The True Value of CTE Education

In education, we talk a lot about the value of Career and Technical Education (CTE), but we don’t always talk about what it is. CTE is a game-changer. It’s more than just learning, it’s about getting ready for real life. At Princeton Public Schools, our mission is to help every learner succeed. To do that, students need to be ready for the future.

In a way, CTE programs in high school are like a matchmaker for jobs and students. In our Princeton Tiger Career Academies, we make sure students learn skills that match the needs of open jobs. When our students graduate, they are set to impress employers. 

CTE teaches practical skills students will use in the real world. It combines book knowledge with hands-on experience so students can walk into a job with real skills and abilities. Our community can be confident they are hiring workers with experience.

Not every student likes the same things, which is why our Career Academies offer a variety of CTE pathways. Our six Career Academies provide diverse opportunities, from broadcast journalism to culinary arts, visual and performing arts, engineering and manufacturing, CNA classes, and beyond. We believe in providing students with a competitive advantage, setting them up for success not only in college but also in their chosen careers.

Plus, this education is free for students. Long before they enter the workforce or pay for college credits, students gain hands-on experience, explore various skills and jobs, and even have opportunities for college credit or work experience. It's about empowering students to make informed decisions about their future. Our high school Career Academies are not just classrooms; they are gateways to exciting possibilities.

Creating these opportunities takes a strong community effort. We value our partnerships with local businesses, who help us understand what skills our graduates need to be successful in the real world. These businesses provide insights, mentorship, and training experiences to students. In turn, they are guaranteed to have a more capable community workforce at their fingertips. Many of our students go on to work for the businesses that offer them a learning opportunity in high school.

Providing these opportunities for students also takes materials and space. It’s no longer enough just to have a shop room and a home ec room. If we want students to learn real skills, they need access to modern technologies. For example, the future is moving away from gas-powered vehicles. While teaching students how to break down a combustible engine is a valuable skill, it's essential to consider emerging technologies in the automotive industry. We need to teach students how to work with and understand the mechanics of electric or hybrid vehicles, ensuring they stay ahead in a changing world.

In some nearby communities, high schools boast simulated hospital rooms, data centers, flight simulators, and auto-shops with cutting-edge technology. Our students deserve the same opportunities. We've listened to our community's input and are dedicated to finding creative solutions to provide a competitive, relevant education. Your support, wisdom, and vision are invaluable in guiding our decisions and ensuring we provide the best possible education for our students.

Thank you for being #477PrincetonProud, and let's continue achieving greatness together.

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