Educating the Workforce of Tomorrow Fall 2017 - Page 7

LOCAL INITIATIVES At the local level, educators are rethinking high school coursework to build student pathways into high-demand jobs, and are working with higher education leaders to provide students opportunities to earn college credits while enrolled in high school. These efforts are showing measurable results. Career And Technical Education – Rigorous, Career-Aligned Learning In 2012, Tennessee revised its Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs of study to provide students a sequenced path to careers that can sustain a family CTE Concentrators In Tennessee High school students who take three or more CTE courses in a single area of study are known as CTE concentrators. and have lasting potential in a changing economy. First, the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) identified and retired courses and programs of study leading to economic dead ends, and aligned state- approved courses to 16 modern career clusters. Then, Tennessee rewrote CTE course standards to focus on industry expectations, literacy, and writing, and • By 12th grade, 46 percent of Tennessee’s 2012 freshman high school student cohort concentrated in a CTE path. • Between 2012 and 2016, the number of CTE concentrators grew by 18 percent. • Of the 2011 freshman student cohort who became CTE concentrators, 65 percent enrolled in a community, technical, or four-year college. developed course exams to equip educators with tools to understand students’ progression through programs Number of CTE Concentrators in Tennessee, by School Year of study. 40,000 A particularly promising area of CTE coursework involves science, technology, engineering, and math 30,000 25,795 28,136 30,213 30,386 2014-15 2015-16 (STEM). STEM is an educational approach that links classroom learning to the knowledge and skills required by careers involving applied math, creative thinking, and analysis. Through a STEM approach, teachers connect otherwise separate academic content through cross-disciplinary projects. For 20,000 10,000 0 2012-13 2013-14 example, a STEM-based robotics program requires the use of math, computer coding, and engineering. Source: Tennessee Department of Education, 2017 6