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Career & Technical Education: Opening Opportunities for Students in an Ever-Changing World

By Tripp Jennings, Assistant Director of CTE K-12

Career & Technical Education courses and pathways in Sarasota County Schools prepare students to be college and career ready by providing core academic skills, industry-recognized certifications, and technical, job-specific training.

Becoming educated in high-wage, high-skill, high-demand careers in established and emerging local industries is an integral part of CTE education. Through hands-on activities and peer collaboration, students use industry standard equipment and real world examples in laboratory settings to remain highly engaged while learning skills that will help them in their future careers.

Partnerships with local industries enable clear pathways to internships, certifications, college degrees, and/or careers. CTE students have the ability to participate in Career & Technical Student Organizations such as Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Florida Future Educators of America (FFEA), Future Farmers of America (FFA), SkillsUSA and Technology Student Association (TSA), among others. The benefits of student participation in these organizations are profound, and include the development of interpersonal relationships, as well as improved communication, project management, and decisions-making skills. Students can see firsthand how their interests and skills can take them into a successful future.

In general, students immersed in CTE curriculum and activities are exposed to real-life scenarios which demand expertise. Students take their problem-solving skills and leadership style to the next level on a routine basis. Research shows that CTE students convey a sense of heightened responsibility and accountability, all while developing an appreciation for, and understanding of, cultural diversity with each higher level of engagement.