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Schools rely on professionals to guide career-ready programs

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Posted at 6:00 AM, May 15, 2019

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INDIANAPOLIS — The recent announcement of SAAB building military fighter jets in West Lafayette, and the ongoing investment by Salesforce in Indianapolis is a clear sign that science, technology, engineering, and math courses are a valued commodity for any college graduate in central Indiana.

The McKenzie Center in Indianapolis is providing the building blocks for those students seeking to excel in the sciences.

RTV6 visited one of their many biology labs where students were engaged in advanced science. Lawrence Township science student Justice Thurman was at work with two other classmates.

"It is separating the DNA into different organisms, bacteria's and everything it will separate to make certain markers so then you can compare the DNA and see different mutations as well,” Thurman said.

Students in this upper-level high school class are heading to college not only with advanced knowledge but also with college credit — saving them money and allowing them to get ahead on their career path.

Thurman is heading to Hanover College to study biology.

“This course and everything I feel like I'm not going to the next level blind and I have an idea of what I'm doing,” Thurman said.

Lauren Newell is also a senior. She plans to major in psychology at the University of Alabama.

“This class has given me many opportunities such as college credit for taking this bio class through Ivy Tech as for me at the University of Alabama they going to give you my bio one and lab for free," Newell said.

The Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township like many others works with a number of advisory boards. They're made up of professionals from different industries who have an interest in making sure kids graduate with the skills needed in the workforce. They meet on a schedule basis to provide guidance in real time.

"They tell us exactly what we should be teaching our students, which is really important so that our kids are not to sit in a traditional classroom but getting relevant and real time experience," Mari Swayne, MSD Lawrence director, said.

In the classroom we visited, science is propelling students to seek a variety of health related careers ranging from biology to athletic training, dental assisting, nursing, psychology, and zoology.

The McKenzie Center also offers a number of other career based programs for students from cosmetology to culinary arts to engineering to construction technology.

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