New research points to benefits of high school CTE programs

Originally posted by Daniel Kreisman and Kevin Stange for EducationNext.org | Click here to read the original post

Since the publication of A Nation at Risk in 1983, policymakers and politicians have worked to stave off a perceived decline in the academic preparation of American students. Stubbornly low scores on international exams and signs that many U.S. graduates are ill-equipped for college and the workforce have lent urgency to this perception, and many states have made high-school graduation requirements more rigorous in response. As a result, American high-school graduates today complete more academic courses and more advanced coursework than they did three decades ago. At first glance, this seems clear evidence of progress.

Students from Aviation High School in Queens, New York, are some of the only high school students to compete against adult professionals in the annual national Aerospace Maintenance Competition.
Students from Aviation High School in Queens, New York, are some of the only high school students to compete against adult professionals in the annual national Aerospace Maintenance Competition.

But much of those gains have come at the expense of student participation in vocational, or career and technical education, classes—a broad category of coursework that encompasses everything from welding, to sports management, to computer science. Many praise this shift, arguing that vocational education in high school deters capable students from college and prepares them for “dead-end” jobs. Yet an opposing camp points to shortages in the skilled professions, noting that not all students are college-bound and that for some, vocational training may be the difference between high- and low-paying jobs. Pushing all students to concentrate on core academic classes at the expense of vocational study, advocates say, takes the focus off the occupationally relevant skills and credentials graduates need for a smooth transition to adulthood.

This raises a central question: What is the relationship between modern-day vocational or career and technical coursework and high-school graduates’ success in college or in the workforce? Is vocational education an off ramp to college foisted upon lackluster students, or a different and less costly path toward adult success? We examined high-school and college transcripts and labor-market outcomes for about 4,000 adults to find out.

Click here to continue reading the original post, which was published on EducationNext.org.

At career camps, middle school students get hands-on experience with CPR

Originally posted by Rachel Alexander on July 9, 2019 for the Salem Reporter | Click here to read the original post

In mid-July, Sprague High School appears mostly deserted.

But one basement classroom teemed with excitement Monday as 20 students practiced chest compression, hooked up defibrillators and tried to listen to heart monitors over the din of people screaming, “I have an emergency!”

It was the first day of health services camp, a week-long program for Salem-Keizer middle school students taught by Sprague High School teachers.

At the start of camp, “most of them didn’t know each other. You could’ve heard a pin drop,” said health and sports medicine teacher Kimo Mahi.

Three hours later, the teens were working together to save the lives of their dummies while teasing each other.

Click here to read the original post, which was written by Rachel Alexander for the Salem Reporter on July 9, 2019

Career & technical education programs get funding boost to help fill need for workers

Originally posted on July 13, 2019 for abc27.com | Click here to read the original post

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – This year’s state budget includes millions of dollars of support for career and technical education programs. The goal is to help fill the high demand for skilled workers.

Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology is getting four million dollars extra this year, so it could expand its programs and train more students.

“If we had 1,400 employers with over 4,000 jobs seeking our close to 400 graduates, obviously most of them didn’t get the human resources they need, which means they can’t do the business that they need to do,” said Dr. William Griscom, the president of Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology.

Several chamber of commerces in Pennsylvania say the need for candidates with career and technical education is higher than ever.

“When you have an institution that has been turning away thousands of enrollees because they just didn’t have the room or the space, and at the same time you’re turning away thousands of employers who say, ‘I need welders for this and I need this’…to be able to finally be able to put our money where our mouth is,” said Sen. Scott Martin.

Click here to read the original article, which was posted on July 13, 2019 for abc27.com

Lessons On Career & Technical Education From America’s Oldest Trade School

Originally posted by Frederick Hess on June 18, 2019 on Forbes.com | Click here to read the original post

The nation is suffused in enthusiastic talk about career and technical education. Policymakers ranging from President Trump to Joe Biden to Bernie Sanders have called for more schooling that can equip students for in-demand, middle-class jobs. Well, a lot of the discussion is driven by advocates, academics, and elected officials. It seems useful to ask those with a track record of actually doing this work what they think.

Enter Sarah Turner, the president of North Bennet Street School (NBSS), a 138-year-old trade school in Boston. The school enrolls students from age 18 to 70, with a mix of high school grads, veterans, and white-collar professionals. A Fulbright Fellow who has studied Dutch contemporary applied art, Turner comes to the trades as an artist—giving her an intriguing perspective on the whole thing.

Click here to read the original post, which written by Frederick Hess on June 18 for Forbes.com

How I Found My Passion Through CTE

Originally posted by Dioselina De La Cruz on February 19, 2019 on “Homeroom,” the official blog of the U.S. Department of Education | Click here to read the original post

It was during my freshman year of high school when I first realized that STEM was not the career pathway I wanted to pursue. While I understood the importance of a strong foundation in STEM fundamentals, my real passion was business.

