology (IT) is a course that develops students’ abilities in cyber security and computer science to prepare them for the workforce. This shop will teach students how to code in the languages Python and Java as well as develop skills in computer hardware, and networking. Students will work with Mr. Pietal to learn the necessary skills for basic coding, preparing them for computer science courses in college. They will also be taught by Mr. Comeau who will go more in depth in the cyber security branch of the shop. Having access to more knowledge of these career fields, and more class time, will allow students to attain certifications. These certifications will allow them to enter the workforce right out of high school, and better prepare them for college. The certifications that the shop is working towards are the Microsoft Technology Associate Certification which will apply to networking, operating systems, and programming as well as certifications with Google, and Cisco Networking. Most of these certifications would entail a three year program, but with the new shop allowing for more time, these certifications become more feasible. “Typically in our fields for both Engineering and Computer Science, it requires a more advanced degree so to speak…but that doesn’t mean everybody has to do that so these certifications can help people right out of high school get lower level entry jobs into the field and then build up from there.” said Mr. Pietal, the Programming instructor. All of this being said, the IT shop has attained a high interest from the incoming freshmen. All positions have been filled and there was more interest in the program than openings.

In Engineering Technology (ET), students will learn the design process, principles of engineering, engineering design, digital electronics, civil engineering, and basic programming. Each of these courses will prepare students for the engineering workforce. This shop will give students the upper hand in college as they will already have a solid understanding of general engineering concepts. With the separation of the Electronics Engineering shop, it has given the Engineering teachers, Mrs. Basse and Mr. Boyle, more time to look deeper into the curriculum as well as introduce new subjects. “The biggest industry around us right now is advanced manufacturing which is robotics and animation.” said Mrs. Basse. So opening the door for this shop will prepare students for the ever changing technological world. Alongside their classes, students will have the opportunity to get certifications. One of these certifications would be the Solidworks Certification. Solidworks is a 3D modeling software used in local industries. This will allow students to explore a broader range of internships and co-ops. Students would get this certification sophomore year, allowing them to set up internships during their high school career. This shop has gained the attention of many freshmen filling all twenty spots available in the shop, fourteen of whom chose Engineering Technology as their first choice.

The Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical School District consists of a four-year public high school and a post-secondary technical institute. The high school offers twenty career majors to students from Brockton, East Bridgewater, Easton, Foxboro, Mansfield, Norton, Sharon, Stoughton and West Bridgewater.

Submitted by: Avery Hohengasser
Shop: Computer Science and Electronics Engineering
Town: West Bridgewater