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February 21, 2014

Governor Parnell encourages Alaskans to explore career and technical education opportunities

February is Career and Technical Education Month, and Alaska Governor Sean Parnell has endorsed the  importance of career and technical education in the state in a formal proclamation, effective Jan. 30, 2014.

Student learns how to weld
Through career and technical education, students can
learn skills such as welding.
The governor acknowledged that career and technical education (CTE) and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs are crucial for global competitiveness and economic opportunity. He highlighted the collaborative work of Alaska’s departments of Labor and Workforce Development, Education and Early Development, and the University of Alaska for their efforts to develop an integrated career education system in the state.

At UAA, Community & Technical College Associate Dean Cathy LeCompte is developing the College & Career Pathways model for use statewide. College & Career Pathways is a student-centered framework that partners educators, businesses, and the community to provide a cohesive system of learning and mentoring support for students that includes career exploration and work-based experience.

By connecting high school and college programs through non-duplicative academic or technical course work, College & Career Pathways prepares students for college enrollment or workforce entry. 

“College & Career Pathways brings together resources to develop an educational system that helps students prepare for and transition into what comes next along their path through high school and into college or the workforce,” said LeCompte. “We want to help all youth in Alaska identify their career passion and develop a plan to achieve their dreams.”

The pathways model is a nationally recognized best practice that has proven effective in reducing high school dropout rates, increasing high school graduation rates, bolstering college enrollment, and mitigating the need for remedial course work. The UAA Community & Technical College promotes the College & Career Pathways program as a framework to support youth as they transition from secondary education into college or a career. 

Read the governor's proclamation.