A Vision for Student CTE Success at Seminole County Virtual School
As an instructional designer and educator at the Seminole County Virtual School in Florida, my team works to ensure nearly 1,500 students in grades K-12 are provided with state-of-the art educational opportunities to succeed academically and personally using a technological environment. Ensuring our students develop Career and Technical Education (CTE) skills and certifications for the jobs of tomorrow is one of our most important goals. Here are a few keys to success when developing a CTE program that will help ensure students have the technology skills they need for college and their future careers.
I’ve had the opportunity to sit on committees in various districts over the years to discuss their technology initiatives. It’s common to have CTE training slated to start in the later high school years, unfortunately, that may be too late.
Research from the American College Testing organization reports that the level of academic achievement a student attains by eighth grade has the greatest impact on their college and career readiness by the time they graduate.
What’s become clear is that developing an understanding of technology skills in middle school, and even younger, is vital in preparing students to be career-ready if we want students and districts to take advantage of later year high school certifications that will carry them into the working world.
For any instructional goal to be met, it’s critical teachers are given the curriculum they need. In addition, what I have found to be most effective for educators to succeed is providing them with additional resources, on-going training, and time to plan. Having Learning.com’s EasyTech solution available to our teachers empowers them with the right resources and lesson plans to get students prepared for IC3 Spark certification testing. Using interactive lessons from the EasyTech digital literacy curriculum, our teachers can access a custom curriculum sequence designed to address the three objectives covered in the IC3 Spark: computing fundamentals, key applications, and living online.
Assess to Measure Success
Our virtual middle school course also focuses on curriculum delivery and mastery through attentive progress monitoring. Teacher created learning experiences, continued pre-testing and practice testing of students helps us celebrate successes and identify areas requiring additional practice, so we can work on bridging the learning gaps.
Career and Technical Education is no longer just about teaching students a specialized set of trade skills for entry-level jobs. Today, CTE is a cutting-edge credential that lets the world know students have been prepared with the right technical skills for the jobs of tomorrow.