cars lined up outside with students looking in

February Is CTE Month – Explore It! Dream It! Do It!

By Cass County CTE Center Director Dr. Denise Jonas

Career and Technical Education Month® (CTE) is an annual public awareness campaign held across the nation to celebrate the accomplishments of Career and Technical Education programs, instructors, and students. CTE Month® gives programs the platform and opportunity to demonstrate ways in which CTE contributes to college and career readiness and prepares students for high-wage, high-demand career fields. CTE is for all students, workforce, military, technical training, to advanced degrees.

Governor Burgum Proclaims February 2018 – North Dakota CTE Month! According to Governor Burgum, “A skilled workforce is one of three pillars required for economic success.” North Dakota Career and Technical Education is proud to be a catalyst for career awareness, exploration, and preparation for students K-12.

Explore It, Dream It, Do It!

During CTE Month®, and throughout the school year, CTE instructors and students are proud to share their stories related to curriculum activities and student accomplishments. Promotional activities, media segments, open house events, project showcases, CTSO leadership announcements, and community service projects cover the vast curriculum and co-curricular options available to students. Over the next few months, listen for opportunities to learn about CTE programs including: aviation technology, automotive technology, business education, construction technology, family and consumer sciences, health science, information technology, marketing education, automated manufacturing, technology and engineering, and welding. Our goal is Explore It, Dream It, Do It! Click to view the Fargo Public School’s CTE Programs at a Glance video.

Awareness and Choice!

At a time when the opportunity for employment is high, unemployment rates are low, and 15,000 jobs go unfilled in North Dakota (, the need for a highly skilled workforce is critical. In this moment, the question turns to, “How do students make career decisions?”

Career development counselors and advisors provoke student thinking using interest inventories and career exposure to Career Cluster Pathways. Intentional conversations help students identify their passion to develop career goals, which can lead to high school and post-secondary planning personalized to meet these goals.

According to the Educational Research Center of America (2015), “A large majority of high school students (64%) report the greatest influence on their future careers is their own experiences and interests. This is followed by their father and mother (22% and 19% respectively) and their teachers (11%).” If the decision comes down to student choice, CTE Month is one event intended to promote career education options. The occasion heightens awareness for students, parents, and the community, and encourages exploratory opportunities to help students make more informed decisions.


So why CTE and CTE Month?

According to statistics from the Association for Career and Technical Education,

  • CTE Works for Students – as studies show that high school students involved in CTE are more engaged, perform better, and graduate at higher rates 94.7% in North Dakota.
  • CTE Works for College – as it prepares students and adults for in-demand and technical careers.
  • CTE Works for the Economy – as it yields returns for state economies with productive citizens.
  • CTE Works for Business – as it addresses the needs of high-growth industries and helps close the skills gap between what’s needed by industry and what is available in the employment pool.

Ultimately, better informed students and parents, contribute to better decision-making. Check out your school’s CTE programs and activities this month to better prepare your student to Explore It, Dream It, Do It!