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Campus Connection - Career & technical education ‘Your pathway to the future’

Article Date: 
5 April, 2013 (All day)

Career and Technical Education (CTE) at Morgan High School is designed to prepare students for a successful career and a smooth transition into postsecondary education. Postsecondary education may be technical school, a two-year college or a four-year college. Whichever route a student chooses, CTE is there to help them prepare and plan for their future.  Students are encouraged to explore a variety of career areas throughout high school in an effort to build the academic knowledge, technical skills and employment skills that are vital to entering the current and future workforce. 
Career and Technical Education is the new face of the former Industrial Arts or Vocational Programs that were offered in most high schools since their inception in the early 20th century. However, there are major differences between the old vocational programs and the new CTE programs that are available in today’s high schools. Vocational training was for a “few” students who were interested in learning a skill while CTE is for all students. Vocational classes prepared students for a few jobs that were available; CTE now ties in with “all” careers from farming to advanced medical. In fact in reviewing Forbes list of the top 20 fastest growing occupations, 20 of 20 in the next 10 years will require some CTE training.  In the past many looked at vocational programs as a substitute for academics. In contrast CTE aligns with and supports all academic areas. A vocational program was viewed as an alternative to college, but CTE provides pathways that lead to all post secondary education from technical training certificates to every level of college degrees available.  This is accomplished through high school and college transition partnerships. In contrast to the former vocational programs, the CTE goal is to have “all” CTE students participating in a post-secondary educational program.
Morgan High School currently offers a wide variety (50) of CTE courses of which 11 offer credit in academic areas such as science, fine arts and language arts. Additionally we offer nine CTE concurrent enrollment classes where students earn college credit from colleges such as Weber State University, Utah State University and Utah Valley University. Through partnerships with DATC and OWATC students may work towards a variety of certificates or credentials in electronics, plumbing, drafting, machining, welding, dental assisting, registered nursing, etc. DATC is currently offering programs on the Morgan campus that will allow students to earn a CNA certificate or certify in welding to industry standards as well as American Sign Language (ASL).
Because of the strong relationship between the CTE courses and the academic courses, we are constantly looking to develop new classes that address the relevance of traditional academic classes. One such class is the material science course that is currently being taught at Morgan High School. This is a practical course that provides hands-on learning of a combination of subjects that are related to physics, chemistry, construction and manufacturing.  This course can feed students directly into the new composites program at the DATC, where students are being trained to work with the composites industry to build things like the new generation of fighter planes at Hill Air force Base.
CTE is a very important part of the educational system. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that in the year 2000, 65 percent of the available jobs required a skilled or technical background. This statistic indicates that all students should be involved in CTE courses. In Utah over 37,000 students will start the ninth grade this year.  Of these it is estimated that only 6,000 will receive a bachelor’s degree. CTE programs can assist the other 31,000 students in acquiring certificates or associate degrees that will help them reach their career goals. Even one year of post-secondary education will increase lifetime earnings by as much as 15 percent. The National Center for Education Statistics has indicated that students who participate in concurrent enrollment and Career and Technical pathways are more likely to graduate from high school and pursue and complete a post-secondary education. An ASCA and Schools That Work Study found that students participating in CTE programs find greater success in school.
Career and Technical Education at Morgan High School offers students options in meeting their goals, helps them identify their interests and abilities, and focuses those interests and abilities towards future educational and employment opportunities.
For more information about CTE programs and Pathways at Morgan High School, contact the high school counseling center.