By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Every year, Tolles Career and Technical Center in Plain City holds an open house. It’s free, open to the public and attracts a wide variety of people for an equally wide variety of reasons. This year’s event is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 20 and includes a free chili dinner.
Area residents attend the open house to satisfy their curiosity about the center’s offerings. Alumni reconnect with their former teachers. Current students show their parents what they do at school. Adults interested in workforce education courses pick up information and ask questions.
Another subset of attendees is potential Tolles students and their families.
“The open house highlights all of our (high school) programs. Potential students have often already visited the school, but sometimes their parents haven’t. They might have questions, and this helps with the decision-making,” said Beth Fogelsong, a Tolles recruitment coordinator.
Tolles’ primary function is to provide instruction in 22 career fields to high school juniors and seniors from seven area school districts. Students decide during their sophomore year if they want to spend their last two years of high school at Tolles. If they do, they also have to choose their program of study.
Sometimes it’s the students who are on the fence. Sometimes, it’s the parents who have questions. For some parents, their last experience with Tolles was when they were in high school.
“Tolles is such a totally different place than it was 20 years ago. We have college connections, and students can earn college credit. We work more closely than ever with business and industry. And we are providing students with 21st century skills. The open house is a way for parents to see it all first-hand,” Fogelsong said.
On open house night, visitors are invited to stop in the labs and talk to the instructors for any or all of Tolles’ 22 programs, from small animal care to criminal justice. They can also find out about new programs on tap for next year, including logistics management, which focuses on careers related to moving products across the United States and around the world.
The first-round deadline for high school students to submit applications to attend Tolles is March 7. Tolles will continue to accept applications through the second week of the 2014-15 school year as space is available. Tolles is averaging a high school enrollment of 600 high school students per year.
The next set of adult workforce education classes start in February and March. Options include classes for pharmacy technicians, physical therapy aides, dental assisting, EMTs, fire fighters, phlebotomy technicians, welding and dog grooming. Also offered are adult basic literacy education, English for speakers of other languages, and GED testing.
Tolles Career and Technical Center is located at 7877 U.S. Route 42 S. in Plain City and online at www.tollestech.com. For more information, call (614) 873-4666 or 1-800-644-3140.
Tolles Program Offerings
Small animal care
Turf, landscape and greenhouse management
Art design and communications
Digital media production
Computer network and support technology
Welding and fabrication technologies
Sports and fitness
Early childhood education
Firefighting/emergency medical service
Auto collision repair
Power, sports and diesel technologies