path to workforce
February is CTE month. As part of SmartBrief Education’s coverage of career and technical education and Path to Workforce, we’ve teamed with ACTE to share articles written by Educators in Action. In this blog post, Jennifer Koon, a 2015 Region IV Career Guidance Award winner, discusses the benefits of CTE and ways to celebrate the month ahead.

As a CTE counselor, it concerns me that many people do not understand how beneficial CTE is to students and to our economy. So I take action. Career and Technical Education Month is a great time to celebrate the many positive aspects of CTE. During this special month, I strive to bring to light reasons for my students and my community to celebrate CTE.

Why celebrate? CTE offers:

  • Exposure to high-wage careers
  • Opportunities to visit job sites and learn what employers expect
  • Soft skill acquisition
  • Technical skill acquisition
  • Application of knowledge and skills to work related situations
  • Practice in job acquisition skills (resumes, cover letters, interviewing)
  • Promotion of post-secondary participation and national certifications
  • Opportunities to be involved in Career and Technical Student Organizations
  • Dropout Prevention: A greater percentage of CTE students graduate from high school than those who are not involved in CTE.

How can we celebrate CTE and spread the good news during CTE month?

  • Host a CTE school visit for parents and community members. CTE Showcase offers some ideas.
  • Ask your mayor or president of your Board of Supervisors to sign a proclamation declaring it CTE Month in your city or county.
  • Host CTE program tours for prospective students.
  • Highlight your CTE programs in an article in your local newspaper.
  • Take high-school CTE students on tours of post-secondary CTE programs.
  • Host a non-traditional student day at your school to promote non-traditional occupations.
  • Ask your Career and Technical Student Organizations to host informational events and make public service announcements concerning CTE.
  • Update CTE brochures and school websites with current CTE information.
  • Invite guest speakers who are successful in their occupations to speak to students.
  • Conduct tours of CTE programs for academic teachers in your school district.
  • Share CTE information with your local legislators.

I am looking forward to a month filled with promotional CTE activities. I hope you will join me and the thousands of CTE educators across our country who are working to change mindsets, educate others, and just plain show off what CTE is really about.

Jennifer Koon is a 2015 Region IV Career Guidance Award winner.

SmartBrief Education’s Path to Workforce content series brings you original content and events on the topic. #Path2W is our vision of college and career readiness, encompassing K-12, adult learners, career changers, non-traditional students and those who forgo a traditional four-year college experience.

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