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National innovation award honors UCS for academy linking graduates to high paying CTE jobs
National innovation award recognizes UCS for academy linking graduates to high paying CTE jobs
Posted on 07/13/2020
A Utica Community Schools Career and Technical Education (CTE) academy has been recognized for its innovative approach to meet the needs of regional businesses for a highly-skilled workforce. 

The Stevenson Manufacturing, Automation and Design Engineering (MADE) Academy has been recognized as one of four finalists with a “District of Distinction” designation by the national District Administration magazine. 

“Stevenson MADE was designed with business leaders from the ground up to give our students a competitive advantage to the high paying jobs that are located in our back yard,” Superintendent Dr. Christine Johns said. “Our Stevenson teachers are engaging MADE students through hands-on experiences using industry software, equipment and classroom spaces designed to reflect their future work environment.” 

Developed by a team of UCS administrators, teachers and business leaders, Stevenson MADE students are immersed in the Design Thinking Process (empathy, define, ideate, prototype, and test) through projects in small learning communities. 

Each core class – mathematics, social studies, English and science – use similar strategies that connect the subject area to the academy’s pathways of fabrication, automation and design engineering. 

Upon graduation, a Stevenson MADE student will have completed multiple work-based learning experiences and possess industry credentials, such as articulated college credit and a clear post-secondary plan.  

Stevenson MADE was developed to meet business demands for future jobs in the center of the region’s automotive, defense and health care industries. Recently, the U.S. Bureau of Labor found that Macomb County had the largest national increase in manufacturing employment from 2016 to 2018. 

The program began in 2018 with a ninth-grade class that is expanding each year. This year, the program will serve nearly 250 students in grades 9 through 11. 

The UCS specialty program was honored by District Administration in its spotlight on Career and Technology issue. Programs were honored for “increasing or improving industry certifications and providing choices for students to explore different career paths.”