On January 18th, ESUs 9, 10, and 11 came together to hold the 9th annual Career & Technical Education (CTE) Collaboration Day. This is one of the largest professional learning opportunities for Career Educators in Nebraska, second only to the statewide Nebraska Career Education Conference held in June every year. It was an outstanding day of learning, networking, and collaborating funded through Federal Carl Perkins dollars. Educators participating in the day had an opportunity to hear from NDE Career Field Specialists, the Nebraska Director and Assistant Director of Career Education, as well as other career educators who have found creative ways to meet the career education needs of their students.
Nebraska is the only state in the country that does not provide specific funding for career and technical education programs when allocating state education funding. This fact makes days like January 18th even more critical to ensuring Career Educators have what they need to prepare today’s youth for a future career. This is evident in the findings from a recently released study concerning Career and Technical Education’s (CTE) impact on postsecondary outcomes in Nebraska and South Dakota. Key findings from this impact study indicated CTE Concentrators were more likely than non-CTE Concentrators to:
• Graduate from high school on time and to enroll in postsecondary education
• Earn any kind of postsecondary award within two years of and within five years of their expected high school graduation year
• Attain a postsecondary award up to an associate’s degree within five years of their expected graduation year
Regardless of Career Cluster, high school graduation rates were consistently higher for CTE concentrators than non-CTE concentrators in the study. Imagine if each student had access to top-quality career CTE programs. CTE programs are vital to preparing students for a career that will help them be productive members of their communities.
ESU 10 continues to administer Federal Perkins funds through a 29-member consortium of smaller schools in our service area. We continue to look for flexible ways to support career educators, including partnering with neighbor ESUs to provide vital Professional Learning.