Earlier this year, Passaic Valley’s Broadcasting Program received approval as an official Career and Technical Education (CTE) Program of Study as defined by the New Jersey Department of Education and federal guidelines. The approval is the culmination of an intensive effort by Superintendent Dr. JoAnn Cardillo and the district to develop CTE programs aligned with career pathways and post-secondary programs.
In the CTE Program of Study, students have the opportunity to take a comprehensive sequence of courses that offer exploration in the broadcasting field, earn college credits through dual-enrollment programs, and prepare for industry-recognized certification. The pathway offers a student-centered, hands-on learning environment that includes production and editing programs and content from PVTV.
Led by Teacher of Broadcasting Mrs. Stephanie Roberts, the CTE Program of Study includes three courses students take in sequence: Visual Communications, Television Production, and Advanced Television Production. More information about these courses can be found in the Programs of Study on the PV website. At the end of the sequence, students may take an assessment to earn an industry level certification they can show future employers.
“It’s a great opportunity for students pursuing a career in broadcasting to get ahead,” said Roberts.
Students enrolled in the new CTE Broadcasting Pathway have the opportunity to join PV’s chapter of Skills USA. Skills USA is a national student leadership organization whose activities and events support the development of leadership and employability skills. Student members have the opportunity to take part in professional development activities, conferences, and national and regional competitions.
Administration prioritized the development of a CTE career pathway due to the growing popularity of broadcast media and our community’s proximity to the epicenter of that boom. “We see that many networks are expanding their news and entertainment departments to meet the demands of how the public wants to receive information. More stations, more need,” said Dr. Cardillo. “We also live in the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan Area and both states have opportunity for employment both with and without college education.”
In addition to the official sequence, students seeking further experience and expertise can take Broadcast Experience and Introduction to Communication Arts and Media. Broadcast Experience focuses on the production of PV’s live morning news show, Good Morning Hornet. With the offering of Introduction to Communication Arts and Media, PV became the first and only high school to partner with Montclair State University’s School of Communications to offer this dual-enrollment course that provides students with the opportunity to participate and observe the production of on-site programming taking place at MSU. To expand opportunities even further, Passaic Valley is currently seeking out cooperative education experiences with local businesses, as well as opportunities for dual-enrollment credit through a partnership with Bergen Community College within the Broadcasting course sequence.
Gaining approval of the CTE Broadcasting Pathway began with the formation of the CTE Advisory Committee, facilitated by Supervisor of Career and Technical Education Patricia Palmiere. The CTE Advisory Committee provides an opportunity for parents, students, teachers, administration, representatives from business and industry, and post-secondary partners to collaborate in developing broadcasting programs that prepare students for post-secondary and career opportunities. This committee held two planning meetings to prepare the Broadcasting Pathway for NJDOE approval. The committee continues to meet at least twice a year to provide students with a comprehensive CTE program that is responsive to changes in technology and industry. The committee provides ongoing support including program evaluation, curriculum development, and developing opportunities for cooperative education experiences.
The formal development of a Career and Technical Education Pathway in Broadcasting has been a source of pride for the school community. “I am very pleased that our Broadcasting Program has made this leap to a CTE Pathway and that we also have a partnership with MSU in the broader sense of Communication Arts,” said Dr. Cardillo. “Having this university as our partner strengthens the opportunity for our students to possibly enter into Montclair’s state-of-the-art undergraduate program as a post-secondary choice, which is right in our own backyard.”
The transition of the Broadcasting Program to a Career and Technical Education Pathway is a large step in Passaic Valley’s ongoing effort to appeal to and provide opportunities for our students of varying interests. “All of this is about increasing the rigor of our coursework and meeting the needs of all students, whether they are focused on college, career, or the world of entry level work,” said Dr. Cardillo. “It is also about providing competitive programs for our students in our sending districts with choice offerings.”