It’s a need that both educators and parents can agree on – students should be exposed to career options and training through Career & Technical Education (CTE) courses in high school, and sometimes even middle school.
In fact, according to a 2017 survey conducted by Edge Research and K12 Inc., 90% of Americans agree that every high school should offer some variety of CTE courses to help close the workforce skills gap.
One of the most common discussions we have with area superintendents involves which programs their school should include in their CTE. For example, do you offer classes on Construction or Architecture? Classes in Pre-Med/Bio-Medical or Nursing? Classes in Advanced Technology or Manufacturing? Culinary Arts or Hospitality? The list can go on and on. There is not a right or wrong answer, but these trade areas can have a big impact on not only your students, but also your community.
What types of jobs should we be training students for? We have seen, firsthand, how improving and increasing the CTE course offerings at area school districts have created more opportunity for our youth. These programs not only give opportunity to those students who don’t think college is for them, but also provides a stepping stone for others to prep for the next level of completing a college degree program. CTE’s are a great way to introduce students to trade areas, that they might not be aware of or sure about, without spending money on college.
Community involvement is very important when starting a CTE program. Collaboration amongst higher education systems and local businesses will only strengthen the program. Some schools are considering a regional center, either at their community college or at a neutral site, that multiple schools can take advantage of – and help with cost sharing!
The Career Pathways Institute, in Grand Island, Nebraska, was the first facility of its kind in the state of Nebraska. This project is a successful example of how community involvement and collaboration amongst multiple entities (the public schools and community college) can create a state-of-the-art environment where students are able to get a feel for the “real” world.
CMBA has been engaged by multiple districts to assist in expanding (or creating) their CTE programs and lab areas. Let us help you find a solution for your district’s needs!