INDIANAPOLIS — The Area 31 Career Center may just be the best kept secret on the westside of Indianapolis. Located on the Ben Davis High School campus, the career center is connected with the high school, consisting of 40 programs designed to help further students’ careers.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for students,” Patrick Biggerstaff, assistant principal for Career Center Programs, said. “Our programs are for two years; half a day the student is learning academics at their home school and then they come here for three hours learning from our instructors who are industry professionals. For example, for someone that takes the aviation program, they leave here flying planes. We have some nice resources here and we would love to increase the awareness of the career center.”
The Career Center allows students to build their career in high school. While freshmen, students first learn about the center and what it can offer them, then as sophomores they can start taking introductory classes. By the time they are juniors and seniors, they can decide what skills they have and what they are good at, and can begin their career.
Most are able to get dual credit from Vincennes University or Ivy Tech College, or an institution that accepts it. This way, students could complete their degree early by getting a head start at the Career Center.
“It makes them employable and sets them ahead for school,” Career Pathway Specialist/Cooperative Education Coordinator Scott Borah said. “You have to have at least a ‘C’ average and a teacher recommendation, but any student can come here. This is a school of choice, a program of choice. They are saying ‘this is what I want to do later in life, I want to be here.’”
There is also a co-op program that includes various choices where students can actually be in a work environment. This year they include auto service technology, collision repair technology, computer tech support , graphic imaging technology, health science (CNA), construction trades technology, early childhood education, pharmacy tech, and welding technology.