This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Fred N Thomas Career Education Center4
Posted January 21, 2014
- a parent
I have two students who attended CEC full time and I could not be happier. While I was not terribly impressed with the academic teachers in-house, the concurrent enrollment program is exceptional. The students take classes on the Auraria campus and learn the academic rigor that goes along with taking real college classes. The career classes are practical and offer real-world experience that few learners receive anywhere else. The school offers career classes to the entire school district so any DPS student can learn important career skills. Mary Abbott is the most dedicated counselor I have ever met. Seniors must attend a class every Friday that helps them fill out college applications, apply for scholarships, and get ready for life beyond high school. I have yet to see another high school that works so hard to make sure that the students will do more than just attend college in the fall, but actually know what they are doing once they get there. I do wish the school was more diverse, in the true sense of the word but other than that I was amazed by the things my kids learned and by the experiences they had that they would not have had anywhere else.
I was a full time student here at CEC for four years, and I am extremely satisfied with the experience I had with this school. The career classes are obviously one of the major highlights of CEC. I went for audio engineering and gained a lot of knowledge of the music industry, simply because I was able to apply what I learned from the textbook in a real life situation. The teachers are phenomenal. They were able to give me an inside look at the various career industries, because they actually worked in those fields. I still remian friends with a lot of old teachers. The BEST THING I got out of CEC was being able to take college classes when I was a junior and senior. My academic classes were actually on the Auraria Campus. I believe the success and confidence I have in attending college and doing school work was highly influenced by CEC. I am a sophomore in college going for a bachelors degree in music business, and I am very grateful for having the opportunity to go to CEC.
This school caters to the idea that their students, minorities especially, are underprivileged and incompetent. The curriculum for all their classes, career programs included, are created in such a way that someone with the inability to read or write can pass them. Its not just this school, its DPS in general. This school and district have an unspoken motto no one fails . This means that if a student receives an F, from lack of study habits and homework, they will change their grade to a C and most likely fire the teacher. I worked this school for one semester. The standards are low, the school in underfunded, and teachers are warned giving an F is a fireable offense. The children are taught in an environment that supports lack of work ethic, lack of standards, lack of respect and a feeling of entitlement. Additionally, , 40% of the students that attend here are undocumented immigrants. English is a second language here at best. If you are looking for a school that will give your child a diploma, but not actually teach them anything they need to succeed in life, this is it. If you want your child to be respectful, hard working and knowledgeable, I suggest you look elsewhere.
CEC is not a traditional high school; it is very small with only about 400 students and only 200 on campus. We don't have language classes, physical education, or sports teams; which are the reasons why most students decide not to come here. The best qualities of this school are the career classes and PAID college classes (if you receive a C or higher). Career classes give a hands-on experience with real equipment used in that particular career. Although the academic classes for 9th-10th aren't as great as the career classes, people need to know that the DPS (Denver Public Schools) district controls the academic side of our school, and the teachers and staff members try to keep it as challenging at possible. I just finished my first year here, and I'm looking forward to the next three years. With the help from a few teachers and consolers, I am building a path for myself to graduate high school with a resume filled with internships, computer skills, and an associates degree. Most students don't take the advantage of the school as I do, because they're oblivious to the idea. Students like these are the reasons why people think CEC is such a bad school, but it's the opposite.
I hear and understand the concerns about academic curriculum. It may be important to understand that teachers are forced to teach the Denver Public School curriculum. We try to make it more challenging, we try to give a higher level of education, but inevitably, administrators come in and catch us moving away from prescribed curriculum. The DPS curriculum gives no homework and does subdue the learning process. To make change, however, DPS school board needs to hear these complaints. The teachers' hands are tied.
Career classes are great. Academic classes are poor. The bar is set lower, but that is not the main problem. The teachers are ineffective at providing structure and building background information. Grading is erratic and doesn't make sense. Three principals in three years, and the most recent one is more concerned with his own career than listening to parents and responding to their concerns. The school has a great model, but does not deliver.
the only good thing about this school is its career classes other than that there is no other great things about it, this school has very very little diversity, it doesn't offer any advance classes for the 9th and 10th graders. this is my first and last year at this school
CEC has good and bad qualities. The career classes are great as is the post-secondary options. The core acedemic program is lacking and caters to the sterotypes of minorities and tends to lower the bar, so the slower student can keep up. Not at all acedemicly challenging. There is a big push for students to attend CCD or a commuter or vocational college. Traditional 4 year universities are frowned upon.