Results tagged “CTE”

Improved Student Performance in Career and Professional Education

Like many states, Florida has taken action over the past decade to transform industrial-era “vocational education” into more robust Career and Technical Education (CTE), which integrates academic rigor, employability, and technical skills that are in demand in today’s global marketplace. As more and more schools adopt these technology-based instructions, CTE programs have been increasingly recognized as a valuable teaching method that not only engage students but better prepare them for college and career success. Based on data provided by the Florida Department of Education, a new report from Grunwald Associates LLC, takes a closer look at students who are enrolled in CTE courses involving technology. The research highlights the following positive results:

  • Students who completed at least one technology course, and took at least one industry certification exam, had significantly higher GPAs than comparable students. Florida high school students who took at least one technology course had an average GPA  of 2.92, compared to an average GPA of 2.55 for students of similar demographics who took no technology classes.
  • Students who completed at least one technology course, and took at least one industry certification exam, had significantly higher attendance rates than comparable students. On average, CTE Florida students attended 165.2 days in the 180-day school year while students who took no technology courses or exams attended 148.5 days of school. That amounts to an average of almost 17 more days—or more than three weeks!

Attendance is one way that schools gauge student engagement in learning—and increased attendance can be viewed as a necessary condition for improved GPA. For years, anecdotal evidence has been pointing to positive results when academic programs are matched with engaging career and project-based learning environments. Improved grades and daily attendance are also the key benefits of students who attend Southwest Career and Technical Academy (SWCTA) in Clark County, Nevada. No matter how you look at it, it is clear that Career and Technical Education programs are appearing to help students succeed in school and beyond. For more information and insight, check out the full Grunwald report here.

Clark County Students Get a Competitive Edge

Neon lights, gaming tables and vibrant nightlife may be the instantly recognizable icons of Las Vegas, but many do not realize that beyond the nightclubs and casinos is a community of more than 1.8 million residents and home to the fifth-largest school district in the United States. The areas of Clark County that surround the famous city include more than 350 traditional schools and specialized career and technical academies that serve over 306,000 K-12 students.

I’d like to shine the spotlight for a moment on Clark County’s career and technical academies, which offer intensive academic programs aimed at helping students develop highly marketable skills to use immediately upon graduation. For example, in addition to the hands-on classes, students attending the Southwest Career and Technical Academy (SWCTA) participate in a multitude of service-learning projects, job-shadowing, and internship opportunities where they can apply the skills learned in class, as well as take advantage of the ability to earn up to 21 college credits and a variety of CTE certifications.

Flora Shi, a fourth-year web design student at SWCTA offered this insight: “We’ve learned to use solutions such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, and Flash Professional and combine them with other code languages to create diverse, professional-grade mobile apps that have left clients speechless. Adobe software gives us a distinct advantage because we’re able to deliver creative, high-quality projects faster.”

In addition to marketable digital communication skills, the academies focus on helping students stay engaged and succeed. SWCTA students consistently scored above the district average for math assessments and 40% of the senior class achieved a GPA of 3.9 or higher. In addition, the school achieved an average daily attendance rate of nearly 99% while increasing its student retention rate to 89%. Clearly, they’re doing something (or, many things) right.

Highly focused Career and Technical Education (CTE) curriculums have a tremendous impact on student achievement, as evidenced by the statistics I just quoted. These programs are successful largely because they provide the tools necessary to 1) foster a desire to learn and grow and 2) prepare students for today’s digital world and ever-changing workplace. I encourage you to learn more about how the Clark County School District helps students thrive. Read the full story here.

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