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What is Career and Technical Education (CTE)

Career and Technical Education (CTE) is “organized education programs offering sequences of courses designed to educate and prepare students for both employment and continuing academic and occupational preparation. Such programs shall integrate academic and vocational education and shall include competency based applied learning which contributes to an individual's academic knowledge, higher order reasoning, and problem solving skills, work attitudes, general employability skills and the occupational-specific skills necessary for economic independence as a productive and contributing member of society. Vocational-technical education shall also include applied technology education to be taught by personnel certified in technology education.”

Source: Mass General Law

Throughout the state you will find the same voc-ed classes that existed half a century ago. They prepare students for jobs that don’t typically require college degrees, such as child care, welding, cosmetology, or plumbing. While the skills have evolved, so have vocational education. Many programs now add a focus on areas typically associated with associate or bachelor’s degrees, such as engineering or business. Because career-tech-ed classes of all kinds are increasingly seen as roads to additional study after high school, they are meant to be more academically rigorous than those of a previous generation.  This shift in structure is based on two factors; New labor market realities and vocational educations troubling past. The troubling past is when, in the days of our grandfathers, educators would classify some students as “not college material”and placed them in voc ed classes—limited students' earnings and social mobility. Equity activists pressed for change, leading to a “college for all” movement that urged all students to attend four-year institutions. Changes in the labor market support the need for college but the last decade has shown a low college-completion rate. This led to a rethinking of the movement of “college for all”. Career and Technical education recognized these trends, and reshaped it so that students are getting post secondary training and offering credentials that would allow a student to continue their education towards an associates or bachelors degree or join the workforce right from high school. This revamping of CTE means new designs for high school programs, too. The best programs aim to keep the doors to college open by requiring rigorous college-prep classes for CTE students, while also providing them with hands-on learning that lets them apply academics to real-world problems, like designing underwater exploration devices in a marine biology program.

While our goal is to provide for all the students of Everett, CTE is a pathway that offers hands on career skills and experiences for our students. Students select to concentrate and commit towards their passion ranging from skills in Carpentry to Medical Assisting. This commitment allows for students to push their career goals beyond high school into the workforce to apply real world mastery on the job starting their senior year through cooperative education placement.

This is only the beginning of the CTE success, and the student response has been positive. High School students have long determined they wanted to personalize their education, and Everett Public Schools is showing they are listening. This year we currently have over 560 students rotating through the program. Staff have worked  diligently to balance a strong interest of the student and addressing the needs they will face into their future. The current Exploratory class has topped over 540 students all rotating through each  program. 

Design concept, a megaphone saying the word "exploratory" with various icons

About Exploratory

Each freshman in CTE goes through a 7 Day rotation for each of the 8 programs. Included in rotations are the  life skills, Technology Literacy and Career & Employability Readiness, that each student can walk away with. 

  • Technology literacy is designed to have students demonstrate proficiency in the use of computers and applications. Develop an understanding of the concepts underlying hardware, software, and connectivity. Student will be able to identify the use of spreadsheet skills in various careers, use the search engines and online directories and demonstrate the ability to use technology for research, critical thinking, problem solving,decision making, communication, collaboration, creativity, and innovation. Students will be able to design and implement a personal learning plan that includes the use of technology to support lifelong learning goals.
  • Career Readiness & Employability is designed to prepare students with workplace expectations, including proper attire, and understanding Communication skills, understanding verbal and non-verbal cues. Students will explore their own learning styles while learning interviewing skills, Writing a resume, and understanding the different types of resumes. 
  • Carpentry, freshman are introduced with Carpenter’s job and paths available in the field. They learn skills around hand and power tools and their safety. Students begin measuring and cutting pieces for a Cell Phone Stand project. Students are then able to assemble and complete their project. 
  • Culinary Arts exploratory students are taught skills revolve around safety and sanitation. Students learn basic table setting, napkin folds, and serving procedures. They are  introduced to the Culinary career pathways and learn what is entailed in the kitchen and bakeshop its equipment. Student learn about standard recipe measurements, recipes and cooking methods while executing a recipe. 
  • Health Assisting exploratory students learn what a Certified Nurse Assistants career paths, then learn the anatomy, CPR, and the circulatory system. Students learn about the basics of the body and its function. 
  • Students in the Hospitality Management Exploratory program are exposed to various segments of the industry. The first couple of classes are focused on the different career pathways and business departments that make up any Hospitality business but which are also indicative of departments that all successful businesses must have. During the rest of the program Freshmen review and discuss travel and tourism with a focus on identifying tourist attractions as well as discuss Restaurant Management which includes creating and diagraming their own theme restaurant. They are also introduced to office budgeting, business organizational charts and other business basics. During the final days students research information on the Encore Boston Harbor website and identify key aspects of that business, helping them to learn basic research skills.
  • During the Machine Tool Technology Exploratory Program, we provide students with experiences in career awareness by giving them the opportunity to explore the basic fundamentals of machining. We do this by breaking it up into seven days. On day one we focus on a basic shop introduction and shop safety. Day two, we introduce the project we”ll be working on (keychain project) and explain how its going to be made by steps. Day three to seven we go in the shop and follow each step, from picking out the correct material and cutting our stock  to polishing our workpiece and making sure our keychain is made to print. Our goal is for freshmen to learn about their own aptitudes and interests and how those factors impact future job satisfaction.
  • While the goal of the Marketing exploratory is to teach students the fundamentals of marketing, they walk away from the cycle with an awareness of how marketing impacts their daily lives, especially the decisions they make.  Students are introduced to the following information and skills: Marketing job paths available in the field including: content creation, social media, PR, Marketing Analytics, and more
    • Marketing 7 P's and the impact each has in our daily lives
    • Branding: How to recognize brands, the meaning behind color and logos, and how to create a logo or slogan
    • Creating a business from scratch and apply the 7 P's final project
    • Creating products for business model
    • Pitching a business model to class
    • Examples of student businesses include: Rap God Burrito Shop (a burrito-specific restaurant with products named after famous rappers, for example: The Cardi Burrito), Cozy (a clothing store devoted to "cozy" items sold specifically in the north east and cold regions), Veloce (a fast-food Italian restaurant), and Around the World (a subscription box that sends you international swag each month).  
    • Students gain knowledge of product pricing, promotions (advertising and sales promotions), business competition, branding, unique selling propositions, and more.
    • Student surveys reveal they enjoy creating their own businesses and applying the knowledge they gained to the real world.
  • In Programming & Web Development students are learning about what it means to be a computer programmer.  Students are exposed to multiple coding languages with an emphasis on block, Java Script, and Python. Students visit a variety of websites to experience first hand the different programming languages that they will be working on during their rotation.  At the end of their rotation, students leave with a Google Sites website and many resources that they can use to continue practicing their programming skills. 

The success of exploratory has given us a great boost in knowing we are on the right track. Approximately 490 freshmen rotated through exploratory last year, of which  252 students, over 50%, selected to be in the program. We are excited to see what will come as we continue to develop our programs, allowing our students to succeed in their endeavors upon graduation.

Everett CTE is currently
proud to offer 

  • Carpentry
  • Culinary Arts
  • Health Assisting
  • Hospitality Management
  • Machine Tool Technology
  • Marketing 
  • Medical Assisting 
  • Programming & Web Development