Administrator’s Corner: Students achieving industry certifications

Published 9:00 am Monday, December 7, 2020

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Administrator’s Corner by John Double


The spring of 2020 brought challenges to education around the globe.  Amongst all of the changes going on, Albert Lea Area Schools saw an opportunity to enhance students’ education and workplace preparation. Through those efforts, 192 students achieved one or more industry recognized certifications as part of their coursework last year.

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Albert Lea’s work-based learning programs have included an industry recognized certification for years.  Students in our youth apprenticeship program achieved the general OSHA-10 safety training as part of the experience. In recent years, that opportunity expanded to also include our diversified work programs as well. This last year, the opportunity presented itself to expand this to some of our other agriculture and industrial technology courses.  Last year, 166 students achieved either a general or career-specific OSHA-10 safety course certification (81.8% of those attempting the course in agriculture/industrial technology courses, 88.4% of those attempting the course in work-based learning courses).

John Double

This past year also created the opportunity for our family and consumer science department to get involved by offering an industry recognized certification of their own. The ServeSafe food handler certification is a standard used in many food service locations. Whether a local restaurant or the food service department at an assisted living facility, ServeSafe certification is an industry-recognized credential. Last year 37 students achieved this certification (92.5% of those attempting the test).

Our small engine courses use the Briggs & Stratton industry recognized certifications, however, when our educational setting shifted to all distance learning last spring, we were unable to do those certification exams. We are hoping to have our students back in school soon enough this year to allow for those certifications to be offered again.

Albert Lea Area Schools are proud of our students for achieving these industry recognized certifications, our instructors for their role in our students’ educations and our community for recognizing the potential that students earning these certifications as part of their classes holds for the workplace environment. We look forward to continuing our efforts to provide industry recognized certifications to our students.

John Double is the distance learning academy principal for Albert Lea Area Schools.