Why should students enroll in CTE courses?

October 8, 2015

It has been known for years that students who enroll in the arts perform better on standardized tests and in college. In recent years studies have shown that students also excel if they are enrolled in CTE courses. Career and Technical Education courses offer the opportunity for students to incorporate academic studies and creative talents to build on technical skills.

In 1917 congress passed the Smith-Hughes Act to answer the need for skilled workers in the countries growing industrial environment. This act was the basis for todays CTE courses. It supplied funding for courses in vocational education, specifically agriculture, industrial trades, home economics, and business. Today the need for this type of training is just as important. With the changes that have occurred in our economy students need to have skills that make them more adaptable in the post high school career world. By taking courses in a career education field students are not only informed about possible career choices, they are also given the opportunity to explore a mixture of science and technology in the same environment.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that nearly 40% of students who start a four year college program don’t finish, or after graduation they take jobs in unrelated career fields. Maybe the traditional college prep course work needs to be revisited. Our economy has and is changing. Manufacturing is growing and modernizing, creating a new group of well-paying, and challenging jobs for students with the necessary skills to do them. Course work from traditional college bound studies can be combined with the technical skills learned in a CTE course to provide a better understanding of the material being studied. CTE courses provide the opportunity for students to use the skills learned in the core areas while working in a hands on environment.

CTE courses should be part of every students education. By taking a mixture of CTE courses and traditional college bound studies, high school graduates will be better prepared for work, and postsecondary education. It is a fact that students who graduate with a background in Career and Technical Education have a stronger foundation to build their academic futures on.