The Satellite Center, a unique educational experience for Hahnville and Destrehan High School students, continues to expands its offering and programs this 2022-2023 academic year.
This fall the Satellite Center is offering two additional classes – studio piano and sculpting/ceramics. The center has also expanded its air conditioning program to include the opportunity for students to earn a Certificate of Technical Studies in Domestic Refrigeration in partnership with River Parishes Community College.
Satellite Center Administrator Elaine Fitzgerald said over the years the center has grown and expanded as the needs of local students and the workforce have evolved.
“It is truly a unique concept in that we are a ‘satellite’ location for both high schools that offer students the opportunity to interact with business and industry professionals and participate in project-based learning and service learning,” she said of the Satellite Center. “Our classes are taught by industry professionals and in many courses, students have the opportunity to work with clients from the community.”
Students can earn dual enrollment credits in many courses, and the center has partnerships with River Parishes Community College, Delgado, UNO, and Southeastern Louisiana University. Fitzgerald added that students are also able to earn industry-based certifications that directly apply to local businesses and industry.
“Last year a total of 1,896 dual enrollment credits were earned by students with an average of six credit hours per student,” she said.
Fitzgerald explained that students from Hahnville and Destrehan High Schools have the opportunity to choose Satellite Center classes during the scheduling process.
“Most of the classes are semester-long classes following the same schedule as the high school,” she said. “A few are year-long classes that provide additional opportunities for dual enrollment such as engineering, air conditioning, and medical assistant.”
Students can begin taking courses at the Satellite Center starting as a freshman in St. Charles Parish Public Schools, and bus transportation is available every day from DHS and HHS to the Satellite Center.
“I hope that our Satellite Center students are able to explore career options and get started on their future careers while at the same time learning valuable employability skills such as professionalism, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving,” Fitzgerald said. “Many of our students are able to leave with the skills necessary to immediately enter the workforce, while others continue their education at technical schools, two-year and four-year colleges.”
Fitzgerald said an example of this is that last year the center had 33 students complete the coursework for Medical Assistants through RPCC, with 13 students earning Certified Clinical Medical Assistant Certification allowing them to meet the requirements to work as a Medical Assistant as a career or as they pursue further education in the medical field.
“Our teacher cadet program, Educators Rising, is part of our Grow Your Own initiative to start our students on the pathway as future educators,” she said. “We have a number of former students who are now educators in St. Charles Parish Public Schools.”
The Satellite Center, located at 285 Judge Edward Dufresne Parkway Luling, will host a Showcase/Open House on Oct. 19 starting at 5 p.m. The event is open to the community to learn more about the courses available at the Satellite Center.