The goal of the Regional Academy for Advanced Technology is to maximize opportunities to prepare students for targeted careers, by breaking down barriers between traditional core academics and career and technical education; between high school and post secondary education and training, and between education and the workplace. This will be accomplished by improving the academic achievement of students and increasing utilization of dual enrollment courses in the secondary schools.
Virginia Western is the home of the Advanced Technology Center which houses equipment needed to educate students for highly-skilled job opportunities after high school or preparing the student for continuing their education after leaving Virginia Western. The Academy is located in one centralized location for Engineering and Advanced Technology in Mechatronics; the Culinary Arts Program is hosted by the Roanoke Higher Education Center. The Academy is designed for selected 11th and 12th grade students from local area high schools who are looking for dual enrollment opportunity and are highly interested in the technical areas. The Academy works with the Career Pathways concepts based on the concept that not all high school students need to attend a four year institution to be successful, but will need highly technical skills to be successful in the jobs that will be available to them in the future. It has been determined that 65-70 percent of students will need technical education beyond high school to be successful in the prime technical areas, but do not necessarily need a four year degree.
Students in these areas will hopefully adopt a life-long learning approach to their education, mainly because these areas are highly innovative and are changing continually. Additional training will be needed in these areas as technology changes and students will learn to understand that gradual on-the-job training will be essential for success in the course of their employment. To give you an idea of how fast technology is changing we have posted the "Shift Happens" video. This video has been widely used to stress how fast technology is changing in the world today. Also, a printable version of the brochure for the Academy can be found below.
The Regional Academy offers these programs:
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