A Competitive Advantage: Celebrating Career and Technical Education in San Juan County

By Jeanna Grover
Career Technical Education Director, San Juan School District
As we step into February, we are celebrating Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month – a time to acknowledge the invaluable role CTE plays in shaping the future of our students and our communities.
CTE pathways, which are a series of courses in one content area, prepare students in San Juan County, giving them the competitive advantage necessary for success in a modern workforce. 
CTE students gain the technical competencies, professional skills, and academic knowledge necessary for future education and employment. 
Technical Competencies: Students in CTE programs develop unique and practical skills.
In the San Juan School District, CTE programs are designed to do just that. Students don’t just learn from textbooks; they roll up their sleeves and engage in hands-on activities that mirror real-world scenarios.
From agriculture to technology, CTE ensures that our students graduate with technical skills that set them apart. 
Professional Skills: CTE Programs not only develop a strong technical skill set but also cultivate imperative professional skills.
Students develop problem-solving skills, communication skills, resilience, adaptability, and a strong work ethic.
CTE instills these qualities in our students by combining classroom learning with real-world experiences in the classroom.
Outside of the classroom, internships and job-shadow opportunities provide a taste of the professional world, helping students adapt to different challenges and fostering a robust work ethic.
It’s not just about preparing for a job; it’s about preparing for a successful career.
Academic Knowledge: CTE programs provide significant value to the overall education of students.
All CTE courses incorporate technical mathematics, language arts, and science skills, which impacts proficiency in these areas for CTE students.
In the San Juan School District, CTE educators teach courses that are rigorous, engaging, and relevant, ensuring more students are college and career-ready, increasing high school graduation rates, and providing opportunities for youth to learn about and experience careers, smoothing the transition to post-secondary success. 
Celebrating CTE Month: This February, let’s take a moment to celebrate the incredible work happening in our CTE programs.
These programs shape well-rounded individuals ready to face the challenges of high-wage, high-demand careers.
From graphic arts, business and finance, health science, computer science, and everywhere in between, CTE Month is an opportunity to showcase the diverse array of opportunities available to our students, encouraging them to explore their passions and carve out their unique paths to success. 
San Juan County is a unique blend of industries, from the stunning landscapes that draw tourists, agricultural roots that run deep, and the healthcare industry that sustains our communities.
CTE recognizes and celebrates this diversity by tailoring education to meet our local needs.
Whether it’s training in hospitality for our tourism sector, agricultural skills for our farmers and ranchers, or health science for the healthcare industry, CTE programs work to ensure that our students are equipped with the knowledge and abilities demanded by our local employers.
As we look towards the future, investing in CTE becomes not just an educational imperative but a strategic move towards building a thriving, skilled workforce that drives economic prosperity in San Juan County.
Career and Technical Education in San Juan County is not just about preparing students for a future job; it’s about providing them with the tools to thrive in a dynamic and ever-changing world.
As we celebrate CTE Month, let’s applaud the efforts of our educators, students, and local businesses working together to build a future where everyone has the competitive advantage needed to succeed.

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