The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

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Taking on Tech Campus

Photo Courtesy of Kierstin Thompson
Senior Kierstin Thompson posing with her fellow peers who are also enrolled in the certified nursing assistant program.

Most of the students at LHS arrive to school at 7:30 a.m. and spend eight periods of the day in class, gym, or lunch to then be released at 2:50 p.m. While there are some minor exceptions, like students who have the privilege of a modified late start or early release schedule, a group of 26 students experience an entire different day.

These students attend the Lake County High Schools Technology Campus, which “was designed for the purpose of extended career and technical education opportunities for juniors and seniors of Lake County high schools,” according to LHS’s curriculum guide.

Sixteen seniors and 10 juniors arrive at the Studio Theatre each morning and await their bus ride to Lake County High Schools Technology Campus, which lies north of the College of Lake County (CLC), to attend Tech Campus. These students spend periods 1-4 there and then return back to LHS for periods 5-8. Students are able to choose specific programs that they want to focus on for the year, and these programs include things like cosmetology, firefighting, nursing, education, graphics, auto, and even more. If students come to find out that the program they chose isn’t for them, they are also able to switch programs.

Mr. Ole Stevens, director of student services, is the school liaison for Tech Campus and explained that “one misconception is that you only go to Tech Campus if you are not college-bound, and that’s not true because a lot of the programs that they have connect very well with four-year colleges.”

Senior Kierstin Thompson is enrolled in the certified nursing assistant program and has nothing but good things to say about her experience at Tech Campus: “I love the head start it is giving me into the career I am most passionate about. Since I am one of the two LHS students in the program, I’ve made new friends from over 20 schools, which has really been amazing. I love that I learn something new everyday that will help me now and in my future career.”

Tech Campus works really closely with the LHS special services department, and a lot of kids who do receive special services end up being the ones who go out there. This is mostly because the “hands-on” and applicable learning appeals to a certain kind of learner.

In the past, Tech Campus has only been offered to juniors and seniors, but next year, it will be open to sophomores. Stevens explained that it is still undecided how the program will work being open to sophomores while trying to cover their graduation requirements and college prep courses.

“Next year they’re opening up some courses to sophomores, so that’s gonna be a new thing for myself and counselors to identify freshmen who could be eligible to go out there for three years,” said Stevens.

While many of the programs at Tech Campus help assimilate students into programs at a four-year university, there are some programs like auto and firefighting that help students focus on their career plans that lie immediately after high school.

Students who successfully complete one semester of Tech Campus earn 1.5 credits. Also, in some cases, course credit from Tech Campus can transfer over to CLC if a student decides to enroll there the following year. Students who are interested in Tech Campus must fill out an application and return it to their counselor during the course registration process in February. More information can be found at

“The student’s counselor will work closely with their students to determine the best program fit,” according to LHS’s course curriculum.

LHS has grown its engineering program over the last few years with Project Lead The Way (PLTW), and Tech Campus also offers more specialized PLTW programs that LHS cannot support.

Tech Campus trains their students as if they were in the real world, so this could be of interest for students who feel like the classes they take at LHS don’t apply to the real world. For example, Mr. Stevens went out to Lake County High School for an open house/tour day, and the breakfast that the adults ate was produced by the culinary arts students at Tech Campus. On this open house day, Congressman Bob Dold attended and showed a special interest toward that school and its programs.

“Tech campus has totally changed my outlook on high school. There is truly a class for everyone. However, don’t take it just to take it. Find something you’re passionate about,” said Thompson.

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The student news publication of Libertyville High School
Taking on Tech Campus