A keyboard feels like an extension of Austin Bole’s hands. His passion for computers kicked into high gear three years ago as a Piedmont High School freshman. He has been a sponge since, soaking up as much as he can before moving on to the next step.
Bole, 18, followed his affinity to Canadian Valley Technology Center, enrolling in the El Reno Campus’ Computer Programming upon the recommendation of PHS teacher, Joy Ruiz. He said the program is a springboard to furthering his education next fall at the University of Tulsa.
“I saw Canadian Valley as a really good opportunity,” he said. “CV Tech was the right choice to expand my knowledge. It has worked out well for me.”
February is Career Tech Education Month as recognized by the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, which has helped power the state’s economy through affordable, quality education in multiple job sectors for over five decades. Career Tech is a network of 29 technology centers statewide.
Bole said a former CV Tech student inspired him to enroll during a student outreach event two years ago. Bole said he has not been disappointed, having worked on a point of sale app and a quiz app at CV Tech.
He also served as a student ambassador, which is similar to student council. Bole competed in the Business Professionals of America student contest and was crowned state champion last spring in C Sharp (or C#) programming. He qualified for nationals, which were subsequently canceled after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bole does plan to win the state title again and compete in person or virtually at this year’s national contest.
Bole is taking a concurrent history class through Oklahoma State University, and he welcomes the credit hours that he will take with him to college. He admits to not being as concerned with advanced placement courses since he was sure what path he wanted.
Lately, he has been busy filling out loan applications to help pay tuition costs. Tulsa is the most expensive college in Oklahoma. Tuition exceeds $42,000, though the school reports the average cost after aid is about half that amount.
“When I was looking around at colleges, I liked the idea of TU’s smaller class size,” Bole said. “Their program looked really good. I plan to do an internship while I am there to help pay some costs up front.”
Bole encourages others to consider CV Tech before going to college.
“Give it a shot,” he said. “There are lots of classes to choose from. As for computers, If you don’t like software, CV Tech also has a Computer Information Systems class for the hardware side.”
CV Tech’s Chickasha Campus also provides a Computer Information Systems program. About a third of CV Tech graduates go to college. Others go to work immediately in industries, such as aircraft and automotive repair, child care, computers, health, manufacturing and trades like electrical, heat and air and construction. The school’s positive placement rate is 93 percent.
Tuition is free for high school students and adults under age 24, who live in the school’s district area and who have a high school diploma or equivalent.