Career & Technical Education

Career & Technical Education

The reason why we educate our students is to help them become college and career ready. Berrien County superintendents support the full funding of comprehensive programs that provide career planning and development, career training and work-related basic skills. Career & Technical Education (CTE) is one avenue students use to help them prepare to become successful citizens. It is important for students to have this option, as well as 5th Year Early/Middle College, dual enrollment, and early college programs.

Berrien County’s CTE programs are operated through the PA 56 Consortium. The Consortium is a network of programs offered by multiple school districts where students from anywhere in Berrien County can attend a program, offering an economy of scale system to make CTE opportunities affordable for all. Therefore, Berrien County superintendents support continued funding relative to categorical (Section 61) and Federal CTE Perkins.

Call to Action

  • Consider allowing Career and Technical Education programs to utilize Section 61b funds to develop new CTE programs.
  • Understand that CTE is not for “some” students or “those” students. With the range of programming options offered, CTE is for everyone.
  • Continue to support flexibility in how required Michigan Merit Curriculum credits can be satisfied through Career & Technical Education. Additionally, allow students to continue to benefit from credit flexibility through the 5th Year Early/Middle College program.
  • Offer more collaborative opportunities for businesses and schools to partner together to offer CTE programming.
  • Help business leaders and investors recognize that CTE begins in the K-12 environment. Skills are the further defined through community college coursework and post-secondary certification.
  • Support CTE by having conversations with families that encourages career exploration. CTE can be the pathway for students to become well-rounded and successful citizens.
  • Work to improve Michigan’s infrastructure to attract industries to the state as well as appealing to new graduates.

Supported by:

No state education associations have indicated opposition to more flexibility in the Michigan Merit Curriculum.

Did you know:

  • A sizable professional trades shortage exists in Michigan and is expected to continue through 2024. Professional trades will account for more than 500,000 jobs in the Michigan economy, and approximately 15,000 new job openings are expected annually in the state during that time. (Source: Michigan Future Talent Council)
  • Seventy-six percent of Berrien County 11th and 12th grade students participated in CTE programs in 2017-18.
  • 4,068 college credits have been earned through the 5th Early/ Middle College and 41 associate degrees have been awarded since the program began in 2016. (Source: Berrien RESA CTE Department)

Matching the Education System to the Workforce:

Seven out of 10 students need CTE to be successful in life. Think about this scenario:

  • Ten students are on a school bus headed to kindergarten.
  • Of those students who began school together, upon high school graduation 8 students remain on the bus, two do not enroll in college.
  • During college, 6 of the students are still on the bus - three drop out of college without a credential.
  • At the end of four years, three students stays on the bus, earning a degree (however have changed their major multiple times along the way).
  • The 7 students who did not complete college have joined the workforce unprepared. CTE in high school would have prepared these 7 students with the skills they needed to be successful.

For every 10 jobs in America’s economy:

  • One out of 10 jobs require a master’s degree or more education.
  • Two out of 10 jobs require bachelor’s degrees.
  • Seven out of 10 jobs require 1-year certifications or 2-year degrees.

(Based on data provided by Van Buren ISD)

Current Legislation

Bill Number
SB 171
Allows American Sign Language to fulfill a language credit for high school graduation requirement.
SB 266
Modifies high school graduation requirements for early and middle college programs.
 SB 496 Eliminates the Algebra II requirement for curriculum.
 SB 600 Modifies sections of the Michigan Merit Curriculum.
 SB 601 Removes references in certain sections regarding the Michigan Merit Curriculum of the Revised School Code.
HB 4162
Removes the requirement that the Michigan Merit Examination include an assessment that can be used in evaluating the student’s workforce readiness. Currently the MME includes the ACT WorkKeys assessment to fulfill this requirement.
HB 4174 Exempts certain apprenticeship programs from occupational school regulations.
HB 4269 and 4270
Provides for 21st Century skills credit requirements for high school diploma.
HB 4271
Revises mathematics credit requirements.
HB 4282
Allows MIOSHA training as alternative to health credit requirement.
 HB 4546 and HB 4547  Modifies certain dual enrollment eligibility requirements in the career and technical preparation act and the post secondary enrollment options act. An eligible course must be one that is offered when the district is in session, except that a course offered only when the district is not in session could be an eligible course as determined by the district.
 HB 4826 Establishes a program of instruction in free enterprise and entrepreneurship as a required part of the curriculum.
 HB 4974 Modifies merit curriculum requirements to include computer coding as meeting the foreign language requirement.
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