February is CTE Month: CCISD provides many career opportunities

February is CTE Month: CCISD provides many career opportunities

Editor’s Note: This is the first instalment of a month-long series examining CTE options and career pathways available to Copper Country students.

HANCOCK — February is Career and Technical Education (or CTE) Month. The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity encourages students to explore technical education opportunities and career pathways throughout the month.

There is an average of more than 520,000 Michigan job openings projected annually through 2030, stated the LEO in a Feb.1 press statement. CTE offers high school and college students hands-on learning experiences that can be applied to real-world training and career pathways.

During February, students of all ages are encouraged to explore viable programs across the state that prepare them for successful career entry, advancement and continuing education.

The LEO website states that high schools, colleges and some universities across Michigan offer CTE programs aligned with in-demand, high-wage careers in fields such as business, information technology, health care, hospitality and manufacturing. Most high school programs also offer early college credit opportunities to provide a seamless transition to postsecondary education. The Copper Country Intermediate School District is among them.

The students within the 13 school districts of Copper Country Intermediate School District, including those homeschooled, have a surprising number of CTE programs available. These include:

• Automotive Technology

• Business/Entrepreneurship (Baraga County)

• Construction Technology (Baraga and Houghton counties).

• Health Occupations (Baraga and Houghton counties)

• Certified Nursing Assistant

• Education

• Welding/Manufacturing (Baraga and Houghton counties)

• Culinary

• Mechatronics

• Graphic Design and Marketing

The CCISD’s CTE website states that Michigan Technological University, Ferris State University and Gogebic Community College offer the opportunity to gain advanced placement credit to those students who are enrolled in or have taken, Career & Technical Education courses. This is made possible through articulation agreements the CCISD has arranged with the above-named educational institutions. Articulation is where Career & Technical Education students who have demonstrated specific skills through an assessment process are granted college credit for those skills when they enroll at a participating college or university. The articulation agreements are generally specific to the Career & Technical Education courses the student takes. If you enroll at one of the educational institutions above, check with the admissions office to determine if your Career & Technical Education course is eligible for advanced placement credit. There is no charge for college credit when the student successfully demonstrates that the specific skills have been learned.

The website also states that companies, including those in this region, are part of a rapidly expanding global economy and need employees with high-level technical and academic skills to remain competitive.

The high demand for people with these skills creates a great opportunity for students, says the website. Whether the student’s goal is work or college following high school, CTE can prepare him or her with the academic background, technical ability, and work experience to open the doors to various career opportunities worldwide.

“Those who participate in Career Technical Education programs are more engaged, earn degrees and industry-recognized credentials, and have careers that are both rewarding and self-sustaining,” said Stephanie Beckhorn, Director of LEO’s Office of Employment and Training. “That’s why we’re working hard to ensure all students have equitable access to CTE opportunities.”

During the 2021-2022 school year, 106,077 secondary students were enrolled in 2,130 CTE programs.

According to the 2021-22 follow-up survey (six months after exiting high school), CTE concentrators reported a placement rate of 95.2%. Specifically, 68.4% of CTE concentrators were continuing their education, 56.7% were employed, 2% were in the military, and 0.1% were participating in national, community service or the Peace Corps. In addition, 71% reported using the skills learned in their CTE programs for continuing education or in their current job.


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