Labor and Economic Opportunity
Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018
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LANSING – The programs that prepare students with in-demand skills needed to land a high-demand, good-paying career gained more traction among Michigan high school students, data shows.
Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs added more than 1,300 students in the 2017-2018 school year, continuing an upward trend for the third consecutive year in CTE enrollment. These programs provide more than hands-on learning, they provide real-life application of lessons typically taught in a classroom setting and 21st Century skills that prepare students for life, no matter their postsecondary career path.
“Now more than ever, it’s important to highlight all pathways to great, high-demand and high-wage careers in Michigan among our young people,” Talent and Economic Development Interim Director Jeremy Hendges said. “Adding more than 1,300 students in one year is impressive and it shows the work we are doing to eliminate stereotypes surrounding these programs that have proven time and time again to be a great way for students to explore and land one of the thousands of good jobs available in the state is gaining momentum.”
The total number of students in CTE courses stands at 110,316 for the 2017-2018 school year, growing from 104,038 in the 2014-2015 school year to 107,930 in the 2015-2016 school year and 109,005 students in the 2016-2017 school year.
Similarly, the number of these high-tech, hands-on learning opportunities grew from 1,915 programs across the state during the 2016-2017 school year to 2,027 the next year. Among the most popular programs were those in agriculture, healthcare, business management and marketing, which account for 596 CTE programs serving nearly 54,000 high school students across Michigan.
“Our job as educators is to ensure a meaningful education experience for all students – one that prepares them for life after high school,” Interim State Superintendent Sheila Alles said. “CTE programs provide educators with an opportunity to do just that, while ensuring we continue to play an important and critical role in preparing our young people to become lifelong learners and the top-notch talent of tomorrow.”
As the state focuses on retaining and attracting young professionals in the science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) careers, CTE programs provide a fast track for students to get engaged in STEAM careers here at home.
Hendges said CTE programs are a great career path option for all students, helping them explore what they like and don’t like before starting their postsecondary education journey – be it an apprenticeship, two- or four-year degree, or specialized credential.
“As we continue our work to revolutionize our state’s education system with the Marshall Plan for Talent, CTE programs continue to embody a learning environment that equips our students with the knowledge they need for today and the future, and keep building Michigan into becoming a Top 10 education state in 10 years,” Alles said.
Expanded CTE programs and enrollment align with the Marshall Plan for Talent program launched earlier this year by Gov. Rick Snyder, the Talent and Economic Development Department and the Michigan Department of Education, as well as Michigan’s Top 10 in 10 initiative.