North Idaho

Students vie for spots at the Kootenai Technical Education Campus

RATHDRUM, Idaho - A new technical education campus is not even done being built yet, but hundreds of people are already vying for a spot inside the classroom.

The Kootenai Technical Education Campus in Rathdrum, Idaho, offers a two-year program for local high school students.

There are eight programs ranging from automotive technology to a resort academy. Students who are admitted can work toward high school and college credits.

The building is set to open in September and workers are still putting on the roof and doing wiring. The original plan was to admit 280 students, but then 940 people applied.

"I think it's reflecting the local job market demand. The skill of technical trades are still in demand. There's still a need for welders, a need for nurses," said Mark Cotner, the director of KTEC.

Sophomore student Justin Dove from Lakeland High School has his application in for the engineering program.


"If I can get a jump start at it, later on I will already know what I'm doing and go above and beyond everybody else," Dove said.

Applicants are thinking and planning for their futures. Danielle Taylor, also a student at Lakeland High School, is interested in the health professions program.

"I was hoping to get my CNA (Certified Nurse Aide) by the time I get out of high school. That would give me more opportunities to get a job and support myself," said Taylor.

Because so many students applied for KTEC, campus leaders are already expanding their class offerings, even before the construction is completed. Now, there will be three class sessions, allowing 500 applicants to be admitted.

"I've been in involved in regional technology centers for about 23 years in Oklahoma and southern Idaho. There's always a lot of interest, a lot of community support, but nothing to this degree," said Cotner.

It's good news for the students who are hoping for a chance to build toward their futures. Applicants will find out if they've been admitted in about a month.