February is Career and Technical Education Month in Missouri and across the country.
Those programs have been sited by federal officials as vital to the future of education in the U.S. Just this week, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan came out strongly for career and technical education.
“For all its importance, the role that CTE plays in building the nation’s economic vitality often gets overlooked. Too many educators assume that career and technical training is for the last century, not this one. Many reformers treat CTE as old school–rather than as a potential source of cutting-edge preparation for careers,” he said.
Nationwide, more than 15 million high school and post-secondary students are enrolled in CTE courses. And more than half of high school graduates who participate in CTE today now go on to some form of postsecondary education.
“Our technical education programs provide our students with the needed training and skills to join the region’s workforce or to go on to a four-year institution to further their education,” said Dr. Hal L. Higdon, president of OTC.
Thousands of those technical education students will participate this month in the annual SkillsUSA competition that gives them a chance to put their skills to work.
OTC’s technical education students will be among them, participating Feb. 25 in the district SkillsUSA competition at the Springfield campus.
Competitions will be held in Automotive Collision Repair, Advertising Design, Health Knowledge Bowl, Television Production, Video Product Development, Preschool Teaching Assistant, Welding and SkillsUSA technical written tests.
Winners of the district contests will be eligible to compete in the state contest to be held March 31-April 2 at Linn State Technical College.
The nationals are held in the summer in Kansas City. Last year, six OTC students won top honors there.
“SkillsUSA provides the opportunity for students to showcase and demonstrate the skills they are learning in their OTC technical education programs,” said Layton Childress, OTC’s dean of technical education.
“The students who participate and compete in SkillsUSA gain self-confidence, and with SkillsUSA partnering with business and industry, the students are provided an opportunity to network with future employers.”
Steve Koehler is coordinator of publications at Ozarks Technical Community College. Contact him at email@example.com.
College Director of Communications
Coordinator of Publications
Phone: (417) 447-2666