Pre-enrollment numbers for STARS program lower than expected

Updated: Feb 28

PLEASANTON – Lower than expected pre-enrollment totals from students at Prairie View High School for the Southeast Technical Academy for Rural Students (STARS) occupational training program in Pleasanton are well below interest showed in a survey last year.

Pleasanton USD 344 Superintendent Travis Laver said on Monday, Feb. 7, that the survey indicated that 148 students from the three Linn County high schools – Prairie View, Pleasanton and Jayhawk-Linn – were interested in attending classes at the training center. When pre-enrollment figures were tallied, though, the total was fewer than 90.

While Jayhawk-Linn and Pleasanton numbers were close to those expected, the number of Prairie View students dropped off dramatically, he said. He said he hoped to learn what had caused that drop in interest.

He also said that as of Monday he had not received any pre-enrollment numbers from Louisburg High School yet.

Despite disappointment in those numbers, Laver was optimistic about a new collaboration with well-known brand in heating and cooling equipment. He said that Matthew Knemeyer, the manager of the upper Midwest regional office of Lennox International was interested in supporting a HVAC program at the STARS center.

That collaboration would include providing training tools and equipment, helping students work toward North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification, and even providing paid internships for students who had at least a 90 percent attendance rate and a 3.5 grade point average, Laver said.

He anticipated that some students might consider transferring into the HVAC program as a result of Lennox’s involvement.

This chart shows fall pre-enrollment numbers for Southeast Technical Academy for Rural Students (STARS) occupational training program in Pleasanton. The total number was 61 fewer than expected. (Linn County Journal)

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