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    Career and Technical Education: 24 Credits and Beyond
    Posted on 08/15/2018
    A student graduate accepts her diploma from a teacher

    Career and Technical Education: 24 Credits and Beyond

    Art Bennett, a graduate of Ingraham High School, was introduced to Career and Technical Education (CTE) through a health course. He recalls, “At first, it was all about getting a little extra credit, but little did I know it would lead to much more.” Bennett currently works for Premera Blue Cross as a team lead employer.

    Bennett believes that the skills gained through the CTE program have positively impacted his career journey. He notes that “The CTE program gave me an outlet to start being engaged in school. This lead to countless opportunities to speak in front of groups, as I became our high school’s Future Homemakers of America President. 20 years later, I am always the first one to volunteer to speak at big company meetings and have gained lots of great exposure from my willingness to volunteer and put myself out there, which all began in the CTE program.”

    The State of Washington has mandated that beginning with the Class of 2021, all Seattle Public School students will need to earn 24 credits to graduate (students currently need 21). The intent behind increasing credit requirements is to ensure that students are prepared for college and career. Visit the Washington State Board of Education for more about the graduation requirements.

    The 24 credit framework is designed to be flexible, so students can keep all post-secondary options open. After graduating with the 24 required credits, students can choose to enter a 4-year university, a 2-year community college program or an apprenticeship.

    As part of the 24-credit requirements, students must earn one credit in CTE. They can use that one credit as a starting point for high school CTE programs that lead to professional or technical certificates or degrees.

    Seattle Public Schools is committed to providing students with more learning opportunities to explore their interests through coursework. By enrolling in a CTE program, students gain many benefits. Participating in CTE teaches students skills for career and life.

    What are the benefits of CTE?

    1. CTE participation increases the likelihood of completing high school. In Washington, 92 percent of students who participate in CTE programs graduate, versus the state average of 78 percent. Read the Washington Association for Career and Technical Education one-page flyer for detailsPDF icon.
    2. CTE participation can lead to better labor market outcomes. Many regional industries, including aerospace, construction, healthcare and manufacturing hire students who have completed CTE programs.
    3. Students in CTE programs develop professional skills such as: communication, time management, self-motivation, decision making, leadership, adaptability and more.

    For Timbo Pham, the lessons learned through CTE participation have served him well since graduating. Reflecting on CTE, he writes that “In the courses, I learned important and practical information that I apply to real life. I also developed my voice in those courses, and it led me down my current career path.” Pham is currently a news anchor in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

    The CTE program will continue to build and expand its offerings for students, so students can have more access to work-site learning opportunities, including internships and apprenticeships. Another focus area is to expand partnerships with local employers in the area.

    For more information, visit the Career and Technical Education webpage, where you can find out about the Skills Center, CTE courses at individual schools, and ways to get involved. For more information about the new graduation requirements, please visit the 24 credit requirement FAQ.