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Sen. Marco Rubio Encourages CTE as Part of Higher Ed Solution


July 11, 2013


Sen. Marco Rubio Encourages CTE as Part of Higher Ed Solution

Speaking on the Senate floor yesterday during a debate on fixing the student loan interest rate, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) lauded the merits of career and technical education as a key part of any "fix" to the higher education system.

Part of this fix would mean relying more on our nation's community colleges and technical schools to retrain out-of-work people with in-demand skills, and encouraging today's students to pursue other avenues for postsecondary education rather than defaulting to a four-year institution.

"…many of the higher paying jobs in the middle class today don't require a four-year degree from a liberal arts college. They require less than two years or a two-year degree program that you could get at a community college."

"Career and technical education, for the life of me, I do not understand why we have stigmatized that in this country; why we have created this idea that unless you get a four-year degree or more that you are somehow not successful when we know we have a shortage of people we need to be trained in the skills and trades we once used to do in this country. We should get back to some of that. We should encourage that…"

Going beyond the importance of postsecondary CTE programs, Sen. Rubio also spoke to the importance of beginning skills training before students graduate from high school and the economic benefits industry-recognized credentials can provide today's students and workers.

The Senator's remarks come as ACTE has been working diligently to change the conversation on higher education on Capitol Hill to put a greater focus on CTE programs in community and technical colleges and area CTE schools.  Part of this push has been demonstrating how CTE programs lower student reliance on loans, decrease overall student debt and increase post-graduation employment rates and earnings.

"The fact is that today's 21st-century student requires a higher education system that best suits their needs, whether it is in the form of a traditional university, a community college, a career or technical education, workforce training programs or a combination of all of these."

- Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)

CTE remarks begin at 3:18.

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Who We Are

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.

What We Do

ACTE is committed to enhancing the job performance and satisfaction of its members; to increasing public awareness and appreciation for career and technical programs; and to assuring growth in local, state and federal funding for these programs by communicating and working with legislators and government leaders.


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