Students learn valuable career skills at CCIU’s Summer Career Academies

Student participates in hands-on exercise in the TCHS Brandywine cosmetology lab.

The Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) Summer Career Academies (SCA) are unique from the typical kids’ summer camps. They are hands-on programs that allow students to explore careers that interest them in fun and exciting ways. Students have the opportunity to utilize state-of-the-art technology while learning from experienced professionals in both classroom and lab settings.

Throughout the months of June and July, SCA sessions were held at the Technical College High School (TCHS) Brandywine Campus in Downingtown, TCHS Pickering Campus in Phoenixville and TCHS Pennock’s Bridge Campus in West Grove. Students could choose to spend between one and three weeks enrolled in the SCA and, after completion of their program, left with new skills and knowledge of career options.

Additionally, the SCA program brings awareness about TCHS by providing participants with an overview of TCHS offerings and encouraging them to gain skills in what could become future career paths.

“Summer Career Academies is a wonderful opportunity for middle school students to explore career interests while learning about and having fun at TCHS. We’re always so excited to welcome these students each year for this awesome experience,” said Andrea Vaughn, SCA coordinator.

A variety of career programs were available at the 2022 Summer Career Academies.

In the Culinary program, students learned the necessary skills to follow recipes, prepare a variety of different foods and cook delicious meals. Activities included orientation to equipment use, baking techniques, instruction in cooking and presentation and more.

Students who participated in the Cosmetology program explored the world of beauty by learning the latest hair, skin and nail trends in a salon setting using the tools of the trade. They also learned the step-by-step techniques of manicures, pedicures, facials and hairstyles.

Electronics and robotics students worked in pairs to build a robot utilizing LEGO Mindstorm kits. They also programmed a robot to move and react to solve challenges.

The Health Career Pathways program was a great introduction to students who are interested in a variety of careers in the health care field. Participants received CPR and first aid certifications throughout the week.

Other programs offered during the 2022 Summer Career Academies included Aerospace Exploration, Animal Science, Commercial and Graphic Arts, Computer Technology, Game Design, Criminal Investigation, Education Explorers, Game Design, #GirlBoss, Home Remodeling, Mobile App Coding, Tomorrow’s Millionaires and VidKids.

To learn more about CCIU’s summer programs or upcoming events, visit:

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