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CTE Ranks in the Top 10

Caldwell County Schools Career and Technical Education (CTE) ranked Top 10 in the state for the most credentialed CTE students among high schools in North Carolina. The standings were announced this week during the NC Department of Public Instruction CTE virtual conference.

“Earning a CTE credential is something students walk away with when they graduate, and they are better prepared and skilled to enter the workforce or to accelerate their career path,” CTE Director Libby Huff said.

Caldwell County Schools CTE was one of only two districts that appeared in the top rankings for number of student credentials met and percentage of students who passed a credential for the CTE course offerings that offered a credential.

Credentials earned by CTE students enrolled in grades 9-12 have increased steadily over the last four years. Students earned 5,195 individual credentials from August 2019 to June 2020 even though second semester was affected by school closure. The number of credentials increased by 1,555 since 2018. The school district placed ninth in the state for total number of credentials completed, a first-time designation in this distinguished Top 10 category.

“It’s difficult for our school district to compete with much larger districts that enroll two and three times more students,” said Huff. “We have encouraged our CTE concentrators to develop a plan, set goals, focus, and be completers, and it’s reflected in the highest number of certificates ever attained in a school year.”

The school district moved from fifth place in 2019 to third in the highest percent of credentials earned based on enrollment in CTE courses that offered a credential. Caldwell County Schools posted 204 percent for the 2019-2020 school year. This percentage takes into account the total number of credentials earned by each student within a school year.

Students earn industry-recognized certifications or credentials through CTE course offerings that attach the criteria for certification within the curriculum. These credentials verify students’ knowledge and skill levels in specific job areas, such as firefighting, nursing assistance (CNA I