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The Business Case for Registered Apprenticeship

January 4th, 2017

Why would a company add the cost of setting up Registered Apprenticeships? What is the value proposition?






The only business case that clearly communicates value is one that will enhance actual, relevant, employee knowledge and productivity, i.e., the case for structured on-the-job training (SOJT).


Apprenticeships that lack SOJT are hollow and lack impact. How many times have I heard electrical apprentices describe how they “pulled wire” for four years in an unstructured OJT job?


If a company implements SOJT and documents the impact, adding Registered Apprenticeship (RA) is quick and easy.


I attended a recent Registered Apprenticeship Week meeting, and overall, it went well. Following the presentations, employers in attendance asked questions reflecting an inaccurate understanding that RA was some government/school program they signed up for–rather than something they must take action to create. It is my opinion that there must be a coherent business case (the performance impact of SOJT on employee performance) for using RA.


To persuade companies as to the benefits of RA, we must first master the message of SOJT. The benefits from moving a company beyond unstructured OJT to structured OJT must be the heart of the RA message. The ability to explain SOJT should be central to the RA message. Over emphasis on federal registration and related instruction will fail to persuade.


Message points for SOJT vs. unstructured OJT need to be standardized and actually drive the marketing campaign to expand RA. Effective SOJT trainer materials and lesson plans should be the outcome. A consistent methodology to deploy SOJT and develop a cadre of SOJT trainers across companies would increase the RA adoption rate. RA can be readily expanded once SOJT is widely implemented.

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The Ketchum Group, LLC to Participate in Workforce Training Grant

July 11th, 2016

Date: July 11, 2016
Information Contact:  robert.ketchum@ketchumgroup.net


Local Company to Participate in Workforce Training Grant


Pacific Cabinets will use a $63,170 Workforce Development Training Grant from the Idaho Department of Labor to train 11 new and retrain 11 current permanent, full-time workers at its Ferdinand, Idaho, manufacturing facility.  The Ketchum Group (TKG) has been retained to implement the structured on-the-job training component of the project.


New positions include engineer technicians, CNC (computer numerically controlled) programmers, finish carpenters and fabricators. Average hourly wages for new workers will be $15.64 plus employer-assisted medical benefits. Hourly wages for existing workers – project engineers, managers, supervisors –will increase to an average $22.18 per hour plus employer-assisted medical benefits.


The Ketchum Group, a Coeur d’Alene based consulting business, was incorporated in January of 2010, and provides expertise in Structured on the Job Training, or SOJT. According to Dr. Robert Ketchum, a company principal, “Structured on the Job Training is a relatively new method of training employees that depends on teaching existing and experienced employees how to train the next generation.”


In other words, Ketchum continued, Pacific Cabinets CNC programmers will be instructed in techniques enabling them to pass on learned skills to newer employees. SOJT, as the name implies, is highly structured for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. It is based on previously developed Train the Trainer programs but includes a online system to support SOJT trainers and measure outcomes.


The 37-year-old company manufactures countertops, millwork, cabinets, casework and specialty products for several industries, including health care, education and lab facilities.


Idaho’s Workforce Development Training Fund, established in 1996, is used to reimburse businesses for the cost of training new workers or retraining existing workers who would otherwise be laid off. Eligible businesses must produce a product or service sold outside their region, and jobs must pay at least $12 an hour and include employer-assisted health insurance. The fund is financed by a 3 percent set-aside of the unemployment insurance taxes paid by businesses each year.

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Career help wanted. University of Idaho meeting the need for career and technical education instructors.

May 29th, 2016

Previously published in the Coeur d’Alene Press on Monday, May 23, 2016

Dale Sprouse spent 30 years making things. Now he’s teaching high school students how to do the same at the Kootenai Technical Education Campus in Rathdrum.

“This is my playground,” said Sprouse, who teaches automated manufacturing and engineering design at KTEC.  “I love what I am teaching. This spring we made solid body guitars and the students really got into it. I am pretty proud of what we were able to accomplish. These kids are going to be filling the manufacturing jobs of the future and that’s exciting.”

His infectious enthusiasm and comprehensive knowledge of the manufacturing world are rare, considering that the state of Idaho has a shortage of Career and Technical Education instructors.

