Starting Career Life Early

Exploring the importance of CTE in high school.


Strategic Energy Innovations

Students do hands-on CTE activities.

Theresa Jobish, Staff Writer

High academic achievement is not every students’ goal. Is it good? Yes it is, but everyone has different dreams and aspirations about the future. Doctors, teachers, mechanics, coders, firemen, police, nurses, cleaners, movie stars–there are so many options out there in the world, and Career and Technical Pathways give kids an opportunity to delve deeper into their desired future. These classes also help kids realize their passion. CTE classes have not been very popular since their decline “starting in the 1980s. States increased… in core academic areas such as math, science, social studies and foreign language,” according to the article “What we know about Career and Technical Education in High School,” by Brian A. Jacob. Even though mandatory high school classes teach students and prepare them for college, then their career, this system does not satisfy the desires of those who do not want to go to college.

“Core academic classes might not help everyone according to what they want to do. Sometimes if they want to choose a certain math to do and then stop, then they can continue doing something that trains them specifically for a career,” said Suncoast sophomore Sophonise Pierre. These kids are no less ambitious than those who want to take the core academic classes and go for college. It just proves to show the diversity within the student community and different priorities. “CTE curriculum prepares students with key competencies such as critical thinking, communication, and teamwork,” according to the article “Typing in the 1980’s — and the Decline of Women Choosing Career and Technical Education’’ by Lynne Graziano. Suncoast Community High School also offers an area of CTE classes. “We have drafting and engineering classes and even database classes. Other classes such as photoshop, adobe illustrator, premier pro, and gaming taught by teachers at this school are present to help students. We are attempting to expand it and add additional ones. There is only so much such a small and specialized school could do,” said a Suncoast CTE teacher.

Simple but important concepts like these are incorporated into young children’s minds so they can apply it when they grow up. Even in high school, to further develop these skills even more realistically can help train a student and shape a young adult for future success. Other interesting classes include game simulation and animation programming taught by CTE teacher, Kevin Lumley. “I primarily teach programming and how to apply interactive experiences. There is an involvement of art techniques and work in 3D and 2D animations,” Lumley said. CTE classes help students focus on subjects they are more interested in and give them a higher chance of graduating from high school. This opportunity not only helps students, but promotes the school and the diverse programs a school offers. “CTE classes give student options to various skill sets which are not taught at every school or in every class. Options are important besides the standard core classes. It explores further potential,” Lumley said. For those who are interested, it is nice to know that even a Choice Program school like Suncoast offers classes preparing students for skills they will need in the future.