Collaborations with industries and professionals are a core component of career technical education. Done well, they can be a winning experience for everyone.
Students get to try out a profession to make sure it’s a good fit. They learn how to conduct themselves in the business world and they make connections that may lead to future employment. Industry and business leaders get a say in developing a curriculum to make sure there’s a practical focus to outfit students with the skills they’ll need to get hired. As for the schools, they get seasoned professionals to advise students, arrange field trips and, sometimes, provide financial support.
While many CTE programs have developed best practices to cultivating these relationships, there are some barriers; not all academies have enough staff, budget, or time to put into a program.
Thanks to the Alliance for Excellent Education, the California Department of Education, Cesar Armendariz at USC, Joseph Cocozza at Bravo Medical Magnet High School, and Jeff Merker at Sheldon High School for their help in compiling the following tips.