In 2012, the city of Rochester decided to allocate sales tax dollars to create a unique learning environment for the students of Southeastern Minnesota. During 2013, 6.5 million dollars were collected from tax dollars and given to Rochester Career and Technical College to build an additional facility on their land. This property would be maintained by RCTC; however, daytime programming would be provided by the staff of Rochester Public Schools for high school students from the area.
The community determined the pathways based on their future employment needs. Additionally community members worked with educators from RCTC and RPS to develop the content of the courses in each pathway.
Courses were designed to meet the needs of three types of learners:
- Students that wanted to go directly from high school into the workforce. Certifications including Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Safe Serv can be obtained through CTECH courses.
- Students that want to continue into higher education. Opportunities to earn college credit will exist in many of the pathways. Examples of this include articulated credit through RCTC in the area of residential construction. University of MN credit can be obtained through the engineering pathway.
- Students who are undetermined of their future plans. CTECH courses are a great way to explore a variety of career opportunities. Students will have the opportunity to interact with professionals in these fields at this time; providing a deeper understanding of each of the pathways.