CTE: Back in the limelight

2 min read

Career-Technical Education

Career and technical education was swept to the side of K-12 education for a number of years. Now, though, renewed interest in training students to have practical skills has thrust it back into limelight. But are schools following suit? We asked SmartBrief on EdTech readers to tell us what’s going on with their schools’ CTE programs.

About a third (33%) of readers’ schools have placed high priority on CTE and offer courses in a number of fields. Another third have called it a priority but say they need better funding and resources in order for their programs to be effective. The final third has left CTE on the back burner and is focused on assessment and transitioning to Common Core.

Readers told us that money and resources were the two biggest obstacles their schools face in implementing CTE programs. Thirty-four percent of readers cited lack of funding while 24% blamed outdated technology, equipment and materials.

The STEM fields lead the way in the types of programs schools offer or want to offer their students, with 28% percent of readers reporting that training students for careers in these fields is a priority for their school. Agriculture, food and natural resources was the next highest at 20% with health sciences following at 14%.

Here’s a quick peek at all the findings:

Are career and technical education programs a priority for your school or district?       

  • We offer a number of courses in various fields. 33%
  • We are focused on other priorities right now, such as testing and Common Core. 33%
  • It’s a priority but we need more funding and resources in order for it to be effective. 35%

What challenges does your school or district face with its career and technical education programs?   

  • Outdated technology, equipment and materials: 24%
  • Inadequate facilities: 9%
  • Shortage of skilled teachers: 22%
  • Lack of funding: 34%
  • No, or very little time, to develop relationship with employers for placement opportunities: 11%

Which career and technical education programs do you offer or want to offer to your students?

  • Agriculture; Food & Natural Resources: 20%
  • Architecture & Construction Arts: 3%
  • A/V Technology & Communications: 9%
  • Business Management & Administration; Marketing; Finance: 9%
  • Education & Training: 10%
  • Government & Public Administration: 3%
  • Health Science: 14%
  • Human Services: 0
  • Hospitality & Tourism: 1%
  • Science, Technology (including Information Technology), Engineering & Mathematics: 28%
  • Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security: 0
  • Manufacturing: 3%
  • Transportation, Distribution & Logistics: 2%

How do these findings reflect your school’s CTE priorities and challenges? Let us know or leave a comment in the space below.