In recent years, Florida has seen growth in the creation of new Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs as well as, increased student participation in these programs both at the secondary and postsecondary level. Post high school CTE programs can prepare students for the skills needed for specific occupations or careers.

Recently, Florida College Access Network (FCAN) has released a few CTE resources for various audiences including a brief on “Understanding Career and Technical Education” and a corresponding resource guide for students and parents (available in English and Spanish).

As a follow-up to these resources, February’s Hot Topics webinar covered Florida’s CTE landscape, stackable credentials, funding for students, and spotlighted efforts at St. Petersburg College.

How Does FCAN Define CTE?
At FCAN, CTE is a broad term that offers students “organized educational activities providing both academic content and technical skills in current or emerging professions and builds pathways connecting education and the workforce.” Adopted from the American Educational Research Administration, this definition captures the broad nature of this educational pathway, the combination of both academic and technical learning, and emphasizes the connection on the credential earned to a career in the workforce.

“Better Careers, Faster”
“We must start with the end in mind: for students to get to better careers, faster,” said Lee Chipps-Walton, the Director of the Office of Career and Technical Education at the Florida Department of Education. “Better careers are defined as those in growing industries that are hiring and offer advancement opportunities. Faster means that a students’ education results in an industry-recognized stackable credential and provides someone with skill-building opportunities.”

How Is CTE Funded?
For school districts and colleges, funding to implement and run CTE programs comes from federal, state, and local sources. Some of these include the Perkins funding at the federal level, performance-based funding, and the Pathways to Career Opportunities Grant Program to fund apprenticeships at the state level, and grants from foundations and businesses at the local level. For students, there are grants and scholarships available at the federal level.

Based on the CTE program selected, students may be able to use the Pell Grant earned from the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to pay for their pathway. Florida also provides students with funding opportunities through the Open Door Grant Program and the Gold Seal CAPE Scholarship and the Gold Seal Vocational Scholarship through Florida Bright Futures.

Acceleration, Credentialing, and Stacking
Taking career dual enrollment and related advanced placement (AP) courses are some ways that students can earn credit in high school and accelerate onto a related CTE program in postsecondary.

Additionally, based on the programs selected in one of Florida’s 17 career clusters, students can stack up to additional programs and apply previous credits to some of the following examples: a career certificate or applied technical diploma to an AS degree or an AS to a BS degree.

St. Petersburg College (SPC)
Dr. Jackie Skyrd, Vice President of Workforce Development & Corporate Partnerships provided insights on SPC and their CTE program practices. At a glance, SPC has about 34,000 students, their average age is 26, and about 66% of these students work while earning their degree. They also have over 100 workforce degree and certificate programs and over 25 industry-led advisory committees. They partner with University of South Florida (USF), University of Central Florida (UCF), and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) on transfer pathways for their students.

When it comes to CTE, they have worked to accelerate the time to complete a program and help students get to work faster. They partner with industries, such as Duke Energy, to build programs and curriculum for specific credentials. SPC has also worked to strengthen these partnerships with industries which has allowed them to increase the number of students placed in jobs and internships and create a centralized alignment office across the Tampa area.

Lorenzo Walker Technical College
Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to have our featured panelist from Lorenzo Walker Technical College in Collier County. We encourage you to reach out to John Monda, Director of Lorenzo Walker for any questions.

Show Notes:
To find out more about career and technical education, take advantage of these resources:

Pin It on Pinterest

Skip to content