Career and Technical Education Students Need Literacy Strategies, Too!
A recent study published by Cornell University found that combining literacy strategies with activities in CTE courses improved students’ reading abilities and, in turn, their grades. This isn’t surprising, though, as CTE students must read technical manuals and other difficult texts within their program(s).
Curriculum Integration Correlates With Academic Success
Many students come to CTE institutions without the math skills needed for success. All research points to an approach (referred to as curriculum integration) that allows for students to learn core subjects within the context of their career cluster. The more a teacher can include these skills and enhance them within a lesson, the better off the student.
Many Students Attend a Postsecondary Program Upon Graduation
75% of high school students attend a postsecondary program upon graduation from their institutions. While many skeptics wonder about the retention rate of these students, 4 out of 5 of them earn an industry credential or remain enrolled two years later. When writing course content, it is important to keep in mind the many options CTE students have.
STEM is on the Rise
Half of all science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers are open to workers with less than a bachelor’s degree. This opens a realm of opportunities for students at C&TE institutions. STEM careers pay well and attract much student interest. Writers of CTE courses should strive to expose students to as many career options as possible. Why rule out a field that many would enjoy?
CTE Plays an Integral Role in Preventing Dropouts
The National Dropout Prevention Center lists CTE as one of its top 15 strategies to prevent high schoolers from dropping out of school. Why? Because its real-world applicability motivates students to succeed. Students shouldn’t have to ask the question “Why is this relevant to my life?”—they should already know the answer. Writing CTE courses that motivate students and remain applicable to their employability should be the top priority of every content writer.
Soft Skills Are Integral to the Curriculum
The goal of any CTE course is employability. Regardless of the many options available to students upon completion of their program, the end result (one day) will be the start of a job search. As a result, content writers should work to incorporate communication, decision making, commitment, flexibility, time management, leadership, creativity, problem solving, being a team player, accepting responsibility, and working under pressure into their content. These are the soft skills most valued by employers.
Stay True to Career Ready Practices
The Career Ready Practices created to help emphasize standards created for the Common Career Technical Core (CCTC) standards framework allows students to reach their maximum potential. Incorporating as many of these career ready practices as possible ensures the success of the content writer and the student. Everybody wins!