Virtual enterprise now cte certified program
By saad kabir, senior writer
This year, the Virtual Enterprise program at Hillcrest High School is Career and Technical Education certified. The program is what Mr. Morrison and CTE Director Ms. Gasior hope to be the first of several CTE certified programs at Hillcrest High School.
Biz-Tek teacher Ms. Gensler is one of the first Hillcrest CTE teachers to have her class certified and recognized by the state. Along with Ms. Gensler there are other CTE teachers in the building like Mr. Pepanella and Ms. Sirsky.
Ms. Gensler teaches Virtual Enterprise, and it focuses on business and it gives her students real world experience with numerous internships, meeting with important people in the field. The class is a three-year course that encompasses many skills that young businessmen and women need today. The first year of the course, the students learn IC Core followed by entrepreneurship which ties into the third and final year of Virtual Enterprise.
The class runs a cat adoption firm that is just like any other business. When you first walk into the room, you can see everyone working studiously and crunching numbers. The class is divided into different departments just like an actual company. The IT Department is in one corner of the room dealing with the numbers while the Human Resources Department is on the other side dealing with employees. There is even a CEO of the company who manages and watches over the rest of his employees.
Student CEO of the firm Shawn Ali stated, “This class has taught me a variety of soft and hard skills that’ll be useful to me in the future and is an amazing opportunity for any student who takes the course.” At the end of the year, every student has the chance to do an internship. Shawn worked for the Department of Education last summer in their teacher recruitment and quality control department.
The award-winning class also competes in many competitions in New York against other high schools in the area. For example, the Business Plan Competition in December revolves around making a business plan and proposing the idea against all other high schools. After the competition, judges select the top five business plans and move them up to the finals which takes place in the UFT building in Manhattan. Upon getting first place in the finals, you are then moved to Nationals and if you win at Nationals the class gets a grant from the state. Throughout the years, the class has raked in many awards from an immense variety of competitions and it’s only going to get better.
However with all this taken into account the main goal is to get the class CTEA certified. The road to becoming a certified class is a long and difficult journey. The process to becoming certified is a three step process. First it’s the self evaluation, then an internal review, and then finally an external review. After the teacher self evaluates her class she then sends all of her data to the D.O.E. who will then decide if the class is ready for an internal review. The internal review is meant to help the class and teacher by showing them things they can do better and prepare them for the external review which is administered by the state. Upon passing the internal review the D.O.E. then sets up an interview with the state. Once you pass the internal review you are basically guaranteed getting the class certified. At first, the state didn’t approve Virtual Enterprise because of a complication. The class was listed as IC core and Ms. Gensler isn’t certified to teach IC core. To get the class certified Ms. Gensler had to change the name of the class and officially got it certified in May.
The amount of perks that come with having a class CTEA certified is astonishing. One being having a specialized classroom that only your students can use and take advantage of, funding from the state given only to this class, and most importantly giving their students a headstart in the career they might want to pursue. It gives the students many wondrous opportunities such as internships at businesses, making connections with important business men and women, and etc. “It’s more than a class, it’s like a family to us.” states student Shawn Ali
While getting a class certified is a lot of time and effort it is definitely worth it. The students who are apart of the class will be way ahead of the game and will pave the way for future students of the class. It’s as if the kids become a family because they are together for so long and make bonds that’ll last a lifetime. So in addition to getting an added edge in the field the students also get an amazing support system that’ll last a lifetime.