The Values of a Career/Technical Education
Career and technical education (CTE) is an educational strategy for providing young people with the academic, technical, and employability skills and knowledge to pursue postsecondary training or higher education. The best models of high-quality CTE today integrate rigorous academic instruction into the teaching of technical and employment skills and thus prepare young people for college just as well as a traditional “college prep” program. CTE courses provide students with opportunities to acquire the competencies required in today’s workplace—such as critical thinking, collaboration, problem solving, innovation, teamwork and communication – and to learn about different careers by experiencing work and workplaces. CTE is no longer about teaching students a narrow set of skills sufficient for entry-level jobs; it is about preparing students for careers.
The evolution of CTE is making it a more popular and viable option for students of all abilities. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (2011), 90% of high school students have earned some CTE credits. CTE programs rely on partnerships with employers to deliver content and provide learning opportunities outside the classroom. Employers provide information about the knowledge, skills, and competencies needed for career progression in the industry. As antiquated ideas of technical and manufacturing jobs are slowly being replaced with an understanding of the value of today’s highly-skilled technical careers, CTE is becoming an educational pathway of choice.
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