Celebrate Career and Technical Education Month

Mary Shumway, State Director of Career and Technical Education

Mary Shumway, State Director of Career and Technical Education

We invite you to join the 14.4 million secondary and postsecondary CTE students nationwide in celebrating Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month during February. Our February newsletter is dedicated to assisting you in your planning and celebration of CTE. This year’s theme is Career and Technical Education: Preparing Students for College and Career! We encourage you to participate in both national and local activities and events throughout the month. Your school district, school, and/or classroom can pick a day, a week, or the entire month of February to celebrate CTE. We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to spotlight your CTE programs. Students are doing wonderful things in schools throughout Utah and now is a perfect time to showcase their CTE training and the skills they have developed.

The enthusiasm, knowledge, and skill each teacher has for preparing this generation for the future is inspiring. Your work does not go unrecognized. CTE Month is an opportune time to share your success stories.

According to the report, Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018, from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 30 percent of the 46.8 million job openings created by 2018 will require some college or a two-year associate degree. CTE is an essential component to filling these jobs openings. Encourage students to become an active member of a Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO). In conjunction with the hands-on learning students receive in CTE classes, involvement in a CTSO gives students the academic motivation and engagement to be successful in their pursuit of further education and training. According to the National Research Center for CTE (Alfeld, C., et al., Looking Inside the Black Box: The Value Added by Career and Technical Student Organizations to Students’ High School Experience, National Research Center for CTE, 2007) factors often linked with student participation in a CTSO includes: higher grades, career self-efficacy and college aspirations.

As I meet and visit with CTE administrators, teachers, and students across the state I am impressed with the quality of their programs and the terrific opportunities available to students through CTE. Teachers work tirelessly to bring the best instruction to their classroom each day. The enthusiasm, knowledge, and skill each teacher has for preparing this generation for the future is inspiring. Your work does not go unrecognized. CTE Month is an opportune time to share your success stories. Write an op-ed, contact your local newspaper, and use social media to spread your stories. Hearing the success stories of students makes me proud to be an educator and to be involved in this great work. Together we can prepare students for college and career and to successfully compete in a global economy.

CTE Activities and Events

  • February 2National Job Shadow Day
    Throughout the state students will participate in job shadows in various areas of business. Last year, 30 Utah businesses hosted students from Canyons School District. In Tooele School District all seventh grade students participated in a job shadow. Who are your students shadowing?
  • February 2CTE Career Day
    Watch Twitter, Facebook, and the Utah CTE blog for the Career Brief of someone you know, or someone who graduated from your high school.
  • February 13Virtual Healthcare Interactive Live Event
    Students across the state will watch a taped artificial heart surgery telecast and speak to the surgeons live about the procedure.
  • February 15UACTE Day on the Hill
    CTSOs, work-based learning, school counselors, and administrators will gather at the capitol, during the legislative session, to showcase their programs to members of the legislature.
  • February 23CTE Social Media Advocacy Day
    ACTE is asking administrators, teachers and students to advocate for CTE through their social media networks.
  • February 29CTE Moment
    Utah CTE asks teachers and students around the state to take a picture of a CTE moment in their school. February 29 is the final day to submit photos. Check Twitter and Facebook for details on how and where to submit photos.


Here are tips and ideas to assist you in celebrating CTE Month AND promoting your CTE programs in your district, school, and classroom.

  • 29 Things to Do During CTE Month – A list of suggested activities for each day of the month.
  • Promoting CTE Month in the District – PDF
  • Promoting CTE Month in the School – PDF
  • Promoting CTE Month in the Classroom – PDF
  • CTE Pathways Posters – Promote your CTE programs with print ready posters. Posters are located under the heading “CTE Pathways Posters” on the CTE Month Web page.
  • CTE Pass Along Cards – PDF
  • Videos – Play CTE videos showing students working in a CTE Pathway. Videos can be downloaded via the Utah CTE YouTube channel or from the publications/resources page on UtahCTE.org.

Mary Shumway is the Director of Career and Technical Education at the Utah State Office of Education. You may reach her at mary.shumway@schools.utah.gov. Learn more about Career and Technical Education on the UtahCTE.org Web site. The following is cross-posted from the UtahCTE.org blog, where it first appeared on February 1, 2012.

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