How is COVID-19 impacting Career and Technical Education?
As schools across the country shut their doors due to COVID-19, many teachers are having to find ways to modify their classwork for the online environment. However, for Career and Technical Education courses, the transition is not that simple.
CTE programs specialize in the skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies and career preparation. They provide students with a hands-on curriculum that prepares them for a wide range of careers.
While lectures, assessments and other pieces of courses can be moved online, CTE programs will lose the hands-on instruction component. Concepts can be taught, but students are missing out on honing their skills with hands-on practice.
“We always stress to our teachers and students to think outside the box, but during these times, CTE educators need to think of how to be innovative while stuck inside the box,” said Dr. Bart Taylor, lecturer in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture.
Taylor is also involved with an educational non-profit that supports public school CTE programs. He is struggling to help students and educators find ways to adapt to this new online landscape.
Taylor’s advice for CTE educators can ring true for all educators struggling during this time.
“Educators must understand that the lesson has turned into a journey and we have to encourage and invigorate our students to join,” said Taylor. “We all need to remain vigilant and hopeful and continue to work towards our individual goals, just knowing that the path may have changed a little on our way there.”
Other CTE struggles
Taylor considers CTE one of the most vital parts of the American education system because of the career-ready and employable workers it produces.
“Through enhanced learning opportunities and participation in career and technical student organizations, CTE students are empowered in their education and learn to embrace leadership skills, positive attitudes and pride in workmanship in their skilled or technical craft,” said Taylor.
While CTE programs are gaining attention, oftentimes they are looked over as a pathway to college or a career.
“We need to blur the lines between college readiness and career readiness in secondary education, because inadvertently this allows society to place more importance on entry into college versus learning a skilled trade,” said Taylor. “Many CTE programs result in certifications, licensing or entry into apprenticeships that require the same amount of time and dedication to learning, but the perception of the college education over career education is a taboo that we still need to overcome. Success shouldn’t be measured by the color of your collar.”
To learn more about career and technical education in Texas, visit the Texas Education Agency’s site with information on curriculum, programs, rules and other information.
Like most fields, adult education has been put to the test with the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic.
The goal is to connect Texas families and school district partners with Aggie tutors who are committed to improving learning outcomes for P-12 students.
September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Dr. Hildi Nicksic, health education expert, said childhood obesity is an ongoing problem that has not been caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but exacerbated by circumstances surrounding it.
COVID-19 is changing the face of education. Educators and students across the country are working to accommodate to socially distanced and virtual school while also supporting their student’s fears and concerns.
After 23 years in the Department of Educational Psychology, Dr. Cynthia Riccio is retiring.
Martha Muckleroy, director of Camp Adventure and instructional professor in the Physical Education Activity Program, retired after 26 years at Texas A&M on Aug. 31. She hopes to leave behind a legacy of cultivated relationships and instilling a love for lifetime fitness among her students and campers.
Dr. Karen Rambo-Hernandez, like many educators, is concerned with the disproportionate low representation of students from underrepresented groups.
The first cohort included 79 educators from school districts across Texas in June and July.
The Black Lives Matter movement continues to shed a light on the racial inequities that exist for Black Americans in every industry, organization and institution. Health education researcher Dr. Ledric Sherman said the health care industry is no different, and has work to do in the area of eliminating health disparities for Black men.
We spoke with Dr. Quinita Ogletree, a lecturer in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture, about how these changes could impact children and families. As an education expert and mother, Ogletree understands both sides of the debate.