As students near graduation, career and technical education provides a boost

For the past decade or so, every American president has sought to use career and technical education – or CTE – as a way to boost achievement and prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow.

When the Bush administration signed into law the existing federal CTE policy in 2006, the goal was to increase “focus on the academic achievement of career and technical education students.”

Under the Obama administration, career and technical education was seen as a way to “prepare all students, regardless of their backgrounds or circumstances, for further education and cutting-edge careers.”

The current administration has taken the same stance – with the president stating in April that “vocational education is the way of the future.”

Academic research shows that taking CTE classes can benefit students by improving their odds of graduation, boosting their chances of participating in advanced math and science coursework, and increasing their earnings immediately after high school.

However, it’s not just CTE implemented in any old way that has proven beneficial. Rather, as a current education policy Ph.D. student who focuses on college and career readiness, I have discovered that the timing of CTE matters when it comes to high school completion and dropout prevention.

This conclusion is based on a research study that associate professor and education researcher Michael Gottfried and I conducted this past year, examining the impact that CTE has during different years in high school.

Click here to read Jay Stratte Plasman’s complete article published on The Conversation website. 

About Timmothy Boettcher

Business Career Originally recruited in 1998 as a software engineer to design and develop cutting edge technology for new products, Mr. Boettcher assumed leadership for Research and Development and then Engineering before being named President of Realityworks in 2005. Responsible for total operations, he has driven significant understanding of market opportunities, gatekeepers, and funding in education, healthcare, and public service markets; bolstered production and supply chain efficiencies; acquired and launched new age technology; rebuilt leadership competencies; led growth into the Company’s over 65% US school system and over 90 country presence; and led the implementation of the Company’s ESOP to build on the societal mission of the Company and further the family oriented culture to reward employees for their success in achieving the mission and efforts to drive growth. Focused on high market growth, he has led the Company’s turnaround and achieved double-digit top line growth simultaneously with dramatic profit and cash flow improvement. Mr. Boettcher brings more than twenty years of engineering, product development, and global operations experience in education, advanced technology, manufacturing, and distribution industries. Prior to joining Realityworks, he held positions at Cray Research, a leading manufacturer of the world’s fastest supercomputers and Wal-Mart Distribution, the world’s leader in distribution and logistics. Professional & Community Activities Mr. Boettcher is passionate about building effective connections between our countries workforce development system, economic development programs, and education infrastructure. A solid connection between these systems is needed to ensure our youth and workforce are prepared to be global competitive and ready to take on the challenges and needs faced by industry. In delivering on this passion Mr. Boettcher: - has presented workforce development strategies on the national level for Harvard’s Pathway’s to Prosperity, U.S. Department of Labor, and at many Career and Technical Education events. - established and currently chairs the Industry Workforce Needs Council (IWNC), a national level group of industry leaders that works directly with education to increase support for Career and Technical Education in the country in alignment with industry needs. - served on the Board of Directors for the Association for Career and Technical Education. - chaired the Western Wisconsin Workforce Development Board (Chair) to help establish and lead regional workforce development initiatives. - established and led the Innovation Foundation of Western Wisconsin (Chair) to help bring critical C-level talent to start-ups and small to mid-sized companies to help them grow. - served on the Board for the Eau Claire Economic Development Corporation (President). - and provides guidance to institutions like the International Business Programs Advisory Council of the University of Wisconsin (Eau Claire). Mr. Boettcher also holds seven U.S. and foreign patents.

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