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Career and Technical Education Month

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Let’s Talk About CTE! 

What is it? CTE stands for Career and Technical Education. Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs are a sequence of courses that integrate core academic knowledge with technical and occupational skills to provide students with a pathway to postsecondary education, industry training and certification, and lifelong careers. CTE teaches transferable workplace skills in applied learning and project-based contexts, allowing students to explore high-demand career options while practicing the design, communication, financial and teamwork skills needed for success in adult life.

Why are we talking about it? February is Career and Technical Education month®, and we are celebrating by sharing our knowledge about CTE and spreading awareness of all the good that it does! 

Why are CTE classes special? CTE is proven to minimize the risk of students dropping out of high school, to increase high school graduation rates, and to increase students’ earning potential, among other things. CTE “concentrators” are students who take two or more CTE classes in their high school careers. 

Statistics* about CTE students in Minnesota in 2018:

  • 92% of secondary CTE concentrators graduated.
  • 69% of secondary CTE concentrators met performance goals for technical skills.
  • 82% of postsecondary CTE concentrators met performance goals for technical skills.
  • 87% of postsecondary CTE concentrators went on to the workforce, the military or an apprenticeship.

*Data from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education

CTE at Richfield

Richfield High School’s Career Technology Education begins a path to many career options including Construction, Architecture, Transportation and Energy, Family and Consumer Sciences, Business, and Technology. 

  • Our Family and Consumer Science (FACS) content areas at RHS include a sequence of classes in Culinary Arts (4 levels), Fashion and Apparel Construction (2 levels), and courses in Child Development, Interior Design, and independent living (Living on Your Own).
  • Also included in RHS’s CTE offerings are Business, Marketing, and Project Management courses, Personal Finance and Accounting courses, Graphic Design (Art Credit) and Advanced Website Design courses, Computer Science Python and Javascript Class, and an AP Computer Science Class in Java. There are also Information Technology Exploration courses, many of which are being offered online.  
  • Further courses (Metals & Advanced Metals; Woods & Advanced Woods) count for an Art credit, as well as being articulated in some cases for college credit. At a minimum, they precede a certification or a post-secondary program at Hennepin Technical College and other trade schools and tech schools, and they lead to several programs in the Hennepin Technical College Pathways Program.

Students can learn about the career opportunities in all of these fields, as well as gain hands-on experience and visit established craftspeople to talk more about the career possibilities. For example, through the CrewOUT Program, students work with professional-level craftspeople and visit places like the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center and Coremark Metals to create industry-level projects they design on equipment like a CNC plasma cutter.

More fun facts:

  • During the 2018-19 school year, Minnesota had 115,005 secondary CTE participants!
  • Minnesota students who enroll in two or more CTE courses have a high school graduation rate of 92 percent and nearly two-thirds (65 percent) enroll in postsecondary education.
  • In Minnesota, 86 percent of postsecondary students who completed a CTE program were placed in employment by the end of the second quarter following program completion.
  • Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of jobs will require some postsecondary training and/or education beyond high school.

You can find more information on the Minnesota Career and Technical Education website, or contact your RHS counselor to get involved!

CTE students in class



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