Why February is an Important Month for Career and Technical Education
Career and Technical Education (CTE) month is happening now. Students around the country are benefiting from government funding that will help increase student participation in all 16 career clusters: agriculture, architecture, business management, communications, education, finance, government, health science, hospitality, human services, information technology, public safety, manufacturing, marketing, S.T.E.M. (science, technology engineering, mathematics) and transportation.
Organizations like the Technology Student Association, Association for Career and Technical Education and school boards around the country are hosting events to help promote CTE and STEM education. These are happening at all levels: in high schools, middle schools and trade schools across the country.
Careers in CTE fields often lead to high-paying jobs that are in demand. A recent report by CNBC shows the demand of manufacturing jobs in the United States. Organizations like the Technology and Manufacturing Association are looking to strengthen the workforce and narrow skills-gaps in manufacturing fields by offering training, and programs, tailored towards students.
Policymakers around the country have participated in programs that helped bring awareness to CTE fields. In Idaho, Gov. Brad Little encourages students to participate in the “hour of code” celebration. According to a teacher at the school Little visited, introducing positive, fun activities around mathematics to kids between the ages of 10-14 increases their change of a positive identity around the subject. Computer science jobs account for more than half of all job growth in the United States and a background in mathematics helps encourage students to participate in coding programs.
Other legislators around the country have pushed for increases in CTE and education as the month went on. The Perkins Act was passed last year to create more flexibility and opportunity for schools interested in offering CTE programs to their students. The funding creates new regulations that remove the state as the main determinant for their goals.
Legislators, policymakers and educators spent CTE month sharing facts about programs CTE offers and how funding benefits students in related fields. Applied education systems has promoted career and technical education as an education philosophy, helping students learn through a variety of education strategies. CTE has also become an easier way for schools to secure funding in STEM programs.
The public awareness campaign has led to a significant rise in media coverage across the United States and helped shed a light on the importance of career and technical education in our schools. Local media outlets have highlighted both individual and school-wide achievements that often go unnoticed.
Career and technical education month ended in February, but celebrations in CTE will continue for months to come.