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Career and Technical Education (CTE) | CTE Month

What (and When) Is CTE Month 2024?

February 6th, 2024 | 5 min. read

Brad Hummel

Brad Hummel

Coming from a family of educators, Brad knows both the joys and challenges of teaching well. Through his own teaching background, he’s experienced both firsthand. As a writer for iCEV, Brad’s goal is to help teachers empower their students by listening to educators’ concerns and creating content that answers their most pressing questions about career and technical education.

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Career and technical education (CTE) has quickly become one of the most influential areas of education in the United States. With students throughout the country becoming career-ready and transforming the economy, it’s no wonder that CTE has its own month for celebration!

Teachers, administrators, and students celebrate CTE Month every year in February. In 2024, CTE Month is more popular than it’s ever been before — and for good reason!

CTE is proven to work as an educational philosophy. It helps empower teachers, students, and schools. It celebrates a variety of careers and professions and provides opportunities for involvement in student organizations and earning industry certifications.

As a result, everyone has something to celebrate in CTE Month 2024! But where do you start?

In this article, we’ll consider what CTE month is, how you can celebrate it, and why it’s important.

After reading this article, you’ll know more about what CTE month is all about so you can celebrate it in your school and classroom!

What Is CTE Month?

CTE Month is an observation of the value and importance of career and technical education as a whole.

While it has been around for a long time, in recent years, it’s become clear that CTE makes a huge difference in ensuring students are excited, qualified, and successful in a wide variety of professions.

But CTE Month isn’t just about celebrating these educational programs as a whole. More specifically, CTE Month celebrates the 16 career clusters that encompass CTE as a program. Even if your school only offers some of these clusters, each offers incredible opportunities for learners that are more than worthy of a celebration!

This is important because American public schools have traditionally pushed post-secondary education as the primary way for students to become successful in adulthood.

But that’s simply not true!

CTE focuses on hard skills, career readiness, and learning a skilled profession. Success is less based on learners’ conceptual understanding of a topic (though it’s still important) and more on their advancement as skilled workers.

CTE Month brings these qualities to the forefront of everyone’s mind each year. It shows students that they don’t have to be in a traditional classroom to be considered successful students, and that every student can learn valuable skills from work-based learning (WBL).

When Is CTE Month?

CTE Month is a predictable “holiday” month every February.

Schools around the country have different ways to celebrate, but many of them choose to do something like:

  • Hosting an open house
  • Holding a job fair
  • Sending instructors to talk to younger students in a school district
  • Collaborating with high school guidance counselors to improve awareness and enrollment
  • Connecting with local business leaders to raise awareness of graduating students

With that kind of celebration, many people are involved in making CTE Month successful. This is why it’s important to ensure everyone in your school and CTE program knows your plans and is ready to participate.

Who Celebrates CTE Month?

Teachers, students, administrators, schools, and education organizations all celebrate CTE Month in their own ways and for a variety of reasons.

Teachers may celebrate by organizing classroom visits from local business leaders or promoting internships at companies for their students.

Students may celebrate by talking to younger classes about what they’ve learned in CTE and why they feel it was a good choice for them.

Administrators could celebrate by dedicating funding to CTE programs and awareness campaigns.

Whole schools could celebrate with posters, extra-curricular events, student/teacher recognition, parental awareness campaigns, and much more.

Finally, education organizations like iCEV help ensure everyone knows CTE Month is the perfect opportunity to show how CTE graduates transform the economy and achieve long-term success.

Often, CTE classes act as the hub for all of these activities, although other subject area teachers and guidance counselors like to get involved.

Many post-secondary institutions — especially schools that focus on STEM — celebrate CTE Month because CTE emphasizes the skills students may need to start in engineering, mathematics, or technology occupations.

Why Is CTE Month Important?

CTE Month plays a crucial role in ensuring everyone recognizes the essence of career and technical education and its importance in qualifying individuals for fulfilling careers.

CTE graduates are transforming today’s economy. Throughout all 16 pathways, workers with a background in CTE are entering the workforce more qualified than their peers, allowing them to make an immediate impact in the professions and industries of their choosing.

Qualified CTE graduates, many of whom are beginning their careers with industry certifications, are helping to solve our country’s skills gap in areas from manufacturing to agricultural science to STEM.

CTE Month is the ultimate opportunity to showcase success in each pathway and empower your students. Just as importantly, it helps others understand the need to support CTE students and teachers, provide ample funding for programs, and ensure opportunities for graduates and certification earners.

CTE programs help each student thrive in the classroom and in their careers. The results of CTE are better education, more student inclusion, and higher graduation rates — especially for the students who wouldn’t have had those opportunities in a traditional education environment. Celebrating your students during CTE Month conveys the message that career and technical education—and the lives it transforms—are valuable and essential in every community.

How Will You Celebrate CTE Month 2024?

Now that you understand what CTE month is, when it’s celebrated, and why it’s important, the next step is to consider how you can celebrate CTE Month in 2024.

There are so many different ways to recognize CTE students and teachers and the many ways they transform the economy, their communities, and the lives of others.

The most important thing you can do to help celebrate CTE Month is to get the word out. Gather students, teachers, administrators, parents, and community and industry representatives to join in planning events and recognizing the success of your program. 

Do you need a few ideas to get started? Check out the 5 Best Ways to Celebrate CTE Month in 2024. You’ll learn about great ways to get your celebrations started:

Discover How You Can Celebrate CTE Month >