January 25, 2019 Richard Rezler
Washtenaw Community College has joined the national movement to celebrate Career and Technical Education (CTE).
WCC will host a number of events in February to highlight the value and accomplishments of CTE programs on our campus and across the country. The CTE Month awareness campaign, initiated by the Association for Career and Technical Education, engages K-12 and two- and four-year college educational systems to introduce students to CTE programs in career fields like health care, information technology, advanced manufacturing and many more.
CTE encompasses many types of education, from classroom learning to certification programs to work-based learning opportunities outside the classroom.
WCC Dean of Advanced Technologies and Public Service Careers Brandon Tucker said the college is "proud and excited" to support CTE month.
“During CTE Month, we seek to engage students, faculty and staff to inform and educate them about just what CTE represents and the variety of offerings available here at WCC,” Tucker said.
Anthony Webster, the college’s CTE Student Success Specialist, said organizers are working with the college's Career Services office to ensure students are connected with potential employers.
"Another focus of CTE Month is to inform current WCC students of the value in learning cutting-edge skills that will position them for limitless career opportunities once they have earned a certificate or associate degree," Webster said.
Advance CTE, a national non-profit representing secondary and postsecondary CTE education leaders across the country, estimates 12.5 million high school and college students are enrolled in CTE throughout the United States. Its research shows the high school graduation rate for CTE concentrators is about 90 percent, or 15 percent higher than the national average.
WCC Retention and Completion Specialist Apryl Scheffler said CTE programs are becoming a popular choice for students because they lead to careers that are in high demand.
"The end goal of an education is typically employment and students are realizing that CTE programs can make this happen for them,” Scheffler said.
Similarly, Tucker says that “across the institution, programs continue to impact the lives of students and our community by ensuring our workforce is ready for rapidly changing technological advancements.”
WCC offers degrees and/or certificates in more than 95 programs – ranging from 3D animation to welding – that are considered occupational by the State of Michigan. Information about those programs and additional CTE-related resources can be found at wccnet.edu/cte.
WCC’s planned CTE events include:
- Monday, Feb. 4: The CTE Month Kick-Off Celebration will be held in the Student Center from 12 to 2 p.m. Join us for give-a-ways, refreshments, information, and fun! There will also be information about how WCC students can sign up to get free business cards.
- Monday, Feb. 4: As a part of the 2019 STEM Week (February 4-8), the college is inviting WCC students, faculty, staff, and community members to campus to hear Aisha Bowe speak about her journey of success from WCC to NASA to owning her own company. Her talk will take place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in room 202 of the Great Lakes Regional Training Center. The event is free to all.
- Friday, Feb. 8 and Saturday, Feb. 16: WCC is hosting regional Skills USA competitions. High school students from around southeastern Michigan participating in Auto Service, Auto Body and Welding competitions in the college’s state-of-the-art labs will have an opportunity to learn more about WCC’s CTE programs.
- Thursday, Feb. 7 and Wednesday, Feb. 13: The college will hold a CTE-themed outreach visit to the Harriet Street Community Center and the Michigan Works office in Ypsilanti from 12 to 2 p.m. to engage community members in discussion around CTE and programs that could suit their interests and passions. Thursday, Feb. 7 is also the Michigan Works Career Fair.
- “CTE Awareness Hubs” will be operated throughout the month from 12 to 1 p.m. on various days in multiple campus locations. Webster and Scheffler, along with other campus representatives and current CTE students, will be at the Awareness Hubs to provide information on CTE resources and answer questions about programs at WCC.