Growing and Aligning Middle School CTE Programs
By Kate Harris
Career and Technical Education (CTE) has gone through some major shifts in the last few years. These changes have occurred at the national, state, and local levels as leaders work to better support career exploration and preparation. Thanks to 5A funding Jeffco has been able to directly support middle school CTE programs and as a result middle school CTE programming has grown tremendously. Currently 24 middle schools have Middle School Combined Exploratory Programs supported by a total of 88 CTE credentialed teachers.
In addition to growing programs and credentialing teachers, 5A funds have been used to develop middle school competencies and purchase resources/equipment for programs that will support the implementation of the competencies. Using a variety of resources, but anchoring to Colorado’s Secondary Pathways, content area expert teachers and district level staff worked to create competencies for our middle school pathways/courses. The competencies are written in a scope and sequence format that teachers can use as a planning tool. Technical competencies, WBL opportunities, CTSO integration, and career exploration are all components of the scope and sequence teachers can utilize when planning for high quality CTE instruction. The creation of the scope and sequences prompted the question, “What resources are necessary to teach these competencies?” To answer this and support our growing programs the content teams curated “resource bundles” that directly support the implementation of the competencies within each CTE content. Then, teachers selected the bundle that would best support their program and the CTE department purchased the resources and equipment.
These new competencies and resources create consistency across middle school programs as well as directly aligning middle school standards to the high school curriculum and pathways.
Check out the HS and MS CTE Competencies:
Colorado’s Secondary Pathway Competencies
Jeffco’s Middle School CTE Competencies
Curriculum & Instruction