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President Calls for Postsecondary Education, Leaves Out Certifications


May 31, 2013


President Calls for Postsecondary Education, Leaves Out Certifications

In a rose garden event this morning, President Barack Obama called attention to the doubling of interest rates on student loans set to occur on July 1. President Obama also used the event to advance the message that all students graduating from high schools today will need some form of postsecondary education to succeed in today’s economy.

A striking omission in his speech though was an acknowledgement that a postsecondary credential includes more than just a degree. Here is a quote from the event:

“How do we make sure our workers earn the skills and education they need to do the jobs that companies are hiring for right now, and are going to keep hiring for in the future?  We know that the surest path to the middle class is some form of higher education -- a four-year degree, a community college degree, an advanced degree.  You’re going to need more than just a high school education to succeed in this economy. 
“And the young people here today, they get that.  They’re working through college; maybe just graduated.  And earning their degree isn’t just the best investment that they can make for their future -- it’s the best investment that they can make in America’s future.”

President Barack Obama
 May 31, 2013

While it is true that every student needs “more than just a high school education to succeed,” it is not true that the only postsecondary options are degrees. In fact, 27 percent of people with less than an associate degree, including certificates, certifications and licenses, earn more than the average bachelor degree recipient. Additionally, 43 percent of people with less than an associate degree earn more than the average person with an associate degree.

We need the President and our Members of Congress to know that every student does need a postsecondary credential and that includes more than just degrees.

Career and technical education can put every student on a path to a postsecondary credential as early as high school in in-demand fields such as healthcare, construction, biotechnology, culinary arts, engineering, mass media and cybersecurity.

Use the CTE Action Center to tell your Members of Congress and the President to support CTE!

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The Association for Career and Technical Education is the nation’s largest not-for-profit education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. Founded in 1926, ACTE has more than 25,000 members; career and technical educators, administrators, researchers, guidance counselors and others involved in planning and conducting career and technical education programs at the secondary, postsecondary and adult levels. ACTE provides advocacy, public awareness and access to information on career and technical education, professional development and tools that enable members to be successful and effective leaders.

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