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CTE Primer Describes The Field, Outlines Challenges


May 2, 2013


CTE Primer Describes The Field, Outlines Challenges

How Career and Technical Education Can Help Students Be College and Career Ready: A Primer describes CTE as an integral strategy for college and career readiness while also addressing the challenges faced by the field.

Written by the American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) and issued by the College and Career Readiness and Success Center at the American Institutes for Research, much of the material in this primer will be familiar to CTE professionals, such as CTE delivery models, career-technical student organizations (CTSOs), Common Career Technical Core standards and the evolution of Perkins funding and accountability measures. AYPF, a national organization that aims to help all young people meet their full potential in study, careers and civic life, has long been interested in CTE as a pathway to success.     

While the authors acknowledge the successes of CTE, they also reflect on challenges and make recommendations for CTE program improvement, including:

  • Community colleges could exercise the flexibility they have with adjunct faculty to hire experts from specific industries, and high schools could leverage dual enrollment so students can work with these industry experts.
  • To augment counseling, schools could encourage teachers to more regularly advise students on careers, invite employers into the classroom to discuss careers, build career exploration into classes and create career advisory experiences in which students map out college and career pathways.
  • High schools should consider having a dedicated staff person for employer partnerships, and should make use of CTSOs as a basis for building business connections.
  • States should consider multiple forms of assessment, including performance-based assessment.
  • Students should receive credit for college-level work completed in high school through the development of transparent articulation agreements.

The report concludes that CTE is "a viable approach to ensure that students are ready for both careers and college."

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