Dear CTE Staffulty,
As CTE Month winds down, I can't help but look around at all the amazing things happening in CTE right here in OCPS, right now!
Whether looking at the recent Regional SkillsUSA competition that we hosted at our OTC Campuses and the amazing performances of our students, or the HOSA competition that our OTC students rocked earlier in the month at Osceola Tech, or our high school and middle school programs that are competing at the highest levels in so many areas, it's hard not to be proud to be OCPS CTE today!
I look at our programming and see time and time again that we are constantly teaching students that a CAREER is the destination of education and that there is more than one way to a great career!
We have been able to break down old stereotypes about CTE and instead of once being the best kept secret, we are now, more times than not, the first idea that comes to mind for so many when looking at how to help students succeed. It is no longer an either/or question-with great articulations in place, students can now choose both CTE and College Prep and be able to pursue their dreams, wherever they may take them! We are no longer the choice for "those students" but a great choice for all students.
Our apprenticeship programs are leaders in the state and in some cases, the nation. Our Toyota T-Ten program is used as a model for other T-Ten programs across the USA. We are creating new opportunities for students through our new Medical Assisting, Welding and Pharmacy Tech Apprenticeship programs and leading the state in how to do this.
We are increasing program choices for middle and high school students and have opportunities like Project Lead the Way, Agriculture, and NAF in every high school for the first time in OCPS history. We are moving to do the same with Computer Science and Culinary, so that a student can choose what they want to do, without leaving their home high school to do it.
There are so many things going on in CTE
that it is really hard to keep up with them all, but somehow, we are managing to do just that! It is hard work and takes everyone doing their part and when I look around, that is exactly what I see.
It doesn't matter what role you have in the CTE
family, what you do matters and the fact that you do it well is evidenced in the numbers. As I have shared before, going from some 29,000 students participating in CTE to some 51,000 in the past five years is no small feat! That is a 74% growth in students being served!
There was a time we had empty seats in programs-no more! There was a time people didn't know what CTE was-no more! There was a time we had to go in search of people to help us with CTE-no more! In fact, we have literally hundreds of active industry and community partners representing the biggest and the smallest companies/organizations here in Central Florida helping us to make CTE the place to be!
Yes as CTE Month comes to a close, lift your head up for a moment and look around and know that you are a part of something much bigger-something that is special and know that you are a big part of why we are something special!