CTE pathways offer great benefits for students’ futures

Griffin Kristensen

Career Technical Educational (CTE) courses prepare students by integrating academic knowledge with hands-on experience. The courses help develop real-world skills so that students can graduate ready for post-high school education, certification or even a job.  

Generally, it takes two years to complete a CTE pathway. It often consists of a concentrator course to the field and then a capstone course. While enrolled in these courses, students have the opportunity to test drive not only specific industries, but also specific pathways within that industry. 

“Finding out what you want to do has great value, but also finding out what you don’t want to do has just as much value,” said Mrs. Ann Bergen, LBHS College and Career Specialist. 

For example, a student in the Emergency Medical Tech (EMT) program may find out that the sight of blood makes him or her squeamish, and it is better to find this out before possibly enrolling in medical school. Such a revelation does not necessarily mean that students should consider changing industries, but perhaps just their careers in that field. 

“It is not too late for juniors and seniors to go down a CTE pathway,” said Bergen. “As a matter of fact, it’s an ideal time to start exploring.”

Even if students are not able to complete an entire pathway, they still can enroll in a CTE course and experience all the promising benefits that come with it. They can also complete this career education pathway in higher education as well, not just in high school. 

“Many of the  courses even allow students to earn college credit through articulation agreements with community colleges. So early college credit is open to any student even if they are not enrolled in AP classes,” said Bergen.

These pathways also help students graduate on time or even early from college. Many of the courses offered for Laguna Beach High School students are concurrently enrolled in our local community colleges. This allows students to “double-dip” and earn both high school and college credit at the same time.

“CTE pathways are just a foot in the door and who knows, they may even completely  open a door for you,” said Bergen.

Not only do CTE classes reassure colleges that a student is committed to their applied major and increase their chances of getting accepted, but they also help with future jobs by showing that they already have the desired skills for that field. Moreover, these pathways are not only for student benefit, but also for the greater good. California has the world’s fifth-largest economy. In order to keep the ball rolling, a large portion of the state budget is geared towards educating future generations. CTE courses help provide a skills-based workforce within the state. This allows people to stay in California and be contributing members of society by using the skills they have learned and help maintain the state’s booming economy.

Any student interested in registering for CTE courses may see Mrs. Bergen in the College and Career Center. Select courses are currently available for enrollment and open for the spring 2020 semester. CTE courses and pathway information is also posted at lbusd.org/lbhsccc.