By: Rachel McKinney // Apex AOIT – Class of 2016
Through all four years of high school, AOIT students are sure to find themselves sitting in several CTE (Career Technical Education) classes. Any required AOIT Programming, Networking, or E-Commerce class is considered to be a CTE course. While many AOIT students just associate CTE with computer classes, CTE extends to much more than just computers, including a variety of classes such as horticulture, culinary, apparel, and health sciences, just to name a few available at Apex High. What many people don’t realize, however, are the benefits that come from having a variety of CTE classes available to high school students.
One of the biggest complaints of any high school student is being assigned pointless busywork, but in CTE classes, assignments often end with tangible results. Christian Purser, a senior in Programming II couldn’t agree more. “In other classes, it’s just like ‘oh ok I got an A on the test’, but in [Programming] I actually get to see the final result of my work,” says Purser, gesturing to the program he is coding on his computer. According to the Association of Career and Technical Education, 81 percent of dropouts say that relevant learning opportunities would have kept them in school. This is where CTE classes come into play. CTE classes aim to teach students applicable skills that can be used for jobs in the real world, giving students have the opportunity to learn valuable skills that make them employable while still in high school.
AOIT students are at an advantage since they will end up taking more than four CTE classes concentrated in an area of IT. In Wake County, students who have a CTE concentration of four or more classes have an extraordinarily high graduation rate of 98.2 percent. By the time graduation rolls around, an AOIT student is well versed in either Programming, Web Design, or both. Whether or not an AOIT student chooses to pursue a full-time career in these areas, these CTE classes will have taught them great resume-building skills that they will benefit from.
February is National CTE Month. For more information on CTE classes visit the Association of Career & Technical Education website.