Tulsa Tech Student Makes Her Own Path

News From Tulsa Tech By DR. STEVE TIGER

CAREER FOCUSED: Tulsa Tech Career Academy student Hayley George is set to graduate in May with the class of 2015 and has been accepted to Northeastern State University (NSU) at Tahlequah, to begin classes next fall.

Courtesy Tulsa Tech

Haley George always did well in school. An instinctive and creative problem-solver, with a smile that lights up any room, she had no difficulty keeping up, successfully passing her classes, or facing the unique challenges high school students often encounter. However, halfway through high school, things began to change, and the challenges, along with the amount of overdue coursework, grew quickly.

“I always enjoyed school but suddenly found myself dealing with some personal issues,” George says. “Before I knew it, I was too far behind to catch up.”

Although this dedicated student tried to re-apply herself and make up her assignments, the deficit was too large and the odds were against her.

“Trying to catch up was difficult,” she said. “Especially in a larger class with just one teacher. I wanted to graduate and even continue my education beyond high school, I just needed something different.”

At Tulsa Tech we encourage each student to ‘Make Your Own Path’, and discover the unique journey that will lead to their success. George followed her path to Tulsa Tech’s Career Academy, a unique program which helps students reconnect with their educational goals.

“Certainly there are many students who are able to excel in a regular or traditional classroom, I did for a long time,” George says. “But once I found myself needing a little more attention and a different type of classroom, I’m very thankful I found the Career Academy.”

Dr. Richard Palazzo, Tulsa Tech’s director for alternative education, feels the program represents an opportunity for other students seeking a different educational path.

“This program attracts disenfranchised youth that feel disconnected, often alienated from the social and academic life that other students seem to thrive in,” Palazzo says. “The small size of the program, and engaging nature of the staff, allow students to enjoy a positive connection, and a supportive relationship.”

George could not agree more.

“The relationship with my instructors here is different,” George says. “It’s like, ‘we are in this together’, and ‘we are going to succeed.’ I just love how much the academy feels like family, with such a warm and friendly environment.”

Kori Orr, Career Academy Instructor, feels the family environment is a critical component of the program’s success.

“The Career Academy works because we are a family,” Orr says. “We provide an innovative approach to education, serving the whole student with individualized instruction, small class sizes, in a blended learning environment. This not only provides an opportunity for credit recovery but also accrual credit, with the end result being a high school diploma.”

Students like George are proof that the program works, and given the right tools, in the right setting, students can and will move forward.

“I started in the academy this past summer, in August 2014,” she says. “Since I began, I’ve recovered a full math credit and completed all of my credits for senior English.”

Once too far behind to catch up, George has completed her coursework, finished her assignments and is now set to graduate in May with the class of 2015. Another small note, she’s been accepted to Northeastern State University () at Tahlequah, and will begin her college classes next autumn. Something George says would never have been possible without her instructors.

“Mr. Farrar, my math instructor, has a great sense of humor and can make the most difficult math problems fun,” George says. “I needed to recover a full year of pre-calculus, so we spent a lot of time working together, and thanks to him we did it. There’s no way I could have done that by myself.”

Of course, if you’d like to see the smile that lights up any room, simply ask this soon-to-be college freshman about another instructor, a.k.a. Ms. Orr.

“Miss Kori is like a second mom to me, that may sound a little corny, but it’s very true,” George says. “I would like to thank her for always dropping everything to help me and being there to really listen every time I needed her. She is amazing.”

The faculty and staff at Tulsa Tech want George to know something; we think you are amazing too.

If you’re currently looking for exciting classes for high school and adult students, quality business and industry training, or a challenging new career, Tulsa Tech invites you to visit today. For more information, call 918-828-5000 or visit us online at tulsatech.edu.

Updated 03-23-2015

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