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3 More Ways to Increase Student Enrollment in a CTE Program

Posted by Kenny Colston | May 9, 2018 |Amatrol, Inc.

After getting feedback from our first list of tips to increase enrollment in your CTE class, we’ve decided to give three more tips to help instructors. Career and technical education thrives on innovation and that includes how to attract students to your program.

Thanks to Bob Sexton, a former high school CTE instructor in Indiana, for his thoughts!

1 – Field trips!

If you’re in charge of a local CTE program, chances are it’s been developed with local industry in mind. So why not visit those companies and let students see real world examples of what they are learning? Invite students who aren’t currently part of your class on a field trip to local businesses. On the trip, they can interact with company executives, as well as employees ranging from assembly to IT and really connect their learning with a potential career path. Then, ask representatives of those companies to come to your classroom for a day and let students show off their skills! It brings the entire experience full circle.

2 – Showcase Career Opportunities and Success Stories

Keep an updated job board somewhere prominent in your school, like in a main lobby or the entrance to the gymnasium where parents can see it when they attend sporting events. It’ll help students realize your class is more than just fun and it’ll also reinforce to parents that a solid future awaits. If you are teaching earlier in a student’s life, work to find or create job shadowing or apprenticeship opportunities for your students. With one student involved in a job shadowing or apprenticeship experience that student encourages 10 to 20 friends to become part of your CTE courses and the job shadowing or apprenticeship experience. The student becomes the best marketing representative and recruiter for the school and the companies. Even better, have your former student come in and talk about their path from interest to classroom to career.

3 – Host Competitions

Competition is fun and generates excitement among students. It could be robotics, design, or whatever competition showcases your class. Hold the competitions in areas where potential students can watch.  Work with your middle schools and set up the competition in their gymnasium or invite 8th graders to come watch the competition. Also, invite the public to come to engage parents and local companies that may decide to support your program. You never know who will come and influence more students into your program.

If you have any ideas or success stories about what works for your program, I hope you’ll connect with me at the links below.

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