Illinois Community Colleges Celebrate National Career and Technical Education Month

SOUTH HOLLAND – Career and Technical Education (CTE) plays a vital role in meeting workforce demands by preparing individuals for high-skill, in-demand jobs that further Illinois’ global competitiveness. Last year roughly two-thirds (66.9%) of all Illinois community college graduates earned a CTE degree or certificate. The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) will join others across the nation during the month of February to celebrate national Career and Technical Education Month. This year’s theme is Opportunities for Career Success!

Illinois has seen continued growth and demand for postsecondary CTE in both higher completion rates and increased program offerings. Since fiscal year 2011, overall, CTE graduates have increased approximately 12 percent at Illinois’ community colleges. To meet workforce demands, 615 new CTE programs were approved last year at community colleges across the state.

“Career and technical education programs are at the core of the community college’s mission to provide educational opportunities tailored to local business and industry needs,” said ICCB executive director Dr. Karen Hunter Anderson. “By partnering with local, regional and national employers, CTE programs are investing in students and providing them with the latest technology and skills that will prepare them to become successful employees and future leaders.”

Carol Brooks, Executive Director of Career Development System in Oak Forest has this to add: “The benefits of career and technical education are extensive, playing a vital role in preparing high school students to transition to South Suburban College and/or the workforce. There are many opportunities for students to earn college credit while in high school through successful completion of CTE courses. In addition, CTE industry credentials are available for students to earn in the high school classroom, thus providing another facet towards their future careers.”

The number of students who were members of a state-recognized Career & Technical Student Organization (CTSOs) in 2014-15 totaled 34,393. “Students who participate in CTSOs demonstrate higher levels of academic engagement and motivation, civic engagement, career self-efficacy, and employability skills than other students.” (National Coordinating Council for CTSOs, 2015)

Resource: 2015 ILLINOIS CTE by the Numbers

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