Seattle Schools has really kicked this department into gear. This follows a national reawakening (finally) that not every student is or wants to go to college.
Here's how the district describes it:
Career and Technical Education (CTE) is a planned program of courses and learning experiences that begins with exploration of career options, supports academic and life skills, and enables achievement of high academic standards, leadership, and preparation for career and college.From The Atlantic (bold mine):
Cross-crediting is where a Career and Technical Education course provides high school students with core credit towards graduation and college and university admissions. It blends academic and career & technical studies. This is an alternative way for students to meet graduation requirements, and supports pursuit of preparatory Career and Technical Education course sequences.
Transition services are services above and beyond conventional high school classes that provide extra support for students who need assistance in preparing for college, in obtaining and sustaining employment, in independent living skills, and in other areas necessary to independent and successful adult life. These services are mandated for students with disabilities, but there are many more students who need and will benefit from them.
Why should students have to go to college to find ways to be good at what they love? And why should what they love not sync in authentic, empowering ways with what they do in high school?From The Bellingham Herald, a story not directly about CTE but about the same kind of support for adults.
In Kentucky and other states around the U.S., dual-credit programs and community-college initiatives receive quite a bit of attention, and although I am not suggesting that these programs are unnecessary, I do believe it is important to be intentional in the creation and execution of such initiatives to avoid perpetuating biases and tracking students onto paths that do not empower them to capitalize on their strengths.
Although it is easy to proclaim to students coming of age that “you will make more money if you get a degree,” it is much more difficult to shed light on the intricacies of such a claim. I believe students should hear the whole story and more than one traditional path should be laid out before them.
A new, federally funded apprenticeship program aimed at diversifying the tech workforce in Washington has drawn interest from more than 1,000 applicants in just a few months.
And two of its earliest participants have already started yearlong, paid apprenticeships.
The program, called Apprenti, is being run by an industry trade association, the Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA). It’s funded in part by a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as with private money. It does not cost participants anything.
The trade association is working with Microsoft, Cisco, Code Fellows and other organizations to provide the training, then place the students in paid apprenticeships to further their training for another year.
Apprenti focuses on getting women, veterans and underrepresented minorities into tech fields – groups that have found it hard to break into the industry.What does the district offer?
- CTE opportunities at different schools, both courses and pathways
- Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (A&ES)
- Arts, Communications and Media (AC&M)
- Business, Marketing and Information Technology (BM&IT)
- Health and Human Services (H&HS)
- Science, Engineering and Industry (SE&I)
It's a bit troubling to call these "pathways" when only a few schools really offer enough classes to call their offerings a "pathway."
Ballard has most of the Agriculture and Environmental Sciences courses. I'm a little surprised to see none at Chief Sealth given their focus on water issues throughout the world.
The Arts, Communications and Media Pathway seems to have the most representation at the highest number of schools. Every high school has at least two (with Ballard, The Center School, Hale, and Roosevelt having the most). Nova, Rainier Beach and The World School have just one each.
Nearly every high school also has a BM&IT offering which also includes some math classes.
Health and Human Services also sees every high school with some kind of offering. What is odd is the lack of food courses at Rainier Beach given that they have a full student kitchen for just such classes.
Science, Engineering and Industry are fairly scant here, save Ballard and Cleveland.
There are also "Career Academies."
A Career Academy is part of a small learning community where students choose to focus on a specific career theme within the context of their education plans.
- Academy of Finance - offered at Ballard, Chief Sealth and Franklin)
- Academy of Hospitality and Tourism - Chief Sealth
- Ballard Maritime Academy
- Biotechnology Academy at Ballard
- CREATE Academy at Franklin
- John Stanford Public Service Academy at Franklin
- Cleveland STEM Career Academies - School of Life Sciences and Engineering and Design
Seattle Skills Center
The Seattle Skills Center is a Seattle Public Schools program to provide hands-on classes in real-world career fields at various school sites – all at no tuition cost.There are summer and school-year courses available. Most of the courses are at south-end high school.
Reasons to apply to Seattle Skills Center
- "Try out” a career field for free.
- Learn from industry professionals.
- Earn 1.5 high school credits.
- Earn college credit for free, in many cases.
- Earn industry certification, when relevant.
- Receive free transportation if the class is taught at another school.
- Increase confidence, interpersonal skills and leadership skills.
- Increase likelihood of graduating. (Skills Center participants graduate at a higher rate than non-participants.)
1) The biggest issue seems to be access. If you are interested in a pathway or academy, you have to be able to enroll in that school. Under the current Enrollment system, a student should, theoretically, be able to try to enroll at any high school (remember that 10% set-aside created just for this kind of need?) But we all know that isn't going to happen.
2) It would appear that some high schools, just as in other courses offerings, have many more than others. In particular, Ballard seems to be a powerhouse for these kinds of offerings especially around science.
3) At last week's Curriculum and Instruction meeting, the quarterly report of the Equitable Access to Programs and Services was presented. In it, there was notice that the Skills Center was trying to up its enrollment and be "financially self-sufficient."
Changes to CTE
- new video production offering, probably at The Center School or Franklin. The Center School probably needs this because they are such a small school and the district needs to make sure operating it makes fiscal sense (especially since the district leases the space.)
- Maritime Operations - likely another location at the Seattle Central College Annex
- Teaching Academy - this appears to be new and will be at South Lake High School
- Video Game Production:Animation/Programming - taught at the Seattle Center Armory
- Administrative Medical Office Assistant/Health Sciences/Medical Assisting - moving from Lincoln to Marshall while Lincoln is under construction but, due to low enrollment, will go from two sections to one
- Auto Body Collision Repair - this is being eliminated (it was offered at South Seattle CC) due to low enrollment
- Automotive Technology is moving from Washington Middle School to Rainier Beach, also due to low enrollment
- Culinary Arts - decreasing to one section, also due to low enrollment
- Multimedia Broadcasting at Hale is being eliminated due to low enrollment