Career and technical education (CTE) is gaining traction as a strategy for preparing youth for college and careers. While the growth of CTE is encouraging, attention must be paid to issues of equity to ensure that all students have opportunity to benefit. My colleague from Jobs for the Future, Nancy Hoffman, recently posted a blog that identifies ten equity considerations that should be considered as educators seek to expand student access to programs. Check out Nancy's blog here: http://www.jff.org/blog/2018/02/13/10-equity-questions-ask-about-career-and-technical-education. What questions resonated with you?
- Are CTE students' aspirations based on well-informed decisions, not demographics, and do they reflect the full spectrum of postsecondary options, including apprenticeship, certifications, community college, four-year institutions, and beyond?
- Do CTE students complete all the foundational discipline courses required to enter a four-year college, should they wish to do so?
I was particularly struck and appreciate Ms. Hoffman's inclusion of the "student's perspective" in these two questions. There is usually such an emphasis on the bigger data, school districts' need to fulfill goals etc. that we forget that the student is an individual with aspirations and wishes/desires.
This is an excellent list of questions. The two that resonate most with me are these which reflect on the need for diverse, and self-reflective partnerships, outside of the K-12 school system. In order to build true career pathways for our secondary students, we need to ensure that we create opportunities as diverse and inclusive as our CTE programs.
6. With which higher education institutions does the CTE program/school have partnerships?
8. Does the CTE program provide high-quality work-based learning experiences supervised by employers and include time for learning from work?
LINCS Career Pathways Moderator