Career and Technical Education in High School - A Fordham University Study

Fordham’s latest study, by the University of Connecticut's Shaun M. Dougherty, uses data from Arkansas to explore whether students benefit from CTE coursework—and, more specifically, from focused sequences of CTE courses aligned to certain industries. The study also describes the current landscape, including which students are taking CTE courses, how many courses they’re taking, and which ones.

Key findings include: 

  • Students with greater exposure to CTE are more likely to graduate from high school, enroll in a two-year college, be employed, and earn higher wages.
  • CTE is not a path away from college: Students taking more CTE classes are just as likely to pursue a four-year degree as their peers.
  • Students who focus their CTE coursework are more likely to graduate high school by twenty-one percentage points compared to otherwise similar students (and they see a positive impact on other outcomes as well).
  • CTE provides the greatest boost to the kids who need it most—boys, and students from low-income families.

Due to many decades of neglect and stigma against old-school “vo-tech,” high-quality CTE is not a meaningful part of the high school experience of millions of American students. It’s time to change that.

Career and Technical Education in High School

Reskilling America: Learning to Labor in the 21st Century

After decades of off-shoring and downsizing that have left blue collar workers obsolete, the United States is now on the verge of an industrial renaissance. We don't have a skilled labor pool to fill the positions that will be created, which are technically demanding and require specialized skills. A decades-long series of idealistic educational policies with the expressed goal of getting every student to go to college has left a generation of potential workers out of the system. Touted as a progressive, egalitarian institution providing opportunity even to those with the greatest need, the American secondary school system has deepened existing inequalities.

Reskilling America

How Do You Learn Best?

In today’s information-saturated environment, learning is no longer limited to the classroom. With web-based media like television, video games, podcasts, and e-books always at our fingertips, we are learning constantly. Often, we don’t even realize it! However, when faced with the idea of learning for professional development, such as learning how to use new software, often people feel quickly overwhelmed. In the minds of many people, learning “on purpose” is very different than the learning they do while consuming entertainment. Words like “boring”, “difficult” and “frustrating” come to mind. Why is this?


Why Choose a College Education over Technical Training? Why Not Both?

Today many adults find themselves excluded from the job market because of inadequate skills, education, and training. The U.S. labor market is increasingly demanding a more educated workforce. According to the National Commission on Adult Literary, adults must have some post-secondary education or occupational skills training to find and hold jobs that will pay family-sustaining wages in the 21st century. Of the 48 million job openings projected for the next five years, 63 percent will require further education past a high school diploma.

The American Council on Education Recommends Manufacturing Skills Courses for College Credit

The American Council on Education (ACE) recently concluded a review of Scientific Management Techniques Manufacturing Skills Training Program and Hands-On Skills Assessment Program.  ACE CREDIT® is recommending college credit for both programs.  ACE CREDIT® is recommending up to 21 college credit hours for Manufacturing Skills Curriculum and up to three credits each for three different skills assessment protocols (Credit for Prior Learning). The programs described are recognized as Best Practice productivity tools by many of the world’s most respected manufacturing organizations. These skill solutions have been taught in training programs of global Fortune 500 manufacturers for many years. These same proven programs are available for the formal education market.

Workforce Development Agency Connects to Community College to Deliver Segmented Education Program that Produces Jobs

Compelling evidence bore the need to train more Travel Agents. Who knew? Mary Ellen Solano, Senior Travel Director of Omega World Travel knew, and provided the research to support the vision. This unique “first time” offered program is located in Atlantic City New Jersey where unemployment is a chronic resultant of the decline of the casino industry. Yet, a “work ready” skilled customer oriented workforce exists within Atlantic County to learn how to work in the travel industry.

The success of The Travel Industry Sales and Technology program is the shared vision of Dr. Pete L. Mora, President of Atlantic Cape Community College, The Atlantic County Office of Workforce Development’s Executive Director, Rhonda Lowery, and Brownstone Groupe President, Ted Hansen, Ph.D. How did this come together? “Simply, the program design, combined with employer driven training outcomes, really speaks to how the new Department of Labor’s Workforce Innovative Opportunities Act is supposed to work.”  Brownstone’s Dr. Hansen explains, “Employment is urgent, therefore the training must be exactly work relevant, quick to credentials, with employers waiting.” 

Honeywell, NASA and The Department of Defense Education Activity Join Forces to Provide STEM Focused Educational Assistance

"It is critically important to get middle school-aged students aware of and excited about STEM topics—especially physics. We've seen FMA Live! make the introduction easier," said Donald James, NASA's associate administrator for Education. "Thanks to our collaboration with Honeywell, we're inspiring students to set their sights on future careers in the critical STEM field."

Each performance focuses on Newton's Universal Law of Gravity and Three Laws of Motion. Named after Newton's Second Law of Motion [Force equals Mass times Acceleration], FMA Live! uses music videos and interactive scientific demonstrations to teach and inspire students to pursue STEM careers.

Forces In Motion

Samsung's "SOLVE FOR TOMORROW" STEM Education Contest Awards $40,000 to Fifteen Finalists. Grand Prize Winners to Receive $120,000

When their teacher asked them to take a hard look at issues affecting people in their community, one group of students in Missouri noticed that some of their peers with disabilities had trouble staying upright in their wheelchairs. And so, the students got to work with compressed cardboard, cutting and shaping various components to find which ones would create classroom furniture that would make their friends most comfortable. This is the essence of Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow contest, which challenges students to tap into their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills to create innovative solutions to problems they observe in their communities. The students in Missouri were recently named one of the 15 national finalists by Samsung Electronics America (SEA).

Maker Space, Tinkering: The Hands-On Approach to STEM Education

Taking things apart and putting them together — skills children used to absorb in Dad’s or Mom’s workshop — has an important role to play in learning, according to Karen Cator, the chief executive of Digital Promise, a nonprofit organization created by Congress that focuses on the use of technology to improve education. “You’re exploring creativity, you’re exploring design thinking, you’re developing a sense of persistence,” she said, in an interview with John Schwartz of The New York Times. Building something new requires planning, trying and, yes, failing, and then trying again.

Automotive Technicians in High Demand at General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Toyota

100% Job Placement, $16.50/hr Starting Pay in Community College Auto Tech Programs

Parents, guidance counselors and other influencers need to understand how great the opportunity is for students with an interest in technology. In all 50 states, the demand for trained, professional automotive technicians has never been higher. “With the cost of college the way it is, the idea of enrolling in college is daunting,” says FCA’s John Fox, in an interview with Craig Fitzgerald of,  “The value equation relative to a career in automotive technical training combined with the earning potential is hard to beat.”

Manufacturer supported programs include:

BMW STEP Program: 

GM ASEP Program:  

Ford ASSET Program:  

MOPAR CAP Program:  

Toyota T-TEN Program: 

Mercedes-Benz’s Automotive Systems Technical Program:  

Mercedes-Benz Mechatronics Program: 

Auto Tech Jobs in Demand

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