Vo-tech schools included in top 500

UNION COUNTY, NJ — All five of the high schools comprising the Union County Vocational-Technical School District have been included in the 2015 Newsweek top 500 Public Schools national survey, with four in the top 100.

In addition, six of the county’s 21 municipalities ranked among the top 100 “Best Places to Live” in New Jersey survey, published in the September 2015 print edition of New Jersey Monthly.

The annual Newsweek Top 500 Public Schools survey measures college readiness. In addition to its usual “absolute” performance list of the 500 highest ranking schools, Newsweek also published a “Beating the Odds” list that recognizes the impact of socioeconomic disadvantage on conventional ranking systems.

“Our outstanding staff has strived to create a community that embraces young people who are eager to learn, share and make a difference,” said UCVTS Superintendent Peter Capodice. “This is a team effort and the results show: our students come from many different walks of life and when they leave this campus, they are prepared to take their place in the world.”

The New Jersey Monthly “Top 100 Towns” list includes Summit at No. 23, Cranford at No. 51, Westfield at No. 62, New Providence at No. 69, Clark at No. 73 and Berkeley Heights at No. 77. Summit and Westfield were also included in the magazine’s short list of 16 “Favorite Downtowns.”

The 2015 UCVTS rankings for absolute performance in the Newsweek survey are:
4. Union County Magnet High School
11. Academy for Allied Health Sciences
24. Academy for Information Technology
83. Union County Tech
149. Academy for the Performing Arts
The rankings for “Beating the Odds in the Newsweek survey are:
23. Union County Magnet High School
34. Academy for Allied Health Sciences
80. Academy for Information Technology
121. Union County Tech
225. Academy for Performing Arts

The UCVTS campus is located at 1776 Raritan Road in Scotch Plains. Expanded and updated considerably within recent years; the campus includes five, full time high schools that incorporate intensive study within a vocational specialization and advanced, honors level academic coursework in a cooperative learning environment.

UCVTS students are selected from a diverse population of eighth grade students in each of the 21 school districts of Union County through a competitive application process. For the 2014-2015 school year, approximately 38 percent of applicants to UCVTS were offered admission.

The Academy for Allied Health Sciences exposes students to various health careers through medical related coursework in a learning community committed to high levels of professional, hands-on experiences.

The Academy for Information Technology students gain technological expertise with business integration in a curriculum that emphasizes professionalism and ethical practices in the dynamic workplace.

Magnet High School for Science, Mathematics and Technology is an engineering-based specialized academy that highlights critical thinking, problem solving, and leadership skills through a project based curriculum.

The Academy for Performing Arts combines intensive study in theater arts, dance, or technical theatre with rigorous academics culminating in a senior year at Kean University.

Union County Vocational-Technical High School students have the opportunity to select from a variety of vocational programs in high demand career fields including automotive technology, green construction technology, commercial art, criminal justice, cosmetology, and culinary arts, in addition to specialized career academies at the Exercise Physiology & Related Sciences, School of Design, Teacher Education Academy, School of Sustainable Sciences, and the Academy for Clinical Care Sciences.

The application process for UCVTS begins each fall, when eighth-grade students residing in Union County attend a required information session at the campus in Scotch Plains. The first of several such sessions this fall will be Saturday, Sept. 26.
Students who are interested in applying to enter as freshmen in fall 2016 can visit ucvts.tec.nj.us to see a complete schedule and to receive more details.