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CTE and STEM Go Hand in Hand


December 19, 2013


CTE and STEM Go Hand in Hand

A new publication from the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium makes explicit the connection between CTE and STEM.

As CTE is Your STEM Strategy  states, "While a state's CTE programs may not encompass everything within a state's STEM strategy, high-quality CTE programs can provide a strong foundation for and serve as a delivery system of STEM competencies and skills for a broader range of students." This includes education and training for STEM jobs, half of which require less than a bachelor's degree, and for STEM competencies more generally.

The brief notes how the elements of high-quality CTE, such as industry partnerships, problem- and project-based learning, technology use, and integrated and interdisciplinary knowledge and skills, support STEM learning. In addition, the Career Clusters framework fosters STEM learning, not only through the STEM Cluster itself, but throughout all 16 Career Clusters. For instance, students in the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Career Cluster acquire knowledge and skills that prepare them for careers in horticulture, animal science, environmental science and more.

The brief concludes by highlighting STEM initiatives that incorporate CTE, including the North Carolina STEM Network, the Michigan STEM Partnership and Ohio's CTE-STEM hybrid curriculum in health informatics, and recommends ways that stakeholders can work together for the benefit of both STEM and CTE.

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