21st Century Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs prepare students for specific career pathways through a unique learning experience which is both rigorous and comprehensive. CTE programs combine multiple learning approaches to support student achievement through academic study, hands-on learning, and the development of technical skills based upon industry-recognized standards. Career and Technical Education benefits students by equipping them with the real world, marketable skills while they are still in high school.
CTE also provides excellent preparation for college-bound as well as employment bound students, offering articulations with regional two and four-year colleges. CTE students explore careers, conduct industry based research projects, and engage in team building, problem-solving, and leadership development. In addition, internship experiences with local business and industry set CTE students apart, providing them with employment connections and advantages for college. Ultimately, students are afforded unique opportunities to diversify their high school educational experience, making them competitive for post-secondary education as well as for the job market.
The Career and Technical Education programs offered at the DCMO BOCES cover a wide range of studies concentrated within six career clusters: Agriculture, Business and Marketing, Family and Consumer Science, Health Occupations, Technology Education, Trade Technical and Industrial Education. In addition to a Technically Endorsed Regents Diploma, professional certifications, licenses, and other credentials can be earned. Learners develop employability and career specific skills matched to their individual abilities and strengths, allowing them to achieve certificates of achievement correlated to industry standards within each program. Strong connections to colleges have been developed, with students gaining advanced standing, credit waivers, or in some cases, dual credits for their learning experiences. Our follow-up studies indicate that over half of our graduates go on to college, with the remainder employed or in the military. Many programs offer prestigious industry credentials, positioning students at a competitive advantage for both college and employment opportunities.
Origin of Career & Technical Education
In the past decade, much effort has been focused on collaboration between the business and educational communities to address emerging problems within the national workforce. Federal programs such as the School to-Work Opportunities Act were developed to foster connections, increase partnerships, and to build bridges for students transitioning from school to the workforce. Although efforts along these lines have resulted in a number of workforce preparation programs, continuous and rapid changes in global economic and labor market conditions have made the requirements for high school and college graduates entering the workforce more demanding than ever before.
Labor market indicators reveal that there is a need for more highly qualified individuals who possess both comprehensive knowledge and career specific technical training, as well as solid employability traits. The need for qualified individuals exists in every sector for business and industry, and in most cases outweighs the supply of such candidates. This poses a challenge to the educational community. Companies are seeking individuals possessing greater technical and problem-solving skills, and who have a deeper working knowledge of industry protocol. Current high school and college graduates are lacking the advanced skills essential to specific professional and non-professional careers. As educators, our goal is to help communities meet the challenge of preparing America’s youth with the academic and technical skills needed to succeed in today’s world of work.
Faced with this challenge and a multitude of related factors, the New York State Board of Regents began the discussion in June of 1999 of the relationship between Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and the revised graduation standards. An advisory panel was formed to develop a means by which students wishing to pursue the career and technical options would continue to have the flexibility to do so, while still completing their graduation requirements. The panel sought to identify models for integrating academic and CTE content, and developed a proposal to strengthen educational programs for students.
This proposal was adopted as New York State Education policy in July of 2001. Essentially, as related to CTE options, students who pass five (5) required Regents examinations are considered as having met the commencement level standards related to the graduation requirements. Provided students meet these standards, they can then be afforded the flexibility of receiving academic credits within the context of an approved CTE program. Students may earn integrated academic credits within an approved program; however, credits may not be distributed until the corresponding Regents exams(s) have been passed.
CTE Program Approval Process- NYS Program Approval