February is now considered Career and Technical Education Month, according to an announcement from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday. Whitmer’s office said the month is meant to encourage students to explore programs that teach skills that are “high-demand, high skill, high-wage career opportunities.”
“It’s important that Michigan students understand and explore all education and training pathways that lead to a prosperous future,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Career and technical education programs offer academic, technical and employability skills that prepare our high school students for rewarding postsecondary education and 21st century career opportunities.”
CTE programs teach students skills for careers in fields like finance, health sciences, business marketing and administration, and information technology, as well as skilled trades and advanced manufacturing. Many programs also offer college credit opportunities.
Enrollment in these programs has increased by more than 6,000 students since 2015, with more than 110,000 students enrolled in the programs in 2019, according to Whitmer’s office. The number of students completing CTE programs has also increased by 75 percent — from 27,014 in 2015 to 47,314 in 2019. More than 95 percent of students who complete a CTE program go on to a postsecondary education, seek more advanced CTE training, enlist in the military or find employment within a year of graduation, Whitmer’s office said, citing the Department of Education.
State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice said that continuing to increase enrollment in CTE program is important for improving Michigan’s education system.
“We need to continue expanding career and technical education programs in Michigan schools to ensure students have the real-world, hands-on experiences they need for rewarding career opportunities,” Rice said in a statement. “As we move to make Michigan a Top 10 education state in 10 years, it is important that we inspire and encourage students to explore all options along their educational journey.”
More information about Career and Technical Education programs can be found at going-pro.com/cte.
Jordyn Pair is a reporter with Battleground State News and The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]