CTE - Learning that works for America

Each February, we celebrate CTE Month to raise awareness of how this pathway for education preparesstudents for future success. When students take Career and Technical Education courses in middle school and high school, they have the opportunity to explore a range of career paths while earning real-life work experience, college credits and more. With 16 in-demand workforce areas, ranging from agriculture to science to hospitality, CTE offers something for everyone.

Some quick facts about CTE in Colorado:

  • 82% of CTE students are satisfied with their ability to learn real-world skills in school, compared with only 51% of non-CTE students.
  • 91% of parents of students in CTE believe their child is getting a leg up in their career, compared to only 44% of prospective parents.
  • Students involved in CTE are far less likely to drop out of high school than the national average, a difference estimated to save the economy $168 billion each year.

CCCS is the only community college system in the nation to house state-wide CTE operations.

CTE Month is also a time for us to celebrate the ways in which CTE has elevated our state’s ability to serve all students. Colorado is the only state housing CTE operations within a community college system. This unique structure allows Colorado Community College System to leverage its internal resources across the board, reaching students more efficiently and developing pathways for continued success from middle school to high school and through higher education and into the workforce. In fact, over 150,000 middle and high school students take CTE courses through the Colorado Community College System and our partners; and of the high school students we serve, 1,600 will earn a CTE certificate, helping them jumpstart their career after high school.

CTE ensures a thriving Colorado economy by providing relevant and rigorous education that is connected, responsive and real.

While we are making great strides in Colorado CTE, we know there is still more to be done. We are in the process of developing a statewide strategic vision and plan that considers our unique landscape and opportunities over the next five years. As part of this process, we will host public meetings over the next few months with business professionals, students, parents and community supporters to find out how we can improve our CTE programming across the state. This feedback will help us ensure we are providing learners access to quality CTE programs aligned with industry demand and that lead to high wage, high skill, in-demand employment. 

Throughout the month of February, we’ll also spend time highlighting success stories from the Colorado CTE programs. Organizations like Centura Health, a leader in leveraging CTE to find solutions for fillingindemand healthcare jobs in the South Metro Area. Or the Parker Chamber of Commerce, another community leader driving conversations about the value of workplace experiences for students in Douglas County. Or the students who have taken the opportunity to pursue their interests while learning real-life skills through CTE programs across the state.

To learn more about Career and Technical Education opportunities in Colorado, visit coloradostateplan.com. If you have questions or feedback for the visioning process or would like to get involved, please email cte@cccs.edu.