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Vo-tech? How about Mo-Tech?

A new program has been set in place for certain Mohonasen students returning to the district in the fall. It's called Mo-Tech, and is a pilot that will offer vocational-technical-style programs on the Mohonasen campus in a cost-effective way. The goal of the program is to combine career exploration and practical, real-world opportunities with relevant academic work.

Mo-Tech will start by offering a criminal justice program because it is one of the more popular vo-tech programs currently offered.

In early November, we polled an idea, and we found a large number of [students] said they were interested in something related to criminal justice or law enforcement or something along those lines, said Patrick McGrath, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

The program would be open to students entering 11th grade, and components of the course would include introduction to criminal justice, criminal sciences, a career exploration internship program, as well as core classes in English, U.S. history, math, physical education, and up to one other elective credit.

"[The criminal justice program] is a program that we've had our students go through for the past few years, and it's always been something that they've been interested in, whether they're going to the FBI or doing some sort of investigation," said McGrath.

He said that a criminal justice program has always seemed like a "natural" fit for the district because students will also be able to help around campus, checking parking stickers and directing traffic. Through helping school resource officers, security guards and other people around campus, students will learn more about criminal justice through hands-on experiences.

The introduction to criminal justice course will cover the philosophical and historical background of law enforcement, and explore and analyze the core components of the criminal justice system: police, courts and corrections. In criminal sciences, students will survey a crime lab, analyze the role of a crime lab in criminal investigations and explore the examination of documents and other evidence through the use of forensic techniques.

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