“Vocational education (education based on occupation or employment) (also known as vocational education and training or VET) is education that prepares people for specific trades, crafts and careers at various levels from a trade, a craft, technician, or a professional position in engineering, accountancy, nursing, medicine, architecture, pharmacy, law etc. Craft vocations are usually based on manual or practical activities, traditionally non-academic, related to a specific trade, occupation, or vocation. It is sometimes referred to as technical education as the trainee directly develops expertise in a particular group of techniques.”
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vocational_education yes I know its Wikipedia but it was a good explanation)
As much as we want everyone to go to a traditional type college and earn Associates, Bachelors, and Masters, etc, not everyone will or wants to go this route. We know there are jobs in some of the afore mentioned fields, but it can either be very expensive to get the training through a private institution or you have to join the military (nothing wrong with that, but only 7% of the population serve so it is an unlikely route).
The traditional vocational school, like community college, has a strong place in education, and the idea should be introduced early on, as to give students options.
Interesting article got me thinking: “Vocational Education Still a Stepchild”
“Despite all the talk about preparing students for college and career, it's the latter that is still being shortchanged. What is taking place in California serves as a case study of the hypocrisy ("Sacramento's schizophrenic love affair with Career Technical Education," EdSource, Jan. 9).”
“Last summer, the state Legislature overwhelmingly voted to establish a one-time, $250 million Career Pathways Trust, which would award grants to schools able to design innovative CTE proposals. But soon after, the Legislature voted to abolish all funding for Regional Occupation Centers and Programs by the 2015-16 fiscal year. What good is it to incentivize schools to come up with new programs if they are not funded?”
“Making matters worse going forward, Common Core standards are conspicuously devoid of career curriculums. This sends an unmistakable message that vocational courses are not as important as academic courses. Not surprisingly, enrollment in CTE courses in California has plummeted by 101,090 students, or 12 percent, and 19.6 percent of the state's CTE teachers are gone. That's unfortunate because school districts that offer apprenticeships have seen improvements in classroom performance and in attendance of juniors and seniors enrolled in the programs ("Can't Find Skilled Workers? Start an Apprentice Program," The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 17).”
Read the whole thing here: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/walt_gardners_reality_check/2014/01/vocational_education_still_a_stepchild.html?cmp=ENL-EU-NEWS3
Should this be included in the Community College repertoire or should more effort be put into saving the various systems of vocational/technical schools?
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III