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Career and technical education connecting students with skills-based education opportunities

Thursday, February 2, 2017


Tom McCarthy, DPI Communications Director, (608) 266-3559
Conor Smyth, WTCS Communications Director, (608) 266-2991
Ethan Schuh, DWD, (608) 215-3361

MADISON — February is Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), in conjunction with the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD), is touring the state throughout the month to highlight some of the collaborative CTE opportunities offered to students.

Over the past year, the dialogue resulting from Academic and Career Planning (ACP) has forged new and impactful opportunities around career readiness. ACP is a process for students to develop information-based visions for their own postsecondary success through career awareness and exploration and the development of career planning and management activities.

“Academic and Career Planning has helped us move forward toward our goal of having every student ready for college and career. As schools grow accustomed to the ACP processes, they are realizing that interacting with kids in this fashion has allowed us to think creatively about what career development looks like and how it’s delivered to the kids in our schools,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers.

This year, Wisconsin was one of 10 states to receive a three-year, $2 million grant through JPMorgan Chase. The funding will support the Regional Career Pathways Project that will draw on CEOs within four pilot regions to connect workforce-relevant education and training that meets local industry needs. The goal of the project is to increase the number of students who successfully complete career pathways that begin in high school and end with credentials linking students to careers.

“Governor Walker proclaimed February as Career and Technical Education Month to highlight the many partnerships and programs that Wisconsin offers to its students that ensure every child can prepare a path to a career that is right for them,” DWD Secretary Ray Allen said. “Under Governor Walker, Wisconsin has invested in college and career readiness initiatives, including dual enrollment, FAB labs, academic and career planning, and youth apprenticeships, which all help to build the workforce of the future.”

CTE programs currently provide multiple pathways for students to become college and career ready while still in high school. Wisconsin’s technical colleges, DWD, and local businesses play an important role in expanding CTE opportunities. Through Youth Apprenticeship and other work-based learning programs, high school students work in paid positions for which they can earn high school credits and industry certifications.

“Wisconsin has long been a leader in CTE delivery at both the secondary and postsecondary levels,” said WTCS President Dr. Morna Foy. “The work of the partners — including this annual, month-long spotlight — has renewed policymakers’ appreciation for the value CTE brings to students, employers, and the state’s economy.”

More than 87,000 Wisconsin high school students, or over two-thirds of Wisconsin’s high school population, take some type of career and technical education course. Courses fall into the following academic areas: agriculture and natural resources; business and information technology; family and consumer sciences; health science; marketing, management and entrepreneurship; and technology and engineering. Through partnerships with local businesses and technical colleges, schools provide opportunities for students to explore various career options, while contributing to an academic and career planning process that opens up paths to countless postsecondary opportunities.

NOTES: More information is available on the Department of Public Instruction Career and Technical Education website or by contacting area school districts or technical colleges. Additional information also can be found at the WTCS Initiative and Events website or the Department of Workforce Development website.

Official Release