Career and Technical Training was the focus of the education general session at the Maryland Association of Counties Conference. The discussion included the challenges and suggestions for how to increase the number and type of career and technical training programs available to student, and boost student enrollment in those programs.
From the conversation:
James Rosapepe, Maryland State Senate (Moderator):
Today, on average in Maryland about 23% of students graduate with career and technology education. When you look more closely, the smaller counties are ahead of the larger counties, with a larger percentage of students graduating with these certificates.
Dr. Lynne Gilli, Maryland State Department of Education:
We have returned to 1999 levels of funding for career and technical education. It is a challenge to increase programs with level funding – and there is a proposal now to cut federal funding.
Michael Thomas, Director Career and Technology Education at Baltimore City Public Schools:
The professional development of teachers and retention of teachers in career and tech pathways, and increasing industry buy-in to these programs are key to growing and maintaining these programs.
Dr. Kristine Pearl, Supervisor of Career and Technology Education at Frederick County Public Schools:
Marketing is key. Changing the mindset of children towards these opportunities requires a cultural shift. . . We should look upon these credentials with the respect we give to AP scores–parents need to realize they have value, too.
Steve Cox, Harford County Cadet Program Coordinator:
The first step for our outreach is educating the counselors at the schools about this program. We need to show that when they graduate from this certificate program they can work with any of the career fire fighting forces, earning $40k, $50k, $60k a year.
For more information about these programs, see this power point provided by the speakers.