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February is CTE MONTH

KENANSVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA – February 1, 2019- Schools throughout the nation will celebrate Career and Technical Education (CTE) during the month of February, which has been designated as Career and Technical Education Month®.  Locally over 7,600 students in grades 6-12 benefit from CTE, an integral part of Duplin County Schools’ STEAMA initiative. The STEAMA concept is essential to our students because it provides personalized career pathways for all students by connecting curriculum and communities.  The CTE Month® national theme is “Celebrate Today, Own Tomorrow” and it is a time set aside to celebrate teachers, CTE students, and business and industry partners who work together to expand each student’s workforce knowledge and skills.

According to the Association for Career and Technical Education’s (ACTE) website, CTE “is education that directly prepares students for high-wage, high-demand careers. CTE covers many different fields, including health care, information technology, advanced manufacturing” and more.  “CTE encompasses many different types of education, from classroom learning to certification programs to work-based learning opportunities outside the classroom.”

In Duplin County Schools, CTE courses prepare students to be career and college ready by providing core academic skills, employability skills training and technical, job-specific skills through a range of course options.   CTE courses are offered to middle grades students in the areas of Business, Finance, Information Technology and STEM through Technology Education.  High school offerings are available in Agriculture, Business, Finance and Information Technology, Career Development, Family and Consumer Sciences, Health Sciences, STEM, Technology, and Trade/Industrial Education.  Career themed academies are currently available to afford students opportunities to earn advanced community college credit while in high school.  Duplin County Schools partners with the community college system to offer college courses to students through Career and College Promise, Core 44, and CTE Pathway opportunities.  CTE students have opportunities to participate in CTSO (Career and Technical Student Organization) activities at the local, state, and national levels.  

“Career and Technical Education has been helping prepare students for success in the global workforce for over 100 years,” says Tarla Smith, Chief of Staff for Innovation. “We work closely with and receive tremendous support from our Board of Education, Superintendent Dr. Austin Obasohan, the Duplin Partnership for Career Planning, James Sprunt Community College, business and industry partners, CTE teachers and many more as we strive to personalize learning pathways for students.”

Many of the high school CTE classes directly align with James Sprunt Community College course offerings, which upon successful completion, could lead to additional career credentials, a post-secondary diploma, associate degree, and/or up to two years of college credit.  Also under the CTE umbrella is JROTC, which is offered to high school students in three Duplin County high schools. JROTC focuses on character, academic achievement, wellness, leadership, and diversity.

The Duplin County Partnership for Career Planning Council provides an avenue for business/industry and the community college to be actively involved in the school system.  Eleventh grade job shadowing placements, special recognition celebrations, program advisement, career readiness workshops to enhance students’ soft skills, and 8th grade Career and College Fair opportunities are all activities sponsored through this partnership.

STEM opportunities for middle grades students are being provided through collaboration with the Golden Leaf Foundation, which has equipped all middle schools in DCS with PITSCO equipment and modules designed to enhance STEM instruction.   All K-8 schools have been equipped with STEM Missions Labs made possible through Education and Workforce Innovation funding. Additionally, all kindergarten through second grade classrooms have access to Lego® Education STEM resources, which integrate STEM throughout other areas of the curriculum such as reading and writing. Third through fifth grade students are learning robotics and coding using WeDo Lego® Robotics.  All elementary students have access to STEM in the Gym™ as well.

CTE is a critical component of our education system and is the piece that ties together academics and business and industry,” said Superintendent Dr. Austin Obasohan. “In keeping with the CTE Month® theme, we are celebrating CTE in Duplin County Schools today with the knowledge that our students will have a bright tomorrow.”