Career and Technical Education (CTE) provides students with the opportunity to develop and refine skills while providing lifelong learning ability to succeed in their chosen careers and be productive and successful citizens.
Based on that job description, CTE directors have big shoes to fill. But what can you do as a CTE director to make sure your students succeed? How can you build, plan, develop and advance your CTE program to ensure that not only in 2020, but for the next decade, your school will reach its CTE goals?
Here are ten practical steps you can set yourself that will ensure your students get the opportunity to succeed when they leave your program:
- Evaluate your program content to ensure it includes innovative and engaging learning experiences that incorporate career exploration and 21st-century workplace readiness skills.
- Maintain a curriculum that is current and relevant in order to meet the needs of a competitive workforce.
- Acquire and maintain state-of-the-art equipment that meets current and future industry standards.
- Make sure your program focuses on specific skill sets and competencies for students to enter career fields that are in-demand, require highly skilled workers and offer competitive wages and long-term opportunities.
- Offer the opportunity for students to engage with businesses, industry leaders, and community organizations.
- Ensure students have access to opportunities where they can achieve industry credentials, certifications and/or college credits.
- Give the CTE teachers/instructors useful resources such as state-of-the-art facilities, specific skills, industry knowledge, and credentials needed to deliver a comprehensive program.
- Incorporate new and emerging soft skills, such as employability skills and foundational skills, that are needed to perform proficiently at today’s and tomorrow’s business and industry standards.
- Work with the industry by creating an advisory board and joining local associations to understand their needs, garner their support and gain post-graduation support for your students.
- Promote your success by celebrating your graduates and improve the public perception of CTE and the role your graduates will play in the global economy.
Above all, don’t sit idle for a minute. Industry will not, so your goal needs to be to lead and develop your program for the next generation that comes through your school’s doors.