“We have a critical CTE teacher shortage in Idaho. We believe 13 CTE programs statewide closed during the 2015-16 school year because the school districts could not find a qualified teacher,” said Dwight Johnson, state administrator of Career and Technical Education in Idaho. “In some cases high schools have a CTE program operating but have reduced the number of students involved due to lack of teachers. There may be other programs that are not active but not yet closed because they are still looking for teacher candidates. Anecdotal reports from administrators say they many times have only one candidate or very few candidates to choose from in filling positions. They have voiced concerns over the quality of teacher candidates because of the small pool to choose from.”

KTEC is something of an exception. It  has about 12 full-time instructors for about 400 students,  said Director Tim Fortune.

“I would say not only is it a challenge for us to find instructors for our CTE programs statewide, but it’s a national issue, based on the rigor and workplace knowledge that CTE programs demand. It’s difficult to recruit those individuals that are not only industry savvy but talented teachers as well,” Fortune said.

The University of Idaho Coeur d’Alene is working to resolve the issue. It offers baccalaureate degrees in Career and Technical Education (Business and Marketing, Engineering and Technology, Agriculture, and Occupational Education). In addition, the University of Idaho offers the courses required for CTE occupational specialist certification. This industry-based certification applies to more than 90 CTE program areas,  said Dr. Robert Ketchum, a lecturer in the Career and Technical Education Program at the University of Idaho Coeur d’Alene.

“The occupational education teaching program includes five courses that focus on preparing the individual for teaching in the classroom,” said Ketchum.  “They have incredible experience working in industry. They just need some new tools to prepare them for the classroom.”

This year the Idaho Legislature approved a new bill that addresses salary concerns for occupationally licensed CTE teachers. Districts will receive a $3,000 allocation for each CTE teacher they employ who holds an occupational specialist certificate.

Sprouse, who completed the certification program at the University of Idaho, said he appreciated the online format of the classes.

“I really liked that aspect of it,” he said. “You’re able to have great discussions and share different points of view. Some of my friends have expressed interest in teaching and when they find out the requirements, they’re like, ‘Is that all? I want to do that.’”

For more information: Contact Dr. Robert Ketchum at robertk@uidaho.edu or call

(208) 292-2518.

–Written by Marc Stewart, Director of Sponsored Content

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Generations–and generalizations

May 20th, 2015

About ten years ago, we were informed that we must adapt to yet another challenge in the workplace. We were told that we faced significant workplace issues based on generational differences. My reaction when faced with the topic of generations in the workforce is to be reminded of the classic rock song (1972) by Neil Young titled Old Man specifically the lyric that goes: “Old man take a look at my life, I’m a lot like you were…”

Have the changing generations driven change in management, or teaching and learning? The topic of generations in the workplace has been lively since the mid-2000’s. Harriet Hankin’s 2005 book The New Workforce: Five Trends That Will Shape Your Company’s Future. This book was part of a wave of conference presentations, workshops and consulting on the topic of generational characteristics. Hankin defined six generational groups in the workplace that can be summarized as:

The Silent Generation—said to be disciplined, traditional, hardworking and loyal. Born 1922 to 1945

The Baby Boomers—defined as preferring traditional management structures, face-to-face interaction and requiring recognition. Born 1946 to 1964

Generation X—defined as self-reliant, multi-cultural, and having a sense of entitlement. Born 1965 to 1976

Baby Boom Echo (also known as Millennials or Generation Y)—said to be flexible, and frustrated with entry-level positions. Born 1977 to 2000

Generation Z—the latest group defined as frugal and avoiding debt. Preferring to communicate with technology. Born early 2000’s to present

Each of these groups are linked to specific characteristics, and their distinct expectations in the workplace are detailed. Ongoing research has identified preferences among these groups, and employers are encouraged to recognize and modify their work culture accordingly. Are generational differences more significant than individual and life-stage differences? I’m not convinced. Many Boomer managers have commented on a “lack of commitment and loyalty” that is said to be rampant with Gen X and Millennials. These differences are evidenced in work style and I believe, are often age and life stage related.

I cringe when faced with calls to accommodate generational differences in a manner similar to a disability accommodation. I believe employers are best served by focusing on paying for skill and assessing for performance rather than attempting to adapt to employee generational preferences. If it is true that we get more of what we measure, then measure the behavior we want.

