Giving Compass' Take:

• Laura Jimenez discusses the benefits of career and technical education (CTE) and argues that more states should require students to take CTE classes. 

• How can funders support advocacy groups to change CTE requirements? 

• Learn more about CTE

High-quality, modern career and technical education, or CTE, programs are the premiere college- and career-readiness programs, providing both technical training and hands-on learning experiences for students to practice and develop cross-cutting skills that all employers value. Given their importance, completing CTE courses in high school should be a requirement for every student.

Yet too often, CTE is considered an after-thought rather than a critical piece of a high-quality K-12 education.

Only four states require students to take even a single CTE class. Only one state requires students to take three CTE courses. Fourteen states make CTE courses optional. A few states offer students the option to earn a career pathway diploma and these require students to take several CTE courses in the same field.

This lack of emphasis on CTE for the vast majority of students flies in the face of the evidence. Research shows that students who take three or more courses in CTE are more likely than their peers to graduate and are prepared for the type of further study that leads to an industry-valued certification. These students also achieve the same, or higher, life outcomes as college-goers.

Read the full article about career and technical education by Laura Jimenez at InsideSources.