The Northwest Career & Technical Academy (NCTA) is a state-of-the-art facility serving students from all across Skagit County, Washington. The building is located adjacent to the larger Skagit Valley College (SVC), as the result of a partnership that benefits both high school and SVC students. Responding to the needs of students and employers of the region, this Skills Center provides cost-effective, quality academic and career skills training in areas that are typically too expensive to offer at every high school. Each program offers high school and articulated college credit, licensing, certification, and registrations based on the professional programs’ industry requirements. The Northwest Career & Technical Academy operates as an extension of a student’s high school education by providing authentic job-related experiences. Each program is run like an independent business, focusing on student employability. The building consists of specialized classrooms that allow students a practical learning environment to exit the academy prepared to join the workforce right after high school, or continue on to postsecondary education.
Culinary arts students benefit from on-the-job training in the public Bytes Deli, where herbs from the student garden are cultivated and served. Certified nurses and technicians provide medical technology and dental assisting students with academic and professional training in a fully equipped, hands-on facility. Vet tech students run the public grooming center on campus as an added opportunity to expand upon theory and application of concepts in the animal health care field. Academy of finance students receive hands-on experience as they work in the campus’ NW Plus Credit Union banking center. In partnership with DigiPen Institute of Technology, Nintendo of America© designers teach students video game creation, filling the industry’s need for qualified video game programmers and artists.