How has all this variation affected the workplace and schools? Technology preferences may loom large and require consideration. One of the largest changes is in the area of communication needs. A study published in 2013 showed those born before 1980 ranked communication preferences as follows:

  1. Personal Meeting
  2. Phone Call
  3. e-Mail
  4. Facebook
  5. Text Messaging

Those born after 1980 ranked their communication preferences as:

  1. Text
  2. Facebook
  3. e-Mail
  4. Telephone Call
  5. Personal Meeting

The difference in preference for personal meetings is dramatic, and these preferences influence the workplace and the schools. The trend toward online learning is robust, and the preference for technology-based communication points to a changing landscape for higher education. We can also expect a continuing impact on workplace design. What impact will this preference have on plans for college and university classroom buildings? Already we read of an impact on demand for business office space.

Generational expectations are driven by cultural influences with no evidence that these differences are genetic. Life stage differences are a major component in my opinion. Changing cultural values clearly impact politics and public policy. Research regarding how the Internet experience may be rewiring our brains is also interesting. Do minds learn much as they always have? I say yes. Minds learn most effectively through direct experience. Experience takes some time.

By Robert G. Ketchum, Ph.D.

Previously published in the North Idaho Business Journal

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Selection trumps training for successful employees

January 20th, 2015

As an educator, I have often heard from employers: “Give us trainable new employees that will show up on time and provide an honest day’s work.” Some states in the USA have adopted work-readiness certification that helps answer the question of a person’s trainability. What we are less prepared to answer is the question of “soft skills.” The presence or absence of appropriate soft skills can determine a new hire’s success.

What’s more important, training or selection, when hiring new employees? New hires bring personal traits that elude the influence of employer sponsored training. Employers want good employees. This obvious expectation is often expressed as a desire for good “soft skills”. These soft skills are frequently described as: “show up on time”; “care about customers”; “be honest” or “work in a team.” These are perennial expectations by employers. Beware of anyone claiming that that training is the solution. The solution is to employ effective employee selection that identifies these traits. The question is not can the employee learn to do the job, but will the employee do the job. Effective training is critical, but can only be built on strong foundation of effective selection.

Consider ACT’s Workkeys Talent Assessment system. ACT in Iowa City is the leading player in academic and workplace skill assessment. ACT’s research confirms that personal traits (Customer Service Orientation, Managerial Potential, Teamwork, and Work Discipline) are employee selection criteria, and not readily influenced by training. Understanding this fact will save employers time and money using training when training is not effective.

Nonetheless, ACT has developed a Soft Skills Suite that can help a learner build on skills that can improve performance. The ACT Talent Assessment is a personality inventory and its scores identify the strength of work-related personal traits. Training does not affect personal traits in the same way it affects skills or behavioral knowledge. This resistance of behavioral traits to the influence of training does not present a completely gloomy outlook. When a person becomes aware of personal traits that are not desired in the workplace, it is possible to learn behaviors and attitudes that will build on some traits and compensate for others.

The importance of selection (and its relationship to training) became clear at the end of World War II when the US Army became aware that training was not enough. The Army observed that even with proper training, some soldiers failed at their jobs while the same training made others a success. Analysis of the situation brought a new focus on fitting behavioral styles with specific jobs. Matching personal traits to the job produced dramatically better performance results. Behavioral assessment became critical to organizational success. Effective training is critical, but training cannot replace effective selection.

Training is effective when a lack of knowledge or skill is the problem. For example, safety training can provide all the needed knowledge and skill to do work in manner to avoid hazards, but compliance is critical for any safety program. Training does not ensure compliance.

Personal traits are obviously a concern for employers. I recommend employers improve selection, and not consume resources attempting to train for personal traits. Training resources, as limited as they are, should focus on job related knowledge and skill, where return on investment is available and can be measured.

By Robert G. Ketchum, Ph.D.

Previously published in the North Idaho Business Journal

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Can’t teach? Then cause learning.

December 31st, 2014

by Robert G. Ketchum, Ph.D.

“I cannot teach anybody anything; I can only make them think.” – Socrates

 The history of teaching in America is defined by the perception of the low value of teachers. In the 1890’s, Horace Mann advocated the hiring of female teachers since they could be paid less than men! And, he added, would focus on bringing “love and order” to what were then viewed as disorderly male-led classrooms. High expectation liberal arts school educated teachers were replaced with normal school (dedicated teacher education schools) graduates. For two hundred years, America has talked of the importance of teachers while deriding their lack of knowledge and skill. Now we have shifted toward the ultimate expression of a high-stakes testing approach to school-based learning that may finally eliminate intellectual inquiry from the teaching profession. Successful answers to a narrowly defined set of exams will drive teacher behavior. Poor student test results could put newly minted teachers, faced with the burden of student loans for a four-year teaching degree, on the street looking for a new occupation. That risk will drive all classroom behavior by teachers.

