Giving Compass' Take:

• Michael Niehoff argues that Career and Technical Education, formerly known as Vocational Education, has strengths and weaknesses as currently implemented.

• How can funders help CTE programs supplement traditional classroom education? What type of CTE program would benefit students in your community? 

• Learn how employer involvement can help CTE programs succeed

Vocational Education has re-emerged and is now called Career Technical Education (often referred to as CTE). CTE is now visible in almost all secondary programs through specific career pathways, academies, linked learning programs, electives classes and more.

Whereas the former vocational education was hands-on, it was not necessarily steeped in the new CTE elements of career pathways, industry standards, professional advisory groups, internships and other work-based learning. CTE is now standards-driven and working to respond to our new global economy, as well as means of connecting students to their learning.

CTE works to engage students, create meaningful ways to build skills and learn content, and get students thinking about their long-term career path and educational needs.

Indeed, students in these CTE courses have higher high school graduation rates, college success rates, grade point averages and career placement.

CTE’s foundations and intentions are both good. It is grounded in connections to the real world and career. However, in my estimation, based on many visits to high schools and colleges around the country, there are some things that much CTE needs to incorporate in terms of pedagogy and culture that are more aligned with the rest of the change in education.

Non-CTE programs could learn a great deal from the world of Career and Technical Education. They could pay closer attention and adopt/adapt the following practices into programs affecting all students.

Read the full article on CTE by Michael Niehoff at Getting Smart.