February raises awareness in career and technical education


Sophomores Lane Eisenman and Christian Gonales work on a woods project in the shop.

With all of the various celebrations and history awareness days during the month of February, one is often overlooked. February is Career Technical Education (CTE) month, which was founded in order to raise awareness of classes and certifications that are offered within the high school setting. CTE teacher Kathleen Pilch said that she would like to see this awareness expand into something more such as celebrations for more student involvement.

Aside from general education classes such as English, math, history, and science, many classes are provided that give more of a hands-on immediate pay off in the job market. Some of these classes include CADD, Welding, Woodshop, Agriculture, PaCE, Prostart, Accounting, Marketing, Computer Literacy and Technology, Child and Family Studies, Clothing and Fashion Design, Interior Design, and several health classes.

Some of these classes, such as Basic Emergency, offer many students the opportunity to receive a certification, such as a CNA license that will allow the student to begin working immediately.

“These are project based learning classes that offer many certifications you can earn in high school that will help you enter the job market,” said Pilch. Some of the classes don’t actually offer a certification but still teach practical. These include more of the business classes that teach things such as accounting and basic business skills. Students in accounting learn such basic skills as how to write a check to more complex things such as payroll.

Other business classes teach the concepts of how businesses work from the technology to the traits of being a manager. Computer Literacy student, Sierra Bosley said, “We learn about computers and their components, which will help in the business world because we can fix problems that arise in technology.”

Aside from the classes, many CT&E clubs are offered as extracurricular activities to students. Future Business Leaders of America and FFA are some great examples. They give students hands-on experience, which can be judged in a competition. These clubs help breakdown the traditional boundaries that career tech classes are simply reading a book and filling out worksheets within the classroom. They expand into making the student want to compete and become better at what they are already learning about in the classroom. For some students, this is a large step into the job market because of the connections they make with future employers and references and the ability to prove their skills beyond book smarts.

Students can find more information about these classes and clubs from the course guidebook, counselors, a CTE teacher, or a student who is already enrolled in one of these classes. Students who have taken CT&E classes or are currently enrolled can provide some of the best information because of their first-hand experience.