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How to Connect Students to Real-World Opportunities Through CTE Programs

How to Connect Students to Real-World Opportunities Through CTE Programs

Over the last decade, state and national organizations have a renewed focus on the development of career and technical education (CTE) programs in schools and districts across the country. CTE prepares students for a variety of skill-based jobs, with the education curriculum focusing on the real-world experiences that students will face in a future career path. CTE-focused careers are more in demand than ever, and many schools are working on developing programs that will prepare their students for career success.

To help support your CTE program development and meet the current need for in-demand jobs, we’ve developed an excellent resource to help you develop you get started. Download it here for more information!

How can you connect your students to real-world opportunities? Here are three simple ideas to get you started.

  1. Student Organizations

Student organizations are a great way to explore potential career interests. Many student-led organizations offer opportunities to explore potential career fields, such as marketing, agriculture, or health occupations; to network with professionals; to engage in competition; and to explore hands-on experiences in a field of their choice. Not only does it look good on a college application for students to be a part of an organization, but also it allows students to meet new friends, try new things, and most importantly, have fun! Help your students find organizations that are geared toward their career interests, or help start a certain student organization at your own school. Not sure where to start? Check out this list of some of the large, national student organizations, curated by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education.

  1. Internships/Externships

Many students benefit from hands-on experience in a chosen career field, and internships are a great way to do so. Consider encouraging your students to apply for internships, both during the summer and school year, to further explore their field of choice. Internships are a great way to break into certain career fields, and they can help students apply for and land future job opportunities. Externships are shorter job-shadowing opportunities that can often be completed during a school break. Here’s a database of high school internships for your students to browse.

  1. Mentorship Programs

Positive role models and mentors not only are important for student growth and development, but they also can help students navigate the challenges of choosing a career path. Consider connecting your students to outside mentors or mentorship programs within your community. A mentor in your students’ life can help them explore career opportunities and even pick up some intangible benefits as well. Direct your students to to help them begin their search.

CTE programs are the foundation for career success for many students. Download our FREE guide to designing a CTE program, and start developing yours today!