What is WANIC Skill Center?
WANIC Skill Center is one of 13 Skill Centers in Washington State. Skill Centers are dedicated to offering high quality tuition free technical and professional training for high school aged students.
WANIC operates as a cooperative school of seven local school districts. Member districts are; Bellevue, Issaquah, Lake Washington, Northshore, Riverview, and Snoqualmie Valley. WANIC serves as a branch campus of all area high schools providing programs that would normally not be offered in a comprehensive high school due to high operative and equipment costs or not enough student enrollment at the school.
WANIC is designed to help students get a head start on their career goals by providing focused training in specific professions. Programs are designed in three period blocks allowing the extended time to not only learn the theory of a subject, but to also get real hands-on experience. The programs are also personalized. Instructor to student ratio is low, allowing the Skill Center staff the time to get to know each student and address their unique learning styles.
Who Can Attend?
Students from area high schools aged 16 through 20, who have not earned a high school diploma. WANIC Summer Skills Academy is open to students entering grade 9 through 12.
Students from private schools aged 16 through 20, who have not earned a high school diploma.
Home-schooled students aged 16 through 20 who are registered with their local school district.
Students aged 16 through 20 who are working on or have earned their GED on a space available basis.
In the spring of 2007 new language related to the Skill center student FTE was adopted. The new rules allow for the following:
Taken from the 2007-2008 Enrollment Reporting Handbook, Page 17 - 18
2. If a student enrolls in both a high school and a Skill center, they may be claimed up to a total 1.60 FTE based upon their enrolled hours. The 1.00 FTE limit applies separately to the high school FTE and the Skill center FTE. If a student enrolls in Summer Skills Academy which claims a .1 FTE, this will be factored in to the student's previous academic year FTE.
Example 1: A student is enrolled in the Skill center for three hours a day, five days a week and also is enrolled in their high school for three hours a day, five days a week.
The student’s FTE would be split as follows:
0.60 – for the Skill center
0.60 – for the high school
Example 2: A student is enrolled in high school six hours a day, five days a week and also is enrolled in the Skill center three hours a day, five days a week.
The student’s FTE would be split as follows:
0.60 – for the Skill center
1.00 – for the high school
What does this mean for the skill center student?
- Provides state funding for additional options for zero hour and 7th hour academic support classes at both the Skill center and at high schools
- Provides state funding for options for late afternoon expansion of course offerings at WANIC, i.e. 2:45 – 6 PM, Monday - Thursday
2007-2008 Enrollment Reporting Handbook, Page 17 – 18
WANIC summer school is an opportunity available to high school age students including incoming freshman. Summer classes are generally 6 1/2 hours a day for 14 days. Classes range from:
- Introductory classes of our existing programs. Students take these to get a taste of what the class is.
- Classes offered to allow students the opportunity to take classes that they may not have been able to fit into their schedule and for students to work ahead to open space in their schedule to attend a full WANIC program.
Enrollment begins in the spring (check the home page for details). Most classes starting right after school is over. For up to date WANIC summer school information please see the WANIC webpage.
The College Connection
Students at WANIC Skill Center can earn college credit through Tech Prep, a Dual Credit program. The majority of the Tech Prep agreements are with Bellevue College and Lake Washington Institute of Technology. The Tech Prep articulation agreements allow students to earn college credit if they maintain an 85% or better over the course of two semesters.
The Tech Prep program provides a number of benefits to students, parents and teachers. Some of those benefits include the following:
- Students can earn college credit for professional/technical courses taken within the high school that are managed through the articulation process.
- Students can streamline their secondary and post-secondary education by not enrolling for coursework that repeats competencies they have already gained through high school classes.
- Students can spend less on tuition, fees, and books.
- Students can generally use up to 15 credits of professional/technical coursework toward their transfer degree if they choose to continue on to a four-year university. As in all cases the post-secondary institutions have the final say on acceptance of any credit
- Tech Prep promotes a smooth transition for students from secondary to post-secondary institutions.
- Students can gain higher skill levels - while not spending valuable time in college retaking courses already completed in the high school.
- The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges reports that students who receive dual credit: (1) generally show a higher grade point average than their peers while in college, (2) are more likely to transition to their local community college, and (3) are more likely to stay in college.
All programs at the Skill center offer successful completers 1.5 Occupational or Elective credit per semester. Most of the programs at WANIC offer an equivalency credit option as well. All students enrolled in the program complete the work required for the equivalency credit whether they need it or not. Instructors keep grades for each of the equivalencies their program offers. These credits are reported each semester to the home high school.
WANIC Skill Center is an extension of the home high school and works cooperatively in regard to discipline consequences. As an example, when a student receives a suspension from their home high school, they are suspended from WANIC Skill Center too. If there is a discipline issue while the student is in attendance at WANIC, it will be referred back to the home high school per the consortium agreement. Communication is essential to the success of the process. It is also requested the home high school communicate with the WANIC Skill Center office if a student is suspended or expelled at their high school so that we can enforce the suspensions or expulsion at WANIC as well.
Special Education/504 Guidelines
WANIC is a preparatory career and technical education school designed to prepare students for employment and post-secondary training and is not designed, by definition, to serve as an exploratory program. WANIC has established the following guidelines to promote communication and processes that streamline the availability of service to students with special needs in their preparation for a career and technical education. The guidelines are also designed to enhance each student’s success.
1.Communicate information regarding disability status (SPED, 504 etc.) for students who have been identified as needing special services. Before the student attends a WANIC program, the Individual Educational Plan (IEP) and most recent psychological evaluation records need to be submitted to WANIC.
2.Each school district or high school will designate a special education/needs person to act as the contact person for the Skill Center regarding issues/needs relating to special education/needs students from the sending high school or district. The WANIC Special Education Liaison /or designee will serve as the Skill Center contact person(s).
3.All Skill Center students must be able to demonstrate safe working behaviors and habits as evidenced by passing program related safety assessments and instructor observations.