ZANESVILLE -- Area principals and counselors recently met with Pathways to Engineering students from their respective schools at Zane State College. The annual luncheon is an opportunity for the principals and counselors to connect with their students who participate in the program to find out how they are doing as well as what is new with the program. School officials spoke individually with their students during lunch and then listened to presentations from various students and graduates as well as Mid-East and Zane State staff members.The Pathways to Engineering Program is a partnership between Zane State College and Mid-East Career and Technology Centers. This unique two-year program provides area high school students who are interested in engineering with the opportunity to earn an Associate of Technical Studies degree while also completing their high school graduation requirements. The program allows upcoming juniors to take advantage of the possibility to earn free college credit while still in high school.The program is geared for high school juniors who are excelling academically. Classes are taught by Zane State College professors. With a focus in electrical and mechanical engineering, students will complete over 100 college credit hours while simultaneously meeting high school graduation requirements. Tuition and most text books for the program are provided at no cost to the students. Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from Zane State College.Students interested in the program must apply for admission at Mid-East Career and Technology Centers through their high school guidance counselor. Transcripts will be reviewed and students must take the Accuplacer placement test at Zane State. Students must have completed Algebra I with at least a "B" grade and meet other minimum requirements.Options after graduation for program completers include enrolling in another technology at Zane State, or transferring to an engineering program at a baccalaureate college, possibly with junior status. Students can also go directly into the workforce with abundant job opportunities. According to the Ohio Department of Education, the number of jobs in the engineering career field is expected to grow with more than 28,400 job openings in the next decade being new jobs.Qualifying students from Buckeye Trail, Caldwell, Cambridge, Crooksville, John Glenn, Maysville, Meadowbrook, Philo, Shenandoah, Sheridan, Tri-Valley, West Muskingum and Zanesville High Schools and other private and parochial schools are eligible for the Pathways to Engineering Program. For application materials or more information about this program, students should talk with their high school guidance counselors or call Heather Shepherd at (740) 588-1256.