Brandon Williams, assistant principal at B-UHS, standing in front of a CTE created bulletin board / Photo by Beckie Boyd

B-UHS celebrates Career and Technical Education month in February

BUCKHANNON – Buckhannon-Upshur High School celebrates Career and Technical Education this month.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) takes pride in preparing students for the workforce through a hands-on approach to education.

“CTE is, largely, a more hands-on approach to learning that is very career-based. You pick the class and you get trained for that said career,” said Brandon Williams, assistant principal at B-UHS and CTE Coordinator. “In their [junior and senior] classes, that’s where students really get into their real, hands-on experiential learning. One of our last offerings in those classes is that we operate on a simulated workplace model. Students are basically ‘on the job’ within a safe school setting.”

Oftentimes, CTE programs offer dual credit courses where high school students can earn both high school and college credit for their time in the classroom. For example, the West Virginia Grow Your Own Program offers B-UHS students college credit at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

“We have partnered with institutions of higher learning to basically get students a year off of college, and they do that by enrolling in the West Virginia Grow Your Own Program and taking dual-credit classes here [at B-UHS],” Williams said. “By their senior year, they are on the campus at West Virginia Wesleyan College taking education classes.”

Williams told My Buckhannon that following graduation from B-UHS, Early Childhood Classroom Assistant Teacher (ECCAT) students can earn three years of free tuition at WVWC. Then, those same students return to their alma mater of B-UHS to complete the student-teaching portion of their program — a true, full-circle moment.

A variety of CTE programs are currently found on the campus of B-UHS:

  • Agriculture: Students maintain and operate a working greenhouse as well as learn agriculture shop maintenance.
  • Business/Accounting/Finance: Students learn the fundamentals of business administration, entrepreneurship, accounting and finance. Students are currently offering free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Tax Prep services to the Upshur County community.
  • Early Childhood Classroom Assistant Teacher (ECCAT): Students earn a certificate to then become classroom aides at early-year learning institutions.
  • Information Technology/Coding, App & Game Design: Students operate an e-commerce site and develop digital imaging projects.
  • Multimedia Publishing: Students within this program produce digital, journalistic and social media content for the school. These students also develop and maintain the school yearbook.
  • Pro-Start: Students learn the fundamentals of the culinary arts industry by cooking and learning in a working kitchen. Students operate the Buc & Brew Coffee Shop to offer decaffeinated coffee for daily purchase. These students also offer a menu for special events at the school.

Williams suggested that both current middle school and high school students who are interested in signing up for a program like those listed above should speak with their counselor to learn more about their career interests, current program offerings and plans for after graduation.

“I would encourage students to go to their counselors to see what programs we have,” Williams said. “Come prepared to work because it can be intensive in that term, but the reward pays off. Don’t be afraid to explore what programs we have here.”

Some CTE students are often referred to as “double-completers” or “triple-completers,” as they seek to gain a wealth of education in more than one CTE program while attending B-UHS.

Mark your calendars as the high school will be hosting a Next Steps Night on Thursday, March 14, from 5 to 7 p.m. This school-wide event will offer students and their families the chance to see career options after their high school graduation.

Local business that would like to partner with a CTE program at Buckhannon-Upshur High School should contact Brandon Williams by phone at 304-472-3720 ext. 5013 or by email at

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