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SPRINGFIELD – To raise awareness of the role that Career Technical Education has in preparing learners for college and career success, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is backing the effort to establish February 2022 as Career and Technical Education Month.  

“In communities throughout the state, CTE provides Illinois students with hands-on experience and real-world skills to better prepare them for jobs,” said Bennett, a chief co-sponsor of Senate Resolution 698. “The goal of this resolution is to raise awareness and recognize the important role CTE plays in our workforce.”

Career and Technical Education, or CTE, are programs designed to prepare students for careers in major industries, such as finance, health care, information technology, advanced manufacturing and education. Coursework includes both academic and technical materials, allowing many students to use their knowledge from the programs to earn industry-recognized credentials or college credits. This makes careers in these fields much more accessible for many students who may struggle to complete coursework in traditional academic programs.

Many students have found massive success with the innovative program. Across the state, around 30,000 students earned college credit from their CTE courses, saving them time and money when earning their degrees. In addition, 97% of students who complete CTE programs in Illinois graduate from high school, compared to only 88% from traditional high schools. This year, almost 415,000 Illinoisans are enrolled in CTE programs.  Bennett wants to highlight the bright futures of these students as well as the success of CTE programs through this measure. 

“CTE programs are an important and often overlooked part of the higher education system,” said Bennett. “With the pandemic impacting the lives of so many people, there is no better time to highlight how CTE can make a difference.”

Senate Resolution 698 awaits consideration in the Senate Education Committee.