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SPRINGFIELD –To celebrate Career and Technical Education students across the state, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is leading the charge to establish February 2022 as Career and Technical Education Month.

“Career and Technical Education programs not only provide quality education, but also offer real-world work experience that is invaluable to students,” said Joyce, a chief co-sponsor of Senate Resolution 698. “They play a vital role in setting their students up for success in and out of the classroom, and should be celebrated for their innovative approaches to teaching.”

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.  Sen. Joyce wants to highlight the bright futures of these students as well as the success of CTE programs through this measure. 

“CTE programs make having careers in growing industries much more accessible and sets students up for fulfilling careers,” said Joyce. “This resolution will showcase the successes students have found thus far, while also spreading awareness of how beneficial these programs can be to learners and their communities.”

Senate Resolution 698 passed the Senate Education Committee Tuesday and heads to the Senate floor.