New England Secondary School Consortium


Manchester School of Technology: Where Academics Support Career Training

From The Hechinger Report

Published January 26, 2017

By Karen Hannigan Machado 

The Manchester School of Technology in New Hampshire’s capital city opened in 1982 as a stand-alone career and technology education center.

For those of you not familiar with the term “CTE,” as it is often known, it replaced the term “vocational” as it did not always connote an educational opportunity leading to advanced coursework and college.

The CTE model in New Hampshire is different than in many other states, in that students take a two- year CTE program in their junior and senior years of high school. Students usually attend every day for an extended block of time.

It has been the vision of changing this model to be more inclusive to students who often found their CTE program the best part of their day.

Many progressive states were moving toward a standards-based or competency-based model of education that has been the CTE practice all along.  Demonstrating mastery is a natural fit for these programs since you must show you have attained a high level of skill in your field.

When the Manchester School of Technology (MST) began its very short planning period to open a full-time school, it had to be just as different and exciting, to attract students.

Working with stakeholders and consultants, it was decided to incorporate a project-based, competency-based model, using laptops as opposed to textbooks, and students would work by the mantra “as fast as you want and as slow as you need.”

The primary distinction was that MST was a career high school supported by academics.  All students who come to MST must have as their goal to complete a CTE program, and they will be able to have the opportunity for internships, early college classes on local college campuses and also dual enrollment.

Read more on The Hechinger Report 

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