Just like CTE students, teachers, and administrators, OVAE celebrates CTE every day of every month. However, during the month of February the pride is elevated with celebration and recognition for all that is CTE during “CTE Month”.
We used CTE Month 2013 as an opportunity to collaborate with our colleagues across the U.S. Department of Education (ED) as well as our dedicated professional associations. We shared the message that it was CTE month and CTE Works! (this year’s theme as designated by the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE)). It seemed that no workspace or office in OVAE was spared a CTE Month poster to hang with pride. We made sure to say “Happy CTE Month!” in our phone calls, office meetings, and every chance we had.
Secretary Arne Duncan, Deputy Secretary Tony Miller, Undersecretary Martha Kanter, and Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier all contributed to the OVAE Connection newsletter; supporting articles were also sent through the Teaching Matters newsletter and Homeroom, ED’s official blog.
We were excited and proud to see two CTE students were sitting in the First Lady’s box at President Obama’s State of the Union address.
The week of February 11th saw an increased volume of social media buzz about how CTE professionals and CTSO students were celebrating CTE Month. On my own hand held device, I read tweets and updates at #CTEMonth and #CareerTech.
ED staff also attended a student recognition event at McKinley Technology High School, which houses a STEM-focused CTE program where students have the opportunity to select one of four pathways in a STEM-related strand. The strands provide students with relevant, real-world project-based learning opportunities that prepare them for postsecondary education and 21st century careers.
On February 21st, ED hosted a policy briefing to all agency staff on how CTE is addressing the nation’s skills gap. The session included a pair of conversations – one with educators and business leaders, and a second with Career and Technical Students Organizations (CTSO) participants. Check out the blog post recapping the briefing.
Finally, the Secretary visited the Harbor School in New York City, a CTE school that prepare students for success in college and careers through restoration of the local marine environment.
As you can see, OVAE enjoyed celebrating CTE Month and looks forward to celebrating 2014 CTE Month with you next year!
Robin Utz is the Director of the College and Career Transitions Branch in the Division of Academic and Technical Education at OVAE