Career and Technical Education offers new opportunities

A virtual Career and Technical Education program will create opportunities to enhance your existing curriculum, reach out to your community, involve parents, and leverage your existing staff efficiently and economically

career-technical-education“What do you want to be when you grow up?” This question still raises a level of uncertainty, even among adults. And with new 21st century careers and increased demands on graduates to be competitive in the global marketplace, providing our students with rich career training is more crucial now than ever.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) can offer students a glimpse at the career horizon that awaits them by surveying a number of innovative career paths, or it can provide an in-depth study for those who have honed their focus and wish to be a step ahead when they graduate from high school.

To support students in their career exploration, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc*) has identified 16 unique career clusters. Each cluster is broken into numerous courses. While the breadth of offerings available to students allows for personal selection and individual study, the expansion of offerings puts a strain on the traditional classroom.

(Next page: How a virtual Career and Technical Education program improves learning)

Let Virtual CTE Learning Help:

  • Expand your course offerings. Think of the number of careers available and then consider the 21st century careers that have yet to be created. Partnering with a virtual CTE learning provider empowers your staff by providing a broad range of engaging curriculum aligned to national CTE standards. Supporting highly qualified staff with CTE courses and opening the door for new electives adds options to your course catalog.
  • Individualize student instruction. With a variety of career pathways available, the world of opportunity becomes larger for students. Through CTE, students are exposed to the specific skill-sets, job expectations, rewards, and demands of the career before they venture down a potentially expensive or time-consuming path. Their decisions are more informed, and they are more prepared for their post-graduate opportunities.
  • Add more hours to the day. There may only be 24 hours in a day, but we look for ways to maximize their effectiveness. Districts add zero hours, A hours, and Z hours to the day, many times to accommodate the demanding schedules of working and highly-achieving students. Virtual career offerings are especially appropriate, as they provide the career focus desired by these students while giving them the flexibility their schedules require.
  • Enhance continuity of education. Unfortunately, things happen that can derail a student’s learning—illness, misbehavior, even bullying can interrupt a student’s attendance. Long-term absences can become an unfortunate reality, and students often struggle to continue their education. Either a virtual or a blended-learning approach can support these students in their career pursuits by providing an uninterrupted learning path.

Steps to Consider when Beginning a Virtual CTE program:

Establish a vision. Consider the benefit that you wish to gain from your virtual CTE program.

  • Is it to help meet CTE credits for state graduation requirements?
  • Is it to increase options for elective credits?
  • Which career clusters are of highest interest to your community or region?
  • Who may be best served by the CTE offerings?

Recognize your resources. Pay close attention to your human resources.

  • Which teachers will play a key role in building your program?
  • Are there businesses in your community with which you can partner to offer local internships and take your CTE offerings to the next level after course completion?
  • What opportunities will a virtual CTE program create for parental involvement and buy-in?

Consider cross-curricular opportunities. Maximize the curriculum available to benefit school-wide goals.

  • Can you utilize your CTE offerings to enhance your core curriculum? (CTE STEM courses may provide enrichment opportunities when used for class, group, or individual projects within your math or science classes.)

Providing comprehensive and robust CTE offerings will have a clear and significant effect on the overall spectrum of your curriculum. Furthermore, a virtual CTE learning option will open doors to your students that are simply not available via traditional curriculum delivery. It will ease staffing issues internally as well as enrollment issues within your student body.

A virtual CTE program will create opportunities to enhance your existing curriculum, reach out to your community, involve parents, and leverage your existing staff efficiently and economically. Clearly, there is no better way to prepare your students for the 21st century global marketplace.

Susan Johnson is a former educator that now serves as the Vice President of Curriculum Development for Odysseyware, a leading curriculum provider offering 55 unique CTE courses in 7 different career clusters.

Sign up for our K-12 newsletter

Newsletter: Innovations in K12 Education
By submitting your information, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Latest posts by Susan Johnson (see all)

Want to share a great resource? Let us know at

New Resource Center
Explore the latest information we’ve curated to help educators understand and embrace the ever-evolving science of reading.
Get Free Access Today!

"*" indicates required fields

Email Newsletters:

By submitting your information, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

eSchool News uses cookies to improve your experience. Visit our Privacy Policy for more information.