Celebrating Career and Technical Education

Learning happens in many ways, but when it happens in an environment that is perfectly designed for an industry experience, with a teacher who has expertise in the area, nothing can be more exciting for a student aspiring to become an expert one day in a given career. Career and Technical Education (CTE) has evolved, with dedicated focus on adequately preparing students for their futures with the knowledge and experience they need to achieve. A plethora of opportunities exist for students today, with more on the horizon as careers continue to change and grow.

As a young student exposed to the content that CTE provides, career exploration begins to take shape. Students determine aspects of careers they like, and perhaps those that do not interest them. Both aspects of learning are important as students determine their pathways in life. In high school, CTE allows students to personalize their learning by making choices that best suit them, and both their future educational and career goals.

Careers, both high-wage and high-demand, coupled with regional needs and student interest, generally guide the program decisions of a district. A variety of Programs of Study exist, allowing for numerous student choices. For example, Culinary Arts provides for the dream of becoming a chef, and Aviation allows for experiences that may lead to that of a pilot. The many occupations that exist within a career pathway can be discovered in these continuous sequences of courses.

National data suggests that students who have been part of a rigorous CTE program may earn higher wages than those who were not. Many students cannot envision themselves in a certain career until they are able to be part of it. This is exactly what CTE does for students. It exposes them, and allows them to learn and practice in order to be prepared for their next steps. This could include going to work, preparing for a degree, or joining the military. In all cases, experiences prepare students, giving them confidence and a skillset for success.

VLK Architects has had the privilege to design, with educators, spaces that promote strong instruction. By dialoguing with industry leaders and educators, we have been able to provide for exciting learning environments that both emulate industries that interest students, and help provide for the high wage, high demand careers that our society and economy need. Successful students are our shared goal with our educational clients.