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Roseburg High CTE Programs Flourish, Prep Students for Success in Skilled Trades

10:42 PM · Apr 22, 2023

Roseburg High School (RHS) in Oregon has established itself as a leader in Career and Technical Education (CTE), offering one of the state's largest CTE programs with nine pathways. In the 2021-22 school year, over 1,000 students participated in these programs, which include automotive, manufacturing/welding, carpentry/woodworking, drafting, Hospitality, Tourism & Recreation (HRT)/foods, early childhood education, business and marketing, agriculture/natural resources, and health occupations. Sheri Carson, CTE division leader at RHS, shared that the school plans to add one or two more programs in the coming years. The focus on CTE has been critical, as students in these programs graduate at higher rates than their peers. Data from the 2021-22 school year show that students who take at least one CTE course have higher graduation rates than those in general studies. The importance of CTE programs became evident when the state's push for college education in 2008 led to cuts in CTE programs. As skilled trade job openings went unfilled, business leaders and CTE instructors voiced concerns, and CTE programs have been slowly reintroduced. However, the cost of bringing a program back up to industry standards remains a challenge for school districts. Carson emphasizes that modern CTE programs should adhere to industry standards and provide students with certifications and work-based learning opportunities. These programs not only benefit students but also help communities by supplying skilled workers in key industries. For example, Roseburg Forest Products just announced a $500 million dollar investment into high tech advanced manufacturing facilities in Douglas County. High quality career and technical education programs can help prepare local students to be able to fill many of these high tech positions. For more information on the economic benefits of CTE programs, visit the Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE) website at https://www.acteonline.org/investing-in-career-and-technical-education-yields-big-returns/.

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