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Letter from the Secretary

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SD Department of Education August 2015  
What did your students do at summer camp?

Thanks in part to funding from a Governor’s CTE Grant, students in the Yankton area learned about the healthcare field this summer. The Yankton Rural Area Health Education Center puts on Certified Nursing Institutes, which are day camps for students ages 16-19. AHEC partners with area school districts for this and other CTE programming.

Grant funding paid for a June institute, for which students from the Avon, Bon Homme, Gayville-Volin, Irene-Wakonda and Yankton school districts were eligible to apply. During the 2014-15 school year, grant funding also helped make it possible for AHEC to offer Certified Nursing Assistant training to students from these school districts. These trainings were again offered during the summer of 2015.

“Career and Technical Education gives students real-world skills they can apply to their future careers,” says Yankton High School principal Dr. Jennifer Johnke. “The regional CNA trainings provide students with the training and certification needed to pursue a career in a high-need area of the workforce.”

“Healthcare is the fastest growing employment sector not only in South Dakota but across the U.S.,” says Yankton Rural AHEC executive director Sandy Viau-Williams. “We partner with high schools to widen students’ expectations regarding healthcare careers and provide valuable hands-on learning.”

Johnke recommends other districts explore opportunities for partnerships within their communities: “The partnerships we have developed in the Yankton School District with Yankton Rural AHEC, Yankton Area Progressive Growth, Mitchell Technical Institute and the Regional Technical Education Center over the past few years have opened so many doors and built a foundation from which we can grow.”


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