Scholl: Career and Technical Education takes hold
Career and Technical Education (CTE) provides students with relevant and rigorous instruction focused on college- and career-ready skills. Students take classes in one or more career programs such as agriculture, information technology and health science. Upon successful completion of the course of study in the career program of their choice, a high school student earns an industry certification indicating to employers that the student has mastered a specific level of skill in that program.
According to Georgetown University, only about 35% of the jobs in 2020 will require a bachelor’s degree or higher, 30% of jobs will require some college or an associate’s degree, and 24% of jobs will require only a high school diploma. CTE provides a student with college- and career-ready skills that will allow them to choose between going to college or university for a degree or certificate or going directly into the workforce. Students who enroll in CTE courses are just as likely as those that don’t to pursue a four-year degree. In addition, many CTE classes lead students to obtain college credit during high school that they can apply toward a program of study at a community college.
CTE is successful because it embeds core academic skills into real-world application. Students taking CTE classes are more likely to graduate due to the relevancy of the instruction and the hands-on instruction that engages CTE students. In addition to the program specific technical skills, CTE courses also teach employability skills such as effective communication, team-work and problem solving.
In Western Yavapai County, CTE is accomplished through a partnership between the Mountain Institute Career and Technical Education District (MICTED), Yavapai College, and the seven public district high schools in the area including Chino Valley High School (CVHS). Depending on the program, students will take CTE classes at their own high school, one of the other six high schools or at the MICTED or YC facilities.
CTE is an important component of the instructional program at CVHS. Over 75% of the students at CVHS take one or more CTE courses. We attribute our students’ participation in CTE classes as one of the reasons our 2017 graduation rate was 89%, well above the state’s graduation rate of 78%. Students can choose to take classes on the CVHS campus in drafting, culinary arts, agriculture, sports medicine, biotechnology, welding and computer network technology. Students can also take classes off campus in aviation, electrical line worker, medical assisting, nursing, engineering, automotive technologies and welding.
CTE works for students by providing real-world skills that can lead to either post-high school education or employment in the workplace. CTE works for business by providing skilled workers in high-demand employment areas. It also works for communities by helping students become productive citizens.
For more information, visit www.acteonline.org or the MICTED’s website at www.micted.net.
John Scholl is superintendent of the Chino Valley Unified School District.