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February is National CTE Month

Each February, the Association for Career and Technical Education celebrates the value of career and technical education (CTE) and the achievements and accomplishments of programs across the country. The Brazos Valley has a lot to celebrate through the work its school districts are doing.
 
CTE prepares youths and adults for a wide range of careers and further educational opportunities. The careers may require varying levels of education, including industry-recognized credentials, postsecondary certificates, and two- and four-year degrees.
 
The skilled trades are the hardest jobs to fill in the United States. Recent data shows 645,000 jobs open in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, and 253,000 jobs open in manufacturing. CTE addresses the needs of high-growth industries and helps close the skills gap.
 
CTE is at the forefront of preparing students to be “college- and career-ready” by equipping students with core academic skills, employability skills and job-specific, technical skills. Programs educate 94 percent of high school students and 12 million post-secondary students.
 
The Brazos Valley is rich with CTE programs in the Bryan and College Station school districts, and local companies are looking to hire people with CTE education.
 
Bryan ISD offers 94 different CTE courses within 27 pathways. More than 3,000 students (about 78 percent of district high schoolers) are currently enrolled. The district is dedicated to helping students identify career goals, determine the education necessary to achieve those goals, and acquire marketable skills which can be used in a career immediately after graduation and/or to support themselves while pursuing further education.
 
“The biggest misconception about CTE is that it is only for students who are not attending college,” said David Reynolds, the director of CTE at Bryan ISD. “We prepare students for college and careers. All of our programs combine rigorous academics with high tech skills to prepare students for postsecondary success.”
 
In the fall, the Bryan Career and Technical Education Complex (CTEC) will open in north Bryan. The 50,000 square foot facility on 119 acres will allow the district to expand its automotive technology, welding and construction trades, and create a new program focused on industrial engineering and robotics.
 
The CTE program at College Station ISD provides students with real-world opportunities to meet the needs of a global workforce. The district is committed to ensuring each student masters the basic skills and knowledge necessary for managing the dual roles of family member and wage earner, and gaining entry-level employment in a high-skill, high-wage, high-demand job or continuing their education at the postsecondary level.
 
CSISD offers 94 courses and 26 pathways. More than 3,250 students (about 56 percent of district middle and high schoolers) are currently enrolled in CTE courses.
 
“CTE delivers for students real options for college and rewarding careers, real high school experience with more value, and real-world skills,” said Karen Ferguson, the director of CTE for CSISD. “CTE provides students with opportunities to pursue their passion and lets them explore careers and find out what they want or don't want to do after high school.”
 

The Association for Career and Technical Education is a national association representing thousands of career and technical education professionals, all working to make a real difference in students’ lives. ACTE provides educators with powerful resources, professional development and information to help them achieve more. For more, visit acteonline.org.