welding student 020722SPRINGFIELD –To bring more awareness to the impact Career and Technical Education has on student's success, Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) is supporting an effort to make February 2022 Career and Technical Education Month.

“Career and Technical Education programs not only provide technical skills for the future, but also provide academic and employability skills students can use for years,” Villa said. “These programs play a vital role in helping students choose career paths and explore other opportunities for success in and out of the classroom.”

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

“CTE programs make it easy for students to begin earning college credits and receive industry-specific targeted learning toward post education,” Villa said. “My hope is that these programs will showcase the success of students who have found their career path and help contribute to our community and society.”

Senate Resolution 698 passed the Senate Education Committee.