Career and Technical Education (CTE) is a vast number of classes and programs that teaches today's students the high demand skills needed to get a job, to cross-train for different positions, or retrain for a new career.
CTE is designed to prepare high school students to transition successfully to post-secondary education. CTE is designed to help college students acquire the skills and knowledge needed to find gainful employment. And, CTE is designed to help workers acquire job skills in new fields or refresh skills in an existing career path.
Because CTE prepares students for more than a good paying job. It is the beginning of a career path. Today's workers are lifelong learners: cutting edge skills aren't cutting edge for long. Today's workers need access to formal and informal training opportunities to remain competitive. CTE programs are the solution for securing this training.
What are some examples of the technical skills taught in a CTE program?
CTE teaching is hands on teaching. For example, students in building trades programs learn to read blueprints and understand the international code conventions. Students in medical assisting programs first learn medical terminology and how to calculate drug dosages. And students in web design programs will build websites as part of their class experience.
How is a CTE class different from other classes?
CTE training approximates real workplace situations, giving real life experiences. If a student is training to become an engineer, he or she will use the same computer software that professionals use. If a student is in a dental or nursing program, part of the instruction will include time spent in a doctor's office or clinic. Or if a student is in construction technology, he or she will be practicing construction both in class and out of class.
Should CTE start in high school or is it better to wait until after graduation?
Start now...don't wait! There are actually a few advantages to starting CTE in high school. For one thing, high school students don't pay CTE tuition. And taking CTE classes in high school is a great way to explore different career paths. Enroll in CTE classes in high school to learn skills that will help both in college and in a career.
Is CTE an option for college-bound students?
Absolutely. CTE is essential for all students, providing all students with a foundation of academic knowledge and essential technical skills. CTE courses and programs introduce all students to career options including careers that require college education.
High school students don't pay CTE tuition (although some programs may have fees for materials).
Executive Director Secondary Education, Career & Technical
William M. McAuliffe
Teacher on Special Assignment