Career and Technical Education

CTE and the College and Career Readiness Agenda

The shift away from a focus on high school graduation to a focus on college and career readiness has set off an important resurgence of collaboration between educators responsible for core academics and Career and Technical Education (CTE) educators. The implementation of the Common Core has ignited a thoughtful and positive conversation about the meaning of college and career readiness.

Career Clusters and Pathways Framework

Part of CTE’s strength is its explicit attention to the connection between college readiness and career readiness; another part is its focus not just on “job readiness” but on preparation for careers.  Based on a national model developed in the early 2000s, most states have adopted, with some modifications, the national definitions for career clusters, career pathways and programs of study.  Some states also group the clusters in six career fields.  The following definitions are used:

CTE: Connecting Employers and the Workplace to Education

Career readiness is an explicit goal of Career and Technical Education (CTE). Research on the U.S. workforce indicates a mounting gap between worker preparation and the needs of postsecondary institutions and the workforce. Eighty percent of the respondents in a 2005 National Association of Manufacturing Skills Gap report said they were experiencing a shortage of qualified workers [1].

Integrating Academics and CTE

Career and Technical Education (CTE) has been in a decades-long process of reform, which has led to the kinds of outcomes described in our earlier blog. Today, many state and local initiatives have already taken great strides to explicitly integrate literacy and math strategies into CTE programs. However, intensive efforts to integrate math and literacy strategies in the CTE classroom are not yet widely or consistently implemented.

The Promise of Career and Technical Education (CTE)

Throughout the past four decades, career and technical education (CTE) programs have provided students with real world, application-driven instructional experiences that supported the transition to a career. Even with the recent shifts in emphasis toward higher academic standards and accountability, CTE programs in the United States maintain a significant presence in both secondary and postsecondary student preparation programs.

Career and Technical Education and the College and Career Readiness Agenda

This month, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc), in collaboration with 43 states and the District of Columbia, released a set of common standards for career and technical education (CTE).  The standards, known as the “Common Career Technical Core,” are designed to provide “a common benchmark for what students should know and be able to do after completing a [CTE] program of study.”  NASDCTEc hopes to universalize the standards through voluntary st

U.S. Education Department Releases Blueprint for Reauthorization of Perkins

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education released its blueprint for reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006. The Perkins Act is the principle source of federal funding for secondary and postsecondary career and technical education programs. In the blueprint, effective, high-quality career and technical education programs (CTE) are defined as being aligned with college- and career-readiness standards as well as the needs of employers, industry, and labor.