As Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month comes to a close, there are many components to celebrate and extend throughout the year. Every February, quality CTE programming is showcased as a school-to-careers connection that improves graduation rates and provides meaningful academic and leadership experiences.
The major components of CTE include academic and technical skills, leadership and 21st-century skills through career and technical student organizations (CTSOs), and work-based learning experiences. Together, these quality components establish the necessary partnerships, programs of study, and career development for students to succeed after high school.
State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor helped kickoff CTE month at the We Energies Youth Apprenticeship (YA) Program site. We Energies created work-based learning experiences for students through collaboration with the Milwaukee Area Technical College and the departments of Workforce Development and Public Instruction. Many high school students from the Milwaukee area are participating in these opportunities alongside classroom instruction.
The We Energies YA program is a wonderful example of how education, industry, and communities can work together to bridge K-12 education and students’ futures. Career and technical education is about making sure that all students have the same opportunity to explore their career of choice.
Career and technical student organizations (CTSOs) also prepare students for further education and the workforce. CTSOs develop citizenship and essential technical, leadership, and teamwork skills. They enhance students' civic awareness and provide opportunities for developing social competencies.
Four of Wisconsin’s CTSOs observed their own “weeks” during CTE Month. The Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Skills USA, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), and the Wisconsin Association of FFAcelebrated the leadership and team-building opportunities available for students as they meet academic and occupational standards.
Finally, CTE is about transition. It’s a special time when kids are moving through adolescence to adulthood. It’s a time to learn professional skills to communicate, work on a team, problem solve, organize, and remain curious—the same skills that students need no matter what path they choose. Quality CTE programs develop all of these and more.
For more information about CTE and related programming, visit the DPI Career and Technical Education web page.