Brooke students can get jump on welding career

WELDING DEGREE — Scott Abercrombie, career technical education director for Brooke High School, showed one of the school’s welding booths on Tuesday. The high school will be working with West Virginia Northern Community College to offer students an applied science in welding technology degree. -- Amy Neeley

WELLSBURG — West Virginia Northern Community College and Brooke High School are working together to offer students a chance to complete an advanced degree in welding and a high school diploma at the same time.

The schools outlined their plans for the combined effort at a press conference Tuesday held at the high school.

“We are able to offer a sequence of courses which allows students to achieve an applied science in welding technology degree prior to graduation,” Scott Abercrombie, the career technical education director for Brooke High School, explained.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to partner with Brooke students to get the education and training they need from college courses while in high school,” said WVNCC President Vicky Riley. “We are excited to partner with Brooke High School and work with their students to meet the needs of our region in this growing industry.”

Students who enter the program in their junior year of high school will be able to complete the program before they graduate the next year. Students will have to take two summer courses to finish all the requirements needed, it was noted.

“Upon graduation, students will be equipped with advanced welding skills and qualified candidates for a career as a welder,” said Larry Tackett, WVNCC vice president of economic and work force development.

Abercrombie said students will qualify for an early entrance rate of $25 per credit.

He noted the welding program is popular at the school.

“We have 12 welding bays and they are full every class,” he said.

Abercrombie noted officials with the school district and the college are working toward their next collaboration, this time in advanced manufacturing.

Students interested in the program should inquire at the high school.