February is National Career and Technical Education Month!

Guest blog by Career and Adult Education Interim Chancellor Kathleen Taylor

Florida’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs have changed significantly from the days when boys took wood shop and girls took home economics.  Today, there are more than 500,000 secondary and postsecondary students enrolled in diverse CTE programs across our state ranging from Multimedia Design to Robotics to Biomedical Sciences.

 CTE gives students a head start on college and careers in high-skill, high-wage and high-demand occupations organized in 18 different Career Clusters including programs in Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources; Architecture and Construction; Arts; A/V Technology and Communications; Business; Management and Administration’ Education and Training; Energy; Engineering and Technology Education; Finance; Government and Public Administration; Health Science; Hospitality and Tourism; Human Services; Law; Public Safety, Corrections  and Security; Manufacturing;  Marketing; Sales and Service; Science, Technology, Engineering andMathematics (STEM); and Transportation, Distribution and Logistics. 

 It is no secret that students completing both the academic requirements and a CTE program have the advantage of graduating from high school prepared for college and the workplace.  Additionally, research indicates that curriculum that shows how academic knowledge and skills are used in the world of work may motivate more students to persevere in the academic courses that prepare them for college and answer the question so many students ask: “When will I ever use this?”  In essence, CTE programs are the laboratory for algebra, geometry, biology, chemistry and other critical subject areas. 

 In addition, many CTE programs afford students the opportunity to earn specific industry certifications that document the student’s achievement of industry standards based on industry-created assessments. More than 100 industry certifications have statewide articulation agreements with Florida’s state colleges, which guarantee credit toward a related Associate in Science Degree. 

 CTE programs are available at secondary schools in all 67 school districts, all 28 colleges in The Florida College System, and at 46 technical centers within the state.  To learn about specific programs visit the DOE state website at: http://www.fldoe.org/workforce/ or contact your local school system’s CTE Director http://data.fldoe.org/workforce/contacts/default.cfm?action=showList&ListID=8  or guidance department.

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