Career and Technical Education: A Solution to Dropout Prevention

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According to the National Dropout Prevention Center, career and technical education is one of the 15 strategies that have the biggest impact on the dropout rate.  One of the main reasons students drop out is they are not interested or motivated by academic courses that seem to have no application to the real-world.  Career and technical education provides these missing relevant learning opportunities, and the statistics continue to back this up.

  • 11th and 12th grade at-risk students are 8-10 times less likely to drop out if they are enrolled in a career and technical program.
  •  In one survey, 81% of dropouts said that they would have stayed in school if there were more real-world learning opportunities.
  •  According to the Association for Career and Technical Education, the average graduation rate for students in career and technical programs is 90%, which is well above the national average of 78%.

Besides providing real-world learning opportunities, career and technical education also provides another component that is essential to keeping students in school:  positive adult relationships.  Mentoring is at the heart of career and technical programs.  Students work regularly with an adult advisor, and many participate in job shadowing and internship programs.  Through these positive relationships, students feel more connected and as if someone actually cares about them.

We need to realize that career and technical education is a program that is effectively helping to reduce the dropout rate by keeping students engaged with relevant, real-world learning opportunities.

Posted in Career and Technical Education, Drop Out Recovery, Education by craig.templeman at March 17th, 2014.

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