In Michigan there is an increased number of students enrolled in career and technical education courses.
CTE programs in Michigan have had a large increase in enrollment since 2015 mostly among 11th and 12th grade students. Nearly 5,000 students have been added in the past 2 years.
At Avondale high School, Martin Ballard’s classes have a waiting list for students who want to learn by using expensive digital tools. There’s a $20,000 laser cutter and a $25,000 3D printer along with 360 degree cameras and drones. They are all part of a cache of innovative equipment that is new this year in the Oakland County School District.
All six of Ballard’s classes are full, and he hopes to double the number of CTE courses next year. Once the district can find an additional CTE certified teacher, the classes can be added along with a class called “Certified Ethical Hacker certification.”
“The kids love it. We are doing some fun things. It’s all hands-on. Do you want to play or listen to someone talk all day?” says Ballard, a certified CTE teacher.
Students are taught in a specific career cluster in CTE high school instructional programs. Most of the programs offer early college credit, providing a seamless transition to education after high school.