My story starts my freshman year of high school in Pharr, a south Texas border town. I applied to a STEM school in my district which had a reputation for academic excellence. I was accepted, and my family was ecstatic. Being the youngest of six sisters in a family of humble migrant farm workers, I grew up in the fields, worked hard and believed in the opportunities a good education could bring.

Click here to read the original post, which was published on “Homeroom,” the official blog of the U.S. Department of Education, on February 19, 2019

Crawford County Career and Technical Center students sign on with employers

Originally published by Keith Gushard in the Meadville Tribune on June 4, 2019

Monday was Crawford County’s biggest signing day ever with 30 students inking letters of intent — but not for sports. The soon-to-be graduates from Crawford County Career and Technical Center’s various trades programs formally signed on with employers.

The school’s inaugural signing day ceremony Monday was the brainchild of Bonnie Stein, who coordinates the school’s cooperative education program.

Cooperative education combines school-based education with practical work experience, giving school credit for the job experience and paying the students at the same time. Senior year students are in the work force at jobs based on their trades’ career path.

“Students get recognized at the high schools for scholarships and going on to play sports, why don’t we honor the students going on in the work force full time?” Stein said following the ceremonies. “These 30 all were offered full-time work. We get calls all the time ‘Do you have a student prepared to go into the work force?'”

Click here to read the original article article in its entirety.

CTE in the News: Gilbert schools give students job opportunities

By Tom Blodgett | Originally posted on May 29, 2019 in The Gilbert Community News | Click here to read the original article

From freshman orientation, Parker Ferguson took an interest in the offerings of the agriscience and engineering class at Highland High School. Three years later, the 17-year-old junior has stuck with it, learned to weld, earned two internships and sold pieces he made at the school and at the county fair.“I like the freedom and that I get to work with my hands,” Ferguson said. “Mr. [Curtis] Willems teaches us how to use all of the tools and the proper safety procedures, and then he sets us loose, and we get to build whatever projects we want.”

Ferguson plans to pursue a precision manufacturing degree after high school and use that to get a job in computer numerical control manufacturing. Such a path makes Ferguson an example of the value of career and technical education, or CTE, offered in Gilbert’s high schools.

Click here to read the original article, which was posted on May 29 in the Gilbert Community News.

State Funding Enables Community Programs to Give MN High School Students Valuable Job Training Opportunities

In January, five community programs throughout the state of Minnesota were awarded $95,000 in grant funding to develop and implement paid learning opportunities for 16- and 17-year-old students. The funding came from the Youth Skills Training Program at the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (YST@DLI), which was created in 2017 with funding from the Minnesota legislature (Minn. Stat. 175.46) to help communities create local programs that give high school students exposure, training, certifications and paid work experience in five high-demand, high-growth industries: advanced manufacturing, agriculture, automotive, health care and information technology.

To be successful, local programs rely on connections between industry and education to ensure student experience is meaningful and relevant. Five pilot programs were awarded grants last year to develop paid learning opportunities in manufacturing, health care and information technology; this year, programs in Elk River, Hutchinson, Marshall, Red Wing, St. Paul, White Bear Lake and Winona will enable students in 27 school districts to get paid work experience in manufacturing and health care.

“Employers throughout the state are reporting an increasing number of unfilled positions in high-paying jobs that require a certification or two-year degree and describe significant challenges to find qualified and trainable employees to fill these skilled positions,” said Rich Wessels, Youth Skills Training Program Senior Project Manager. “The YST program is a way to address this issue by connecting industry with education to provide students with opportunities to learn about and gain hands-on experience.”

Click here to read the complete article, which was originally published in April 2019 on ACTE’s IndustryConnect blog.

Coding Grant Helps North Carolina Students Explore In-Demand Career Options

In Beaufort County, North Carolina, programmers are in high demand. Job forecasts conducted by local workforce development boards show a 94% growth rate for programming jobs among 27 eastern NC counties from 2016-2021; programming skills, along with tooling, machine and drone operation skills, have been among the most in-demand job skills listed by local and regional manufacturing businesses for three straight years.

When Beaufort County Schools (BCS) saw an opportunity to fund an extension of the district’s coding program into K-12 classrooms across the district and at the local community college, administrators didn’t hesitate to apply. Last fall, North Carolina Superintendent Mark Johnson announced that 16 school districts, including Beaufort County, had been awarded grants totaling $800,000 through the second round of the Coding and Mobile App Development Grant Program, which was launched in 2017 with funding from the state’s general assembly.

“BCS’s strategic STEM plan, the use of Digital Learning Competencies training, and the injection of real-world needs provided through our advisory process and partnerships with our local industries produced the perfect conditions for synergy around STEM including coding,” said Wendy Petteway, BCS Career and Technical Education Department Director. “We needed to expand beyond where we were and extend coding into K-12 across the district and at Beaufort County Community College, and the coding grant has provided the opportunity for that expansion.”

Click here to read the entire article, which was originally posted in ACTE’s IndustryConnect blog in March 2019.

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