12.5 million secondary and postsecondary students are currently enrolled in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in the United States (“Career,” 2019). CTE programs provide students with the academic skills, technical skills, knowledge, and training necessary to succeed in future careers and to become lifelong learners (“Career,” 2019). Students are prepared for the workplace as a result of a competency-based learning approach and through partnerships with local employers who provide hands-on experience and work-based learning opportunities (“Career,” 2019). By 2020, 65 percent of American jobs will require some postsecondary education or training, with half of these positions requiring an associate degree, certificate or credential (“Community,” 2017, p.3). The Department of Labor reported 6.2 million unfilled jobs in 2017; community colleges are an essential element in addressing this challenge (“Community,” 2017, p.3). Career and Technical Education represents a crucial path from education to employment (“Community,” 2017, p.3). The Virginia Community College System (VCCS) works to create opportunities for students to complete CTE pathways and has made great strides in working to promote the value of CTE education for all students. A number of challenges, opportunities, best practices, and recommendations are associated with promoting the value of CTE programs.
Howell, D., Serignese, M., Anderson, S., Dodson, R., McDowell, J., Miller, J., Newcomer, D., Sanders, R., & Shehan, B. (2019). Promoting the Value of Career Education Programs. Inquiry: The Journal of the Virginia Community Colleges, 22 (1). Retrieved from https://commons.vccs.edu/inquiry/vol22/iss1/10