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CTE for a Stronger America and Stronger ND

Career and Technical Education (CTE) is at the forefront of our nation and state’s efforts to drive America’s success and grow our future workforce. Regardless of the political divide in Washington DC, Congress overwhelmingly voted (93-7) to approve the reauthorization of the Carl Perkins Act, increasing basic funding for career and technical education. In North Dakota, Choice-Ready and Military options for students have increased the spotlight on workforce ready skills and intentional work experiences, while the Mainstreet Initiative boasts the need for a 21st Century Workforce.

In 2017, Advance CTE commissioned a national survey to better understand the opportunity of CTE, which was outlined in a report, "The Value and Promise of Career Technical Education: Results from a National Survey of Parents and Students."

“Career Technical Education (CTE) has come a long way in the last decade. CTE programs not only teach students real-world knowledge and skills, but increasingly provide opportunities for dual enrollment, industry-recognized credentials and meaningful work-based learning experiences. Yet, despite the many benefits of CTE – including a graduation rate for CTE students that is 93 percent, compared to a national average of 82 percent – there are still challenges with limited awareness and outdated perceptions of CTE.”

Through this work, Advance CTE found that:

  • Finding a career passion was the most important critical selling point for parents and students (over 90 percent) – even surpassing having a career that pays well;
  • The vast majority of parents and students (85 percent) continue to value college as the post-high school aspiration;  
  • Across the board, CTE programs are most valued for their ability to provide real-world skills within the education system, offering concrete and tangible benefits related to college and career success;  
  • These findings were consistent across all socio-economic groups, with a notably higher appreciation for high school CTE graduation success amongst lower-income, black and Hispanic groups; and
  • Counselors, teachers and CTE students and alumni are among the most trusted sources of information for students and parents alike.

In some regions, enrollment in CTE programs has remained stagnant over the last decade while demand soars for skilled employees in today’s workplace. In North Dakota, ND CTE concentrators completing two or more high school credits in a career pathway graduate at a higher rate 94.8% versus their peers at 87.2%. To prepare all learners for success in their career of choice, more parents, teachers, students and community members must understand all that CTE has to offer.

To learn more out students options for career education in the region, check out Fargo Public Schools and Cass County CTE Center - Program of Studies to review course offerings in agriculture education, automotive technology, aviation, business education, construction technology, diesel technology, family and consumer sciences, health sciences, information technology, marketing education, manufacturing, and welding.

Denise Jonas, Ed.D.

Cass CTE Director