From Exploration through Certification: Career and Technical Education


Amanda Cunningham
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - 8:30am

The Call for High Skill, High Demand Jobs

Of students who didn’t finish high school, 81 percent say that relevant, real-world learning opportunities would have kept them in school, according to the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) and the National Center for Education Statistics. Gregg Levin, Fuel Education's general manager stated that, whether or not your students plan to go on to post-secondary education or straight into the workforce, the option for career and technical education (CTE) can “open doors for students to have better lives after graduation.”

Further, the economy has changed, calling students to fill high skill, high demand jobs right out of school. According to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, by 2020, 65 percent of all U.S. jobs will require post-secondary education and training beyond high school.

All of this change requires schools and districts to adapt the way that they prepare students for their future. To help them do this, Fuel Education (FuelEd) has launched a new blended and online program, Career Readiness Pathways, for CTE in order to more effectively prepare students for both college and careers.

From Exploration to Certification

Online and blended learning models are ideal for high schools looking to transform or expand their CTE offerings quickly, affordably, and thoroughly. Schools can implement Career Readiness Pathways with their own teachers, or they can opt to fully or partially staff their CTE programs with FuelEd’s highly qualified, certified instructors to expand students’ access to different career pathways regardless of teacher shortages.

The program offers both a comprehensive four-year program and an accelerated program so that students can start a career pathway as late as 11th grade and still be prepared for certification by graduation.

FuelEd’s Career Readiness Pathways is starting with four Career Clusters®:

  1. Business Management and Administration, traditionally the most popular CTE cluster with more than 96 percent of public high schools offering courses in this cluster
  2. Health Science, occupations in this field are expected to grow the fastest of all occupations in the U.S. through 2020—by 31 percent
  3. Information Technology, the fastest growing Career Cluster through 2018
  4. Manufacturing, which accounts for about one in six private-sector jobs and 12 percent of the GDP

These four clusters contain high-quality, rigorous courses for three career pathways that offers students can up to 12 career and technical education pathways.

FuelEd Career Readiness Pathways: Career Clusters and Supporting Services
FuelEd Career Readiness Pathways: Career Clusters and Supporting Services

Each pathway gives students the preparation of academic and hands-on training—and valuable certification exam preparation—that they need to earn industry-recognized certifications such as:

  • A*S*K and Microsoft® Office certifications in business;
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) in health science;
  • CompTIA® and Adobe® certifications in information technology; and
  • NIMS Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machine Operator Certification and MSSC Certified Production Technician Certification (CPT™) in manufacturing

Opening Doors to Success

In addition to certification exam preparation, Fuel Education offers several supporting services to ensure the success of the CTE program. FuelEd will help refer schools to SkillsUSA® to create their own career and technical student organization (CTSO) chapters for a structured program of citizenship, leadership, employability, and skills training. Further, FuelEd offers a career exploration platform with tools and resources to enable students to discover new careers and interests, as well as business skills development for interpersonal, organization, and other executive skills.

“Giving students choices about their future empowers them to take charge of their education,” says Gregg Levin, Fuel Education’s general manager. “With Career Readiness Pathways, students who may have never had a clear vision for their future can graduate high school with a diploma and an industry certification—and have the choice to start a career directly out of school or pursue a college education.” 


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