In the past, high school Career and Technical Education was known as Vocational Education, and those funneled into these programs were mostly students headed for the workforce instead of college.
However, today’s high school CTE centers bear little resemblance to the voc ed and shop classes of the past. Modern Career and Technical Education centers located at Alvirne High School, Milford High School, Nashua High School North and South, and 25 other sites across New Hampshire, provide students with a 21st century, career-focused education that’s designed to inspire, empower and prepare them for college, career and life success.
Career and Technical Education has come a long way in the last decade. Today’s CTE programs not only teach students real-world knowledge and skills, but increasingly provide them with opportunities to gain dual enrollment college credits, industry-recognized certifications and credentials, and meaningful work-based learning experiences – before they graduate high school.
Here are some facts about today’s CTE that might surprise you:
- 95% of CTE students graduate high school – 10% higher than the national average
- 78% of CTE graduates enroll in postsecondary education full-time – 8% higher than the national average
- 94% of today’s high school students experience some degree of CTE courses
- 1/3 of all high school dual enrollment college credits come from CTE courses
- 82% of CTE students say they’re “satisfied” with career opportunities
- 80% of CTE students say CTE classes helped them “know where they were headed”
Career and Technical Education celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2017. The federal Smith-Hughes National Vocational Education Act signed in 1917 marked the first nationwide investment in career training at the secondary level.
That initial investment was continued through the Vocational Education Act, authorized in 1963, which was renamed the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act in 1984. Congress has reauthorized that act four times since then. The latest reauthorization, Perkins V, was signed into law in 2018, and nearly doubled the annual federal commitment to CTE to about $2.1 billion by 2021.
New Hampshire received $6,148,797 in federal CTE funding in 2019, which is distributed by the NH Department of Education to support the state’s 28 CTE centers, serving more than 9,350 students across the state.