What started as a computer repair class 15 years ago has evolved into a state-of-the-art cybersecurity program that helped Summit Technology Academy receive a prestigious national award.
The academy’s Network Engineering program — the starting point for students wanting to go into cybersecurity — was among 11 programs chosen for an “Excellence in Action” award, which recognizes the best Career Technical Education (CTE) programs of study across the nation.
An organization called Advance CTE selected Summit Tech based on its track record of providing clear pathways into college and careers, rigorous academic and technical course work, strong partnerships with industry leaders and impactful work-based learning experiences that offer opportunities for career exploration and the mastery of subject matter.
Summit Tech received the award in the Information and Technology Career Cluster from Advance CTE. Bringing together 24 urban, suburban and rural high schools, the cybersecurity program provides students with real-world, hands-on experiences in a three-year internship program. Additionally, as part of the Missouri Innovation Campus, students can begin to earn their bachelor’s degrees while still in high school.
“Students can dependably find valuable work right away, right here,” said Elaine Metcalf, Summit Technology Academy director. “We create and grow a talent pipeline that keeps to its roots. Graduates learn within the Kansas City work culture. We don’t lose them to the coasts.”
Kimberly Green, executive director of Advance CTE, said she’s proud of what the exemplary programs do for students.
“Boasting impressive graduation and completion rates, credential attainment and hands-on learning experiences, these programs demonstrate what high-quality CTE has to offer, and its ability to set students up for success across the spectrum of careers,” she said.
Shannan Booth, career education facilitator for the Lee’s Summit School District, accepted the honor at the Advance CTE spring meeting in Washington, D.C.