Member Kudos: Meet Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District

Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District Career Tech Center
Photo Courtesy of the TBAISD website.

Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District is one of four districts to receive the prestigious 2015 Excellence in Practice Award from the Michigan Department of Education, recognizing exemplary practices in preparing Michigan's students for careers and higher education.

The awards recognize successful, exemplary state-approved Career and Technical Education programs and career initiatives. These are programs that demonstrate outstanding outcomes, produce measurable results for students and meet the challenge of high academic rigor. TBAISD was recognized in the Career and College Readiness Initiatives category.

What happens when an intermediate school district and a local community college listen carefully to their area manufacturers and business owners who are seeking a rigorous and relevant career and technical education program that will better prepare high school students for post-secondary training and/or careers and professions related to engineering and manufacturing? They take action and collaboratively create a unique two-year program, offered to 11th and 12th grade students in the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District's Manufacturing Technology Academy.

MTA runs its program for four hours rather than two, during which rigorous academic and real-world technical coursework are the focus. The MTA instructors work with engineers, college professors, managers and technicians to find meaningful applications of their academic subjects for the classroom. The MTA curriculum meets or exceeds the state standards and are aligned to the Michigan State Standards, and most classes are honors or college-level.

In addition, MTA has collaborated with Northwestern Michigan College to offer College Calculus I and II, followed by Calculus III, Differential Equations, and Fundamentals of Light and Lasers for college or university credit. All academic and technical content is available on Moodle, an online course management system that allows the students to access it in a 24/7 fashion. Rigor, Respect, Relevance, Reality and Robots capture the “essence” of the MTA experience for its students.