OKAW Area Vocational Center was established in 1962 and is located in Vandalia in Fayette County Illinois and is housed on the Vandalia High School Campus.
OKAW Area Vocational Center offers an education for the high schools in the area to provide the necessary resources for high school junior and senior students to learn a vocational trade and enrolls about 250 students. The participating schools utilizing the resources provided by OKAW Area Vocational Center are: Altamont, Brownstown, Greenville, Hillsboro, Mulberry Grove, New Approach, Pana, Patoka, Ramsey, Sandoval, South Central, St. Elmo, and Vandalia. These students attend a half-day session at their home school for core classes and are then bussed to OKAW area Vocational Center for two-and-a-half hour sessions, running from 9:00 - 11:24 a.m. and 12:06 - 2:42 p.m. Some schools choose to send OKAW students for only one session, while other participating schools choose the option of both morning and afternoon sessions.
OKAW prepares students to enter a number of trades immediately after high school, or to enroll in a technical training program with relevant experience already under their belt, OKAW also collaborates with the local colleges that are in the attending home school region to receive dual credit; dual credit is only given to the students in the OKAW programs that are certified as a dual credit class through that college. The following classes are offered at OKAW: Auto Body, Auto Mechanics, Building Trades, Commercial Art / Graphic Design, CAD (Computer Aided Drafting), Computer Technology and Networking, Culinary Arts / Food Service, Foundations To Teaching, Health Occupations, Office Technology / Small Business, Power Mechanics, Power Sports, and Welding. Students are able to pick from a number of career and technical training programs, all taught by experienced, accomplished tradespeople. These programs are centered around real-world labor, the first year of a two-year program, are largely instructional, as students gain the skills to perform their future trades, they also begin to practice those skills. Given the opportunity to immediately put their skills to to use is something that draws students into the program, in turn brings out the best in these students.
Project performed by the students; Auto Mechanics and Auto Body students work on their own cars, instructors' vehicles, and cars from local residents. The Building Trades program builds homes for people who have contacted OKAW Area Vocational Center and been approved to complete a year-long home build. This allows the instructor and the students to start and complete the home build within the school year time frame giving the students hands-on work experience, knowledge, and understanding of the complete home building process. Culinary Arts/Food Service students cater nearby functions and instructor meetings. The Graphic Design/Commercial Art students complete shirt design orders for local business, teams, and designs for local school fundraisers. On-the-job experience through some of the programs offered at OKAW Area Vocational Center has been vital for many of the students' success.
Please look at each of the OKAW program descriptions on this website page and learn more about what each program has to offer. For more information on OKAW Area Vocational Center, or to schedule student work for your car or small engine, catering, graphic design, or, if you have any questions contact OKAW at 618.283.5150 we will be happy to assist you.