Jeff Tech receives accreditation for 10 adult training programs
The Jeff Tech Operating Committee received some good news at its September 26 regular meeting.
At the beginning of the director’s report, Dr. Barry Fillman deferred to Megan Bundy, the school’s Adult Education Coordinator, who announced that Jeff Tech had received accreditation for 10 of its adult learning programs.
Bundy said members of the Pennsylvania Department of the Education (PDE) and representatives from other vocational technical schools completed a two-day evaluation of the Jeff Tech programs in late June of this year. The preliminary findings were very positive. The school also received a positive recommendation in the final report, scoring proficient or advanced in all of the five categories under review.
At its meeting on September 15, the PDE board awarded Jeff Tech accreditation for 10 of its adult programs. Bundy noted it was a unanimous vote. She added that Jeff Tech is one of only nine of the more than 80 career and technical centers in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with this status.
“What this means going forward is that at the start of the 2023-2024 school year, so next school year, all of out adult students will have the ability to apply for and potentially receive Title 4 financial aid, which consists of PELL Grants and direct student loans to help offset the cost of our programs,” Bundy told the committee, calling it a “huge win” for those adults who need money to complete a Jeff Tech program.
Committee member Robert Wachob, a retired teacher from Jeff Tech, called it a tremendous accomplishment.
“It not only shows what a great staff we have, but what a great school we have,” he said.
Bundy said it took a team to make it happen.
“It really was a school effort. It wasn’t a one person job at all,” she said.
The ten programs that received the accreditation include advanced manufacturing, auto mechanics, auto body, building trades, cosmetology, culinary arts, diesel mechanics, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC), practical nursing, and welding.
The committee approved the receipt of a grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquent School Safety and Security totaling $140,000. Dr. Fillman explained that half of the money had to be spent on mental health assistance while the other half had to be spent on security.
Along those lines, the committee approved the advertisement for a mental health specialist for the school.
The committee also approved purchasing cyber insurance for the current school year at a cost of $15,465 dollars. The committee also approved the signing of a memorandum of agreement with the school’s teachers union. The agreement awards mentor teachers from the 2020-2021 school year an additional sick day in lieu of a mentor pay stipend.
When asked about the ongoing teacher contract negotiations, Dr. Fillman replied, “There’s still work to be done.”