Sep 272010
 

What every parent should know about career technical education

Career technical education (CTE) is education for a career. And that’s important, whether your son or daughter plans to go to work after high school, after one or more years of college, after an associate or bachelor degree or even after an MBA, MD or PhD! You and your teenager should think over the benefits of adding one or more CTE courses to his or her high school educational program. And concentrating in a career technical field will do wonders for their future careers – with or without a degree!

Expand your teenager’s educational options!
A CTE course adds a new dimension to learning: “hands-on” in addition to “eyes-on.” Many students learn better that way. A CTE course relates academic subjects to the real world and shows how reading, science and math are important in everyday situations.

Provide two educations in one: college prep and job prep!
Most CTE programs leave time to also include all the academic subjects needed to meet the entrance requirements of colleges and universities. High school CTE programs meet entry-level job requirements of employers in fields related to that program. CTE programs can help prepare every student for work or college.

Offer your son or daughter a job-prep path to success.
The alternative may be a college-prep path to failure. Nationwide, 40 percent of all those who begin a four-year college program never complete it, with 30 percent leaving or flunking out during their first year, and 75 percent leaving withing the first two years. CTE is insurance for success!

Challenge your teenager academically and mentally.
As part of the CTE program, your teenager will be required to take the same core academic subjects as college-prep students, so he or she will meet entrance requirements for most colleges. CTE students don’t leave their textbooks (or their brains) out in the hall when they enter a classroom. CTE courses and programs challenge students to apply theoretical knowledge – learned in academic and CTE classrooms – to practical problems in CTE laboratories and shops. This is a basic, lifetime skill. CTE programs are a valuable addition to – not a substitute for – academic education.

Help your son or daughter pay for college!
The skills acquired in a CTE program that concentrates in a particular field help every student get a better, higher-paying job. Students can work full-time and earn more money, more quickly, to pay for college. Or they can work part-time to earn more money while attending college. Sometimes students can work for employers who pay or help pay for their college education.

Broaden your teenager’s lifelong work and study options.
Go to work. Or go to college. Or do both, whenever he or she is ready! Choose a suitable career, regardless of stereotypes. CTE programs prepare men and women for good-paying, satisfying careers in fields that used to be closed to them, such as technology and trades for women and office and health occupations for men.

Help your teenager acquire life-long skills and habits to apply to any career.
Self-confidence. Self-awareness. Good work habits. Practical problem-solving. Punctuality. Reliability. Teamwork. CTE programs instill the desire to learn, because every student feels a sense of accomplishment. And that breeds the self-assurance young people need to achieve their own goals.