PHOTO: The “W-E 23” — 23 Warren Easton Charter High School seniors–pose with their Residential Electrician Certificate of Technical Studies after they were awarded at Delgado Community College’s Commencement ceremony on May 16.
New Orleans – 23 Warren Easton Charter High School seniors received the Residential Electrician Certificate of Technical Studies (CTS) from Delgado Community College one week before they graduate from high school. As evidence of their commitment and dedication to their studies, 16 of the 23 graduates were inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, the national academic honor society for two-year institutions. Membership in Phi Theta Kappa requires a minimum cumulative 3.4 grade-point average. Another notable highlight is that all 23 of the graduates are African American males, a statistic of which school officials are especially proud.
The “W-E 23,” the name given to the cohort, finished their program under the instruction of Leslie Falkins, an electrical instructor on the Jefferson Campus who taught the young men while they were enrolled in the program. Falkins reiterated the impressive accomplishment of the students noting their ability to “balance their high school academics and extra curricula activities, as well as their college curricula, work and families.”
In addition to their hard work in the classroom, the students also attribute their success to the support they’ve received out of the classroom. Everett Jones, Dual Enrollment (DE) coordinator, has been with the program at Delgado for six years and plays a huge role in the students’ success said Arnel Cosey, vice chancellor of student affairs: “Everett feels responsible for his students from the moment they enroll in the first class. It’s important to him for all of them to meet whatever their personal goals are while taking classes through Dual Enrollment. I’m always amazed at how much he knows about them as individuals.”
Cosey noted there is also a tremendous amount of support given to these students from their high school counselor, Patrice Strickland: “Ms. Strickland is an outstanding professional who spends time and talks with her students on an individual basis. Her doing so, results in an accurate assessment of their goals and leads to proper referrals for dual enrolment placement. She and Everett have a genuine concern for their students’ success and work together as the proverbial village. Together, they’ve supported over 30 students in the completion of their program at Delgado Community College.”
This year’s graduates are the second cohort of Dual Enrollment students from Warren Easton to complete the program at Delgado. Last year’s group, “The Super Seven,” graduated from high school and Delgado within a two-day period, along with eight other students from Grace King High School. One of those graduates, Elijah Hall, decided to return to Delgado to continue his studies in the electrical program. After two additional semesters, he’s completed the requirements for Commercial Electrician Certificate of Technical Studies and walked across the stage today for his second certificate.
Like Hall, some of the W-E 23 plan to return to Delgado to complete the next two levels of the electrical program before entering the workforce. Some of the graduates plan to enter the workforce and others have opted to further their education in a related field at a four-year institution. Jones believes these are all great options for graduating students and one of the advantages of DE. When asked how this success can be replicated for other area high schools and their students, he emphasized planning and communication as top priorities. Jones said, based on the projected job openings and the income associated with those jobs, also known as high-wage, high-demand occupations, more students should consider career and technical education programs as viable career options. Alexina Medley, principal of Warren Easton Charter High School, echoes those thoughts: “We are extremely proud of our students and our association with Delgado Community College. We look forward to continuing this partnership and expanding to other technical fields.”
For more information about Delgado’s Dual Enrollment program, call 504-671-5037 or go towww.dcc.edu/admissions/dual-enrollment/
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