Breaking out of our school programs: shining a spotlight on alternative options

Emily Roelant ‘20, Layout Director


Did you know that there are more class options other than the ones that appear on the course selection list? Students can be a part of Oakland Schools Technical Campuses (OSTC), firefighter training program, aviation school, and dual enrollment programs through nearby colleges. Many students take advantage of these programs to learn more about what they want to pursue in the future and to get a real feel of possible careers. 

OSTC offers students an opportunity to dive deeper into engineering, technological, business, health science, culinary, cosmetology, and many construction and visual imaging courses. The program allows students to explore classes that are not offered at SLHS, and acquire more knowledge about classes at SLHS. Senior Jeffery Graham is taking advantage of these opportunities this year. Graham is taking emerging engineering technology classes and is getting credits for three high school hours. As for next steps, he is deciding between Michigan Technological University, Michigan State and Western Michigan. At any of the colleges he chooses, he will get to skip the intro level Computer Aided Design (CAD) classes that he is getting credit for and end the this year with a CAD and FANUC certification. 

Another student involved with this program is senior Sierra Steckle. Steckle is a part of the health sciences program and is in their Certified Nurse Assistant program. She goes to nursing homes for her education and experience. Steckle said, “I would recommend this to other students because you get hands on experience in the career you are interested in.” 

Howell Public Schools holds the Fire Academy offered for juniors and seniors at SLHS. This program prepares students to take the state certification exam for firefighters. The class, though rigorous and tough, lets a student demonstrate their skills in basic rescue and training techniques. Local fire departments can then employ these students after classes are passed. 

Another program offered through Howell Public Schools is Crosswinds Aviation. This private pilot course is open to juniors and seniors that puts them on a path to receiving classroom training and getting the real experience that is needed to become a private pilot. In this course, students complete ground school hours and learn from a certified teacher. This course does not include the actual flights; however, the students at SLHS complete offsite air training. Three students at SLHS are currently enrolled in this program. Senior Garrett White and Kendra Blackie and junior Maddy Seymour are all involved with the aviation program this year. Both White and Blackie have flown solo. They fly Diamond DA20s, which are small trainer planes. White plans on going to Liberty University next year, and said, “I hope to become a commercial pilot one day.” Seymour hopes to go to Ohio State University or Western Michigan University to get a degree in flight sciences. Seymour is currently working towards her private pilot’s license and is about to fly solo. She said, “In my future I am hoping to fly private jets for a corporate company, but I would also like to fly in the airlines (Delta, Southwest, United).” Seymour is very glad she decided to take this class and “would definitely recommend this program for anyone who is interested in aviation. It has shown me a whole new perspective on this world, and I couldn’t imagine my life without it.” Blackie plans to attend Western Michigan University in the fall to also study flight sciences. Blackie has flown solo twice and said, “We have all trained for flying solo, so I am not nervous to fly alone; it is just really exciting.” Agreeing with Seymour, she hopes to one day become a commercial pilot and fly for Delta Airlines. Blackie urges everyone that may have an interest in aviation to “try a discovery flight and see if you love it, too. There is a huge demand for pilots in the workforce and you’ll always have breathtaking views.”

Students can also take dual enrollment. At SLHS, dual enrollment is provided through Washtenaw Community College and Schoolcraft Community College. The program allows students to get ahead on college courses and to also get a feel for what college may be like. Courses from Medical Terminology to Business Communications can be taken as an online class. Senior Emma Trudell has taken dual enrollment both semesters this year. She is currently taking a sociology, psychology, and communications class. Last semester, Trudell took a nutrition course, and a different sociology and psychology class than before. Trudell is currently undecided with what she wants to study in college, but she  has an interest in human behavior and veterinary. After this semester, Trudell will finish with 19 credits toward her college education that she plans to further at Grand Valley State University. 

If any of these classes brought interest and pose an exploration further into a career or hobby, stop by the guidance counselor’s office to find out more about all of these programs.


Photo by Kendra Blackie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s