February is Career and Technical Education (CTE) Awareness Month


February 4, 2023

The Kern County Superintendent of Schools (KCSOS) College & Career Programs will join others around the nation this February to celebrate Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month in an effort to raise awareness of the role that CTE has in readying learners for college and career success. Numerous resources for students and parents can be found at https://ihaveaplankern.org/ it was announced today, including a student career survey to narrow down interests, a tool to find what career pathways are offered at a student's high school, and a growing library of career pathway videos.

"Students display higher levels of engagement and motivation when they have a clear understanding of what they want to do," said Kierstin Webb, KCSOS's director of College & Career Programs. "Whether they plan to pursue a trade program - or enroll at a 2-year community college or 4-year university - by exploring what jobs are out there now, teenagers can begin to imagine their future and see how the lessons they are learning in school applies to real life."

Kern County high schools offer career education programs in 15 industry sectors, and dozens of specific pathways so students can focus on an area of interest - areas like agriculture, construction, the arts, hospitality, healthcare, public service, marketing, business, education, and many more. Most pathway courses meet A-G requirements, which count toward admission to California's two public university systems. Many courses are also dual enrollment, meaning a student can earn high school credits while simultaneously earning free college credits.

For parents with teenagers at home, now is the perfect time to help them start planning for their future. Recent data also suggests that Kern County students may not know all of the pathways available to them once they get to high school, and by the time they realize it, it may be too late. For this reason, a career planning curriculum geared toward middle school students is being developed by KCSOS's College & Career Programs and is currently being piloted and is expected to be rolled out countywide later this year.

"The idea is to go into classrooms and show students their options as they prepare for high school so they can take advantage of dual enrollment and graduate high school with a plan," said Webb. "We want to create that alignment and collaboration countywide for all middle schools, high schools, and college partners."

To learn more about career education and pathways offered at Kern County high schools, students and parents can visit http://www.ihaveaplankern.org/.


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