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Career and Technical Education (CTE) | Industry Certifications

4 Certification Tips from the Pros

September 5th, 2022 | 3 min. read

Joshua Witherspoon

Joshua Witherspoon

After serving as a Texas FFA state officer in 2018, Josh Witherspoon joined the iCEV team as a part-time employee for 3 years before taking on the role of content development specialist in 2022. Witherspoon holds a bachelor's degree in agricultural communications from Texas Tech University, in which his experience and proficiency in writing, marketing and CTE allow him to effectively communicate the successes of CTE educators and students and the value iCEV has to offer.

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In this blog, iCEV will share four tips from CTE educators who have found success in certifying students and seen the value industry certifications add to the lives of students and the workforce.

Do Your Research

Before a CTE educator begins to pursue implementing industry certifications in their classroom, it’s important the educator does the appropriate research. CTE educators must begin by identifying a certification that not only aligns with the course being taught but with the interests and needs of their students. Find a certification capable of leading to job opportunities in the local community for students while they are still in high school or even post-graduation.  Also find how the chosen certification could benefit students entering a particular college or university program. Identifying these early connections will aid in connecting the dots for students and help them understand how their education impacts their future.

When identifying an industry certification to implement in a CTE classroom, it’s important the instructor understands not only the certification itself but also the scope of advantages and opportunities associated with earning a specific certification. By having this information before students interact with the certification, educators can better guide their students through the certification process, inform students on how the certification can serve them and motivate them to engage in their education more intentionally. Before implementing a certification in your classroom, do the appropriate research to ensure all students benefit from the experience and to prepare yourself to guide students through the process effectively. To get started researching to find the most effective industry certification for your classroom, start here.

Be Consistent

Creating a culture is about consistency. Whether in a Fortune 500 company or a CTE classroom, consistency is important in sharing information effectively to reach a goal. Consistency creates culture when a leader leverages or encourages particular behaviors or actions to reach a defined goal. For today’s CTE educators aimed at implementing industry certifications in their classroom, consistency is critical in creating space for effective learning for students.

Be consistent week-to-week regarding when students are expected to work on and finish certification work. Educators should also be consistent in how they talk about certifications with students and consistently share the value and advantages students will gain from the experience. As students begin to earn certifications from year-to-year, industry certifications can develop culture in your department as students share individual and shared success.  

Diversify Instructional Methods

From a student’s perspective, earning an industry certification to benefit their future can be overwhelming or hard to understand. To make earning a certification more organic and engaging, use various teaching strategies to ensure time spent working on the certification is meaningful. One way to encourage time spent working on a certification is to incorporate certification work into everyday learning, such as bell ringers or mini-lessons.

Use blended learning techniques and personalize learning for students by tweaking and editing playlists on the iCEV platform to fit students' individual needs. Teachers can also cover content in class related to certifications to increase mastery of topics and skills. When incorporating an industry certification into a CTE classroom, ensure the hands-on component that makes CTE impactful remains part of your student’s experience. Hands-on learning offers many benefits and can elevate students’ learning experiences when paired with a certification. While earning a certification is no easy task making it more fun and engaging for students can make an even more significant difference in their futures.

Motivate and Celebrate Students

Motivating and celebrating your students is one of the most important roles for educators implementing industry certifications in their classroom. As stated earlier in this blog, earning an industry certification is not an easy task and takes significant time and effort. Celebrating students’ achievements along the way can help maintain motivation and commitment to continuous effort and hard work. Celebrations are not only a form of encouragement; they also drive students to stay on track and stay motivated with their learning.

When students pursuing an industry certification feel supported and reassured by parents and educators who acknowledge their success, it leads them to continue working hard towards their personal goals. For students, there is nothing more affirming than being motivated or celebrated by a parent or educator for hard work.

To learn more tips and strategies for successfully implementing industry certifications in your classroom, stay tuned and keep an eye on iCEV’s spotlights and visit our certification page:

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