EVIT students pursue careers doing what they love
Posted on 10/09/2015
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Media contact: CeCe Todd, (480) 461-4032

The East Valley Institute of Technology sets the standard for quality career and technical education in Arizona. Touted by TIME Magazine as “learning that works,” EVIT was also selected as an A+ School of Excellence in 2015 by the Arizona Educational Foundation and was voted Best Public School by readers of the East Valley Tribune.

But the accolades are not what students mention when you ask them about EVIT. 

“I didn’t always feel like going to school. But I love coming to EVIT,” says Sucet Gardea, 17, a Primavera charter school student in the Construction Technologies program.

“It’s definitely a more mature environment,” says Early Childhood Education student Marli MacLay, 16, a junior at Gilbert’s Campo Verde High School. “Everyone is doing this because they love it.”

Sucet and Marli are among several thousand students training at EVIT to be construction workers, preschool teachers, nursing assistants, robotics engineers – and so much more.

EVIT offers over 40 advanced career and technical education (CTE) programs tuition-free to students living in Mesa, Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Higley, Queen Creek and J.O. Combs. Students attend their high school for half the day and then receive career training at EVIT for the other half.

When A+ award judges visited EVIT last spring, they were impressed by the enthusiasm of the students, how they connected what they were learning to the workplace, and how they were striving for quality.

“Students are actively engaged in authentic and real world learning that is directly transferred to college and career,” the judges wrote in their critique of EVIT. “Students feel valued and connected to their instructors in a way that not only provides an educational experience, but also supports a strong bond and mentorship for life.”

Every EVIT program is built around hands-on training through labs, clinical experience, job shadowing or internships. And nearly every program prepares students for professional industry credentials that can help them get jobs.

Two out of three EVIT students go on to college. EVIT gives them a jump-start by offering over 200 hours of college credit through partnerships with area colleges. Many EVIT students also use their training to obtain employment to help pay for college.

Parents interviewed by the A+ judges said that EVIT “profoundly changed their child’s view on school and was the single most powerful motivator for their learning.” Their testimonials back up what statistics show: EVIT students have a 96 percent high school graduation rate. Arizona’s grad rate: 76 percent. And, 87 percent of students are in college, jobs or the military within a year of completing their EVIT training.

But the stats aren’t that important to the students. They just like being in a school where they can pursue a career doing what they love, such as fashion design, hair styling, welding or an interest in health.

As home-schooled Dental Assistant student Terah Thielen says: “Pretty much everybody here wants to be here. It’s something they chose.”

More information: www.evit.com

Follow EVIT on Twitter @evitnews  Use hashtag #WeAreEVIT

EVIT does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or sexual orientation in its programs or activities. CTE program offerings include: Arts, Audio/Video Technology & Communications; Auto & Transportation Services; Construction Technologies; Culinary Arts & Hospitality; Education; Engineering; Health Sciences; Human Services; Information Technology; Manufacturing Trades; and Public Safety. For a full listing of programs, go to evit.com/programs. The lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in EVIT CTE programs. The following employees have been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Title IX/Title VII/EEOC Coordinator, EVIT Superintendent, 1601 W. Main St., Mesa, AZ 85201 or call (480) 461-4000, or by email at superintendent@evit.com; Section 504/ADA Coordinator, Tony Niccum, STEPS, 1601 W. Main St., Mesa, AZ 85201, or call (480) 461-4154 or by email tniccum@evit.com

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