In the current conversation about education, everyone is an expert, particularly elected officials. This claimed expertise often comes from having been through school. Not unlike claiming expertise in surgery–because you once had a surgery. Those who have not (and would not) teach in a classroom usually make the policy decisions regarding education.

If Socrates was right, what does that mean for the expanded effort to force ever more knowledge into the heads of students–in shorter periods of time? Should teachers just talk faster? How does project-based learning, long the foundation of career and technical education, fit in this environment? Adult working life is often a steady stream of projects. These projects are executed in a collaborative environment with ever increasing access to knowledge and information. Remembering is obsolete in many fields of endeavor.

The evidence is clear that technology deskills the workforce rather than increasing skill. Have you read about the new target tracking rifles on the market? For the still high cost of purchase, any inept hunter may become one of the most accurate shooters in history. This technology represents another area of human skill that will enter decline. New evidence confirms that pilots who rely too much on automated flight technology, and become ill prepared to deal with emergencies requiring human pilot skill. Don’t let anyone fool you with the message that rising technology drives higher skill levels.

The role of education in our economy is a complex picture. How do we persuade young people that a large debt load is a good price to pay for higher education? How do we assure that K-12 education produces graduates that can feed himself or herself, while navigating a changing economy?

How we respond to these challenges will help determine the economy our children will face. I met this week with a visiting scholar at the University of Idaho from China. She is an educator in career and technology education, and is researching how the USA develops its career and technical education teachers. Her research is part of China’s broad effort to expand career and technical education in the face of economic needs. China is faced with a need to rebalance the numbers of university graduates that have flooded China’s job market, a large task indeed.

I am reminded of Socrates, no one can teach me anything; I can only be caused to think.

Previously published in the North Idaho Business Journal

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Ask YouTube

December 9th, 2014

If you are over 40, you may recall industrial arts classes in school. Sometimes referred to as “shop.” Industrial arts classes were part of what is now called career and technical education. Industrial arts was not primarily intended to develop skill for employment, but to develop technological literacy with the tools and materials of daily life. Industrial arts classes were often criticized as “birdhouse” making classes. In fact, technological literacy was the overall goal of industrial arts.

Today, technological literacy is primarily keyboarding and posting on social media. During the early 1980’s, the USA saw an explosion of big-box home improvement stores. That trend is no more. In both the USA and Britain, do-it-yourself is in steep decline. This situation provides good opportunity for those going into the building trades! However, in a time of stagnant income and rising costs, not being able to “do-it-yourself” can lower a person’s standard of living. Not being self-sufficient can put home ownership at risk.

The decline of do-it-yourself has been attributed to several causes. The rise of single-family households is one; government regulation and permitting are another. I believe the elimination of school experiences in industrial arts classes is also a cause. Though industrial arts classes for all will never return, career and technical education is available today to enrich the lives of students who choose the opportunity. Much emphasis is now placed on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)–and rightly so, but that focus is not in conflict with participation in career and technical education. For example, “book engineers” are not well regarded. Engineering educators have told me that “farm kids” often make the best engineering students. Those farm kids bring experience with tools and materials that creates a foundation in practical experience for their engineering instruction.

There is hope to revive technological literacy beyond computer applications. That hope is the rapid expansion of an electronic performance support system that can instantly provide instruction for a growing array of practical applications in daily life. That system is YouTube. With a smartphone in hand, a growing array of detailed information (job aides) for tasks in daily life is readily available. In the past week, I twice turned to YouTube on my smartphone to carry out maintenance tasks on a family vehicle. Read the manual? Not when it’s a lot faster to ask my smartphone, and see a demonstration.

Life experience with tools and materials probably helps. My first teaching role after university was teaching industrial arts. Parental examples of the use of tools and materials are on the decline, bit career and technical education can help overcome that social change. Why is this important? Track the price of hiring a plumber!

Interesting facts from YouTube:

by Robert G. Ketchum, Ph.D.

Previously published in the North Idaho Business Journal

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The real question is, can you do the job?

November 1st, 2014

We are all familiar with the “everyone must go to college” message. Not as widely promoted is the message of industry-based certification. Business and industry-based certification can supplement, and serve as an alternative approach to measuring work-readiness. Many businesses increasingly use the college degree as a sorting strategy for applicants, often with mixed results. A parallel trend is emerging that contrasts the fuzzy measurement represented by the “seat time” of a college degree, with skill specific measurements based on validated business and industry skill needs. The US Department of Labor has cataloged almost 5,000 such certifications on their CareerOneStop.com website’s Certification Finder.


Back in 2010, Georgetown University made predictions about workforce needs in 2018. Those predictions were, and continue to be, widely quoted and used to drive public policy. A primary, and most frequently cited, conclusion from those predictions was that 60% or more of new future jobs would require post-secondary training by 2018–not necessarily a four-year degree. Idaho adopted this prediction as a goal. That goal due date is now only four years away. Workforce predictions continue to make reference to middle-skill jobs. These are jobs said to require some college or post-secondary training or certification.


Business and industry certifications are typically based on direct assessment of knowledge and skill. Not necessarily seat-time, as are most post-secondary degrees. This difference between seat-time and assessed competence is important. The difference is important because performance on-the-job quickly becomes more critical than the degree that impressed the interviewer. Another trend is the rise of competency-based college and university education. The growth of competency-based education parallels the increase in business and industry-based skills credentials. This competency trend includes direct assessment of prior learning. The concept is simple, demonstrate what is known and what can be done, and then be credentialed for those skills. As a sorting and hiring tool for prospective employees, skill-based competency credentials hold great promise. The promise will be fulfilled if the assessments can verify a person’s ability to do the job, and not simply measure the ability to remember information.


Almost twenty years ago, Microsoft dominated the certification scene with its MCSE exams (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer.) These computer certifications were intended to be a sure pathway to better pay and better jobs. What business discovered was that a flood of “paper MCSE’s” were developed. Weekend boot camps flourished promising that you would quickly pass the MCSE exam. When these MCSE’s were hired, they couldn’t do the job. Multiple-choice questions cannot measure job performance in the real world. The MCSE faded in popularity as a result. On-the-job learning reemerged as a needed component for effective performance in the workplace.


The trend to incorporate business and industry certifications in career and technical programs is almost universal. In North Idaho, Kootenai Technical Education Campus (KTEC) is offering eight industry-based certifications, one for each program offered. Idaho is home to 12 professional-technical high schools like KTEC offering 129 total programs. Each of these programs reflects the communities they serve.


Over the past couple of years, there have been many articles about massive open online courses (MOOCS.) Usually free, and available to anyone, these MOOCS are said by some to represent the future of higher education. MOOCS may be the ultimate expression of the delivery model of learning. The delivery model of education seeks to present information to the learner. Being presented with information is not the same as learning. The true revolution in education may instead be competency-based education. Proving what you know, and what you can do, might supersede being exposed to instruction.

by Robert G. Ketchum

Previously published in the North Idaho Business Journal

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Expanding career and technical education

October 1st, 2014

Expanding in the USA? No, but career and technical education is expanding in China! The Chinese government recently announced a dramatic “pivot” toward vocational education. The Chinese plan includes converting 600 colleges into vocational schools. The Chinese plan also includes boosting the number of vocational students from 29 million to 39 million, a 34% increase. Should we take notice?

On the downside, China’s educational system lacks the USA’s flexibility and multiple re-entry points for continued college degree attainment. In addition, young Chinese are faced with a high-stakes exam at the end of high school that determines if they have any future in higher education. China’s three-day exam is called the National Higher Education Entrance Examination or gaokao. This grueling exam is held in June of each year, and measures preparation for university work. The gaokao tests determine a young persons future regarding continued education—and overall opportunity in life. A high school student’s life revolves around preparing only for the content that is tested. All other learning is ignored. It is common for teachers to “X” out whole sections of textbook content not included in the exam. That is an example of teaching-to-the-test. Does any of this sound familiar in our current intensive student-testing climate? The Chinese plan for vocational education includes adding vocational skill assessment to the gaokao so as to facilitate access to post-high school training.

China’s one-time chance for access to post-secondary system is not what we want in the USA. Community colleges were developed to ensure open access to higher education opportunity. We want students to be able to develop their full potential. Consider this quote from Dr. Louisa Moats, a founding developer of the Common Core State Standards:

“The Common Core Standards represent lofty aspirational goals for students aiming for four year, highly selective colleges. Realistically, at least half, if not the majority, of students are not going to meet those standards as written, although the students deserve to be well prepared for career and work through meaningful and rigorous education. Our lofty standards are appropriate for the most academically able, but what are we going to do for the huge numbers of kids that are going to “fail” the test?”

Good question, what will we do? What the Chinese did, over the past 15 years, was carry out an agenda that we are now pursuing. The Chinese agenda was to greatly expand the number of university degrees awarded. This goal was achieved, and the Chinese dramatically increased the number of university graduates. The result was a sudden increase in the number of graduates in non-graduate occupations (sometimes referred to as “gringos”) fueling disappointment and disconnects with the job market. How many USA gringos do you know paying off student loans?

In the USA, the federal government has called for career and technical education to be more job-driven. This is sound guidance; good CTE programs have always been job-driven. A primary goal of a CTE program is a job at the end. This year, for the first time in a decade, the U.S. government boosted funding for high school and college career and technical education by $1.125 billion. This is an amount that is $188 million smaller than in 2004.

A current federal initiative proposes to expand apprenticeship in the USA. Apprenticeship is the learn-while-you-earn model of career and technical education, and requires a much higher level of engagement by employers. Competitive grants will be available late this year that seek to double the number of apprentices in the USA over the next 5 years. This is a step in the right direction, but are we prepared to pivot toward career and technical education as our Chinese competitors are doing?

by Robert G. Ketchum, Ph.D.

Previously published in the North Idaho Business Journal

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What happened to vocational education?

August 26th, 2014


A University of Idaho colleague recently asked me, “What defines technical education?” This question was not unusual; I have answered this question many times before.


The answer requires some explanation. Beginning in the 1980’s, what was called vocational education for decades was rebranded nationwide as career and technical education (CTE.) This was done in an effort to project a new image, and escape what was viewed as a negative public perception. In 2006, the last reference to “vocational” was removed from federal legislation. Also during this period, the higher cost of career and technical programs caused such programs to disappear from high schools all across the country, and expand in community and technical colleges that made CTE central to their missions.


During this period of name change, general education courses were increasingly taken together with occupationally specific education (CTE.) No longer is occupationally specific skill training offered without the foundational skills such as applied math and writing and reading for understanding. The Common Core is now poised to further impact CTE.


Some remnants of the politically incorrect term “vocational” remain. For example, the Hedlund Building on the North Idaho College campus still says “vocational,” and my Ph.D. will always remain in vocational-technical education (that should date me!) Idaho chose to use the name professional-technical education (PTE) instead of career and technical education, and was the only state in that nation to use this name. I’ll refer to CTE. In Idaho, CTE also means separate funding. CTE is separately funded in Idaho, and operates a statewide technical college system as well as provide funding for high school programs.


As with many things, varied definitions can be found. Here is the federal legal definition for career and technical education:


Career and Technical Education (CTE) is a sequence of courses that:

Here is a simpler, more brief, definition:

Career and technical education is a term applied to schools, institutions, and educational programs that specialize in the skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies, and career preparation.


Why is the definition of CTE important? It is important because students pursuing a college or university education want their tuition to produce a paying job at the end of the experience. If the learning experience is more closely aligned with the needs of employers, the more likely a job can be found. The traditional differences between academic learning and CTE have become less clear, and in fact, college applicants are wise to investigate how closely their chosen college or university major is linked to business and industry expectations. The more closely linked a program is to the job market, the more likely the graduate is to find employment.


My favored definition is as follows; career and technical education (CTE) draws curriculum from the current knowledge, skills and abilities used in business and industry. This definition can be contrasted with what we call academic learning. Academic learning typically draws curriculum from tradition, books and academic experts. This difference in the source of curriculum is what truly defines the difference between CTE and academic instruction.


Vocational education didn’t disappear; in fact, the practical “vocational” perspective toward the role of education in life has come to dominate student choices. Recent surveys of entering college students report the number one reason (85%) for pursuing a college education is “to get a better job.” Isn’t that a definition of vocational education?


By Robert G. Ketchum, Ph.D.

Previously published in the North Idaho Business Journal

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