Career and Technical Education (CTE) is an important part of talent-readiness in Florida. Four of the Top 10 fastest growing jobs in Florida require a postsecondary certificate, and technical schools are working to create the skilled workforce needed for Florida’s future economic growth.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the divide between Floridians with and without a degree. Thirty-five percent of Florida workers who have had their pay negatively impacted by COVID-19 said they would need additional education or training to find work with the same wages or income. One way to nimbly prepare Florida workers for better-paying jobs is through a strong CTE-to-degree pathway.

To ensure CTE graduates have opportunities for stable, high-paying jobs, technical schools have agreements with community colleges to support CTE students in pursuing degrees. Many CTE graduates have earned credits towards a degree-granting institution, yet many technical students never transition because the transfer process can be confusing and frustrating.

The Florida College Access Network’s (FCAN) Case Study: Tech Express to Valencia College illustrates how institutions can partner to strengthen the seamless transfer of technical school students to two-year degree institutions. The partnership supports students along their pathway and guides them towards stable, well-paying jobs that these students want and deserve. Florida is already known for its innovative 2+2 transfer agreements, and Tech Express demonstrates how Florida can further lead in “CTE to degree” pathways.

Listen to FCAN’s virtual briefing to hear representatives from Orange Technical College, Valencia College, a local legislator, and a Tech Express student discuss the partnership. You can also visit FCAN’s website to read and download the research brief.

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