2018 Nov 7: RHS Career and Technical Education (CTE)

This week Mrs. Britina Pesak, Rockdale ISD’s Career and Technology Education Director, is providing information regarding her program, and how it can affect the lives of her students. When a student is given the opportunity to explore the many choices CTE has to offer, they can make valuable decisions that can have lifelong implications, and determine their level of success in our world today.

The vision of Rockdale ISD is “Working together to ensure each student becomes a successful and productive citizen in a diverse society.” Along with the state mission that “Every child, [is] prepared for success in college, a career or the military,” Career and Technical Education (CTE) plays an important role in today’s public education. Students today have the opportunity to gain a depth of knowledge and skill in their field of interest before graduating high school and pursuing post-secondary options. This depth allows students to be highly sought after employees and students at all levels of higher education. This skill level translates to higher wages.

According to a study conducted over a 15-year period from 1997 to 2012 by Kreisman and Stange, taking a coherent sequence of courses, and specifically, more upper level CTE courses (defined as CTE concentrators) leads to earning higher wages than non-CTE concentrators. CTE coursework did not decrease the likelihood of graduating from college, nor that the monetary value of the courses are explained away by other factors. Specifically, they wrote, “while wage gains associated with non-vocational courses (core and electives) are entirely explained by college enrollment, wage gains from upper level vocational courses are unaffected by controlling for college enrollment and completion, suggesting that these courses do in fact have real value in the labor market.”

These wage increases are particularly notable in the following clusters: Health Science, Business and Management, Construction, Mechanics, and Manufacturing. Here at Rockdale ISD, we offer all of these pathways because we focus on high skill, high wage, high demand careers. We work with the ever changing ebb and flow of the job market and employers to ensure we are training our students to become marketable employees for the jobs of the future.

We begin working with students in Junior High to discover their career interests so they can develop a depth of knowledge in high school and become highly skilled, seek post-secondary certifications or degrees, and become productive members in a diverse society that are (higher) wage-earners.

Please contact me, Britina Pesak, Director of CTE (Career and Technical Education) at bpesak@rockdaleisd.net or 512-430-6027 if you would like to find out more about any of our CTE programs!

SOURCE: Daniel Kreisman and Kevin Stange, “Vocational and Career Tech Education in American High Schools: The Value of Depth Over Breadth,” Education Finance and Policy (June 2018).