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Career and Technical Ed Celebrated
Posted On:
Monday, February 05, 2018
Fishery Visit by FFA
Fishery Visit by FFA

The Tennessee Department of Education has identified February as Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month.

Career and Technical education is a hybrid partnership between what was formerly known as "vocational" school and the technical forms of education dealing with computers, robotics, and other advanced skills. 

“We possess the full understanding that the path of our future in Tennessee will be through technology,” said Dr. Jeff Perry, superintendent of Hamblen County Schools. “It is our responsibility to ensure that students are ready for post-secondary and the workforce. Our schools are committed to providing the experiences that will allow all students in Hamblen County to be successful in their post-secondary choices and the workplace of the future." 

 "Tennessee has proven once again that we are on the leading edge of educational endeavors and Hamblen County is positioned to be a leader in the state as our governor advocates for the highly technical skills offered through career and technical education,” said Chuck Carter, CTE supervisor.

Commissioner of Education Candice McQueen kicked off this month's celebration with a tweet asking all Tennesseans to "join in celebrating Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month this February!



CTE 13 of 16 State Offered Programs of Study




CTE Programs of StudyCTE Programs

CTE prepares students with the knowledge and skills to be successful today and in their future careers with the hashtag #CTEinTN #TNSucceeds. 

During Career and Technical Education month Hamblen County Schools will be highlighting the various and diverse pathways that our district offers. Tennessee recognizes sixteen career clusters which are then broken down into more direct programs of study ranging from fields in advanced manufacturing to informational technology, and health sciences.  Hamblen County currently offers programs of study in thirteen of those career clusters.


Carter added that all of the programs of study are offered to students at both Morristown East and West, although certain programs are only housed at one of the schools.


Students receive transportation services to the respective school if students are registered for those particular classes. In addition, all students in both schools have several opportunities to enroll in related dual enrollment courses at our local post-secondary institutions Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) and Walters State Community College (WSCC) by utilizing their Tennessee Promise dollars for tuition expenses.


Currently students are transported by bus to TCAT much in the same manner that students transport between high schools, and the possibility of offering bus transportation to WSCC is being considered.


The issue of having personal transportation to our higher education college partners should not be a barrier to our students taking advantage of these opportunities, Carter added.


Another opportunity offered to students in our high school through CTE is Work Based Learning experiences. Partnerships with local industry and business leaders has led to a robust Summer Internship program that has grown exponentially over the past three years.


In the summer of 2017,  23 students participated in an eight week summer internship paid in part by a LEAP Grant (Labor and Education Alignment Program).


“These purposeful and project based experiences not only equip students with a better understanding of the particular skills needed and in demand in our local industries and businesses, but the learning takeaways in soft skills acquisition are priceless in terms of experience,” Carter said.


In the summer of 2018 the Hamblen County CTE Department hopes to double the number of internships and increase the variety of programs of study in which the internships are offered.


"If a student has a choice of working a part time job in a local restaurant or retail store, or the opportunity to work in an industry completing a meaningful internship applying the skills that were learned in the classroom, which one would you pick for your child?" questioned Carter. 


Applications for this year's intern program will be released to juniors and seniors during the first week of February and interviews will follow before students are selected for this valuable learning experience.  


As for the future of CTE in Hamblen County a goal is to continue integrating more intentional career exploration and awareness. In March students grades K-12 will take part in Career Day in Hamblen County.


Hamblen County Career and Success Coordinator KC Alvarado coordinates an amazing day of career awareness events and activities for students in all Hamblen County schools.


This event is in its fourth year and it is only getting bigger and better according to Alvarado.


"Each school has a committee that coordinates with me to ensure they have the speakers, guests, and resources they need to have a successful Career Day,” she said. “The business community, local government officials, retail owners, and our industrial partners have all come on board to make this event so successful."


The goal of the Career Day is to create more awareness to the opportunities for careers that exist right here in our own community. 


Along with awareness is the component of exploration. Traditionally, most younger students are only aware of four or five careers and that hasn't changed over the years.


Doctors, nurses, firefighters, police officers, veterinarians, and teachers are the responses that most students are familiar with all the way through high school.


Career and Technical Education offers pathways in those traditional fields, but there are myriad other highly technical careers available today that do not even require a traditional four-year degree that students and even parents are unaware of today.


Offering tools that assess interests and aptitudes along with opportunities to delve into career fields is a top priority for all students and, under the Federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), it is required that students take part in an interest inventory two times during their 6-12 grade school years.


The idea is that if students are able to find out what it is that they are good at and what it is that they like and are interested in and then find a career that meets both of those criteria, students will not only be successful in their career choices, but they will also be more focused on that career path and courses that will be needed as they enter high school.


This bridge career awareness to career exploration to a better understanding of what they want to do in life and how to get to that end goal are all components of Career and Technical Education pathways for all students. 

    Buddy Smith, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction summed it up best, "CTE is the key to a successful future for so many of our students. It is also key to the economic health and prosperity of our state. This is important work and we have got to get it right."


Hamblen County is proud of our CTE Department and we are excited to celebrate Career and Technical success for our students and staff. 


The Tennessee Department of Education and the Hamblen County School System invite you to join us in celebrating Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month on Twitter throughout February. CTE teachers, directors, and associations throughout the state work passionately to prepare students for success in postsecondary and career through the 16 nationally recognized career clusters. If you would like to learn more about Career Technical Education and the opportunities available for your student please contact Carter Hamblen County CTE Supervisor or KC Alvarado at the Hamblen County School System Central Office, 423-581-3084.