Magazine article Techniques

Tennessee: A Leading and Learning CTE Model

Magazine article Techniques

Tennessee: A Leading and Learning CTE Model

Article excerpt

AS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOCUSES ON RETURNING MORE LEGISLATIVE AND POLICY control to states and localities, it's a good time to consider what leading efforts exist that might be replicated in career and technical education (CTE) programs around the nation. This CareerTech VISION themed edition of Techniques motivated thoughts about Nashville and Tennessee's good CTE work and some of the recent changes they have put into place.


Perhaps Nashville is best known for administering one of the strongest career academy systems in the United States. Students have their choice of more than 40 different academies within the 12-zoned high schools in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, and the program is viewed as a model for many others looking to initiate career academy programs in their own communities.

This year's CareerTech VISION (December 6-9) conference includes the option of a pre-conference visit to McGavock High School, one of Nashville's best-known wall-to-wall career academy schools. Also, the National Career Academy Coalition will be hosting two concurrent sessions at the conference.

The conference will also include a general session panel of state CTE experts. Heather Justice, executive director for the office of CTE, will highlight some of Tennessee's recent CTE initiatives. Tennessee's Department of Education states that "robust learning pathways should culminate with the achievement of nationally recognized industry certification, meaningful work-based learning experiences, and/or attainment of postsecondary credit hours though early postsecondary opportunities."

Through the "Drive to 55" initiative that focuses on increasing the number of skilled workers in the state, students are encouraged to focus their elective credits on career-aligned learning pathways that culminate in earning industry-recognized certifications that meet both postsecondary and employment requirements. The Tennessee Department of Education and Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology have reached an agreement to allow the promoted capstone industry certifications to count for credit in the related postsecondary programs. …

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