2019 Feb 25: Celebrating CTE Month

For the Rockdale ISD column this week, Mrs. Britina Pesak has the opportunity to give us a run down on the Career and Technical Education program she heads up, and how our school district and community benefits from this vital part of education.

Students and faculty at Rockdale ISD have joined others across the nation during the month of February to celebrate national Career and Technical Education (CTE) MonthTM.  This year’s theme is “Celebrate Today, Own Tomorrow.” CTE Month provides CTE programs across the country an opportunity to demonstrate how CTE educates students to be college- and career- ready and prepares them for high-wage, high-demand career fields.

CTE programs are based on the most current industry skill standards.  Students who complete CTE programs in high school gain valuable experience in the workplace and can earn industry-based certifications and licenses.  Many colleges partner with CTE programs and award college credit to high school students. CTE programs even help college students acquire skills and knowledge needed in cutting edge career fields AND acquire new or advanced skills in an existing career path.  CTE courses offer rigor and relevance in a way that really connects with students. By partnering with the business community, we are investing in students’ lives with the latest technology and skills that will prepare them to become successful employees as well as future leaders.

Approximately 94% percent of high school students and 13 million postsecondary students are engaged in CTE courses in the United States.  This includes students in high schools, career centers, community and technical colleges, four-year universities and technical trade schools.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly one-third of the fastest growing occupations will require an associate’s degree or a postsecondary technical certification.  At a time when opportunity for employment is so critical, CTE programs in every community are ensuring students are adequately equipped with the necessary skills and education to successfully enter the workforce.  The student leadership organizations that correspond with these programs (FFA, SkillsUSA, HOSA) each provide a unique opportunity for students to practice their college- and career- ready skills through in-class of out-of-class activities and programs.

CTE is a powerful motivator for Rockdale’s young people and a valuable part of the Texas economy. When students can see a pathway from classrooms to careers, they are more likely to graduate high school with the skills and experience they need to succeed and to help our businesses succeed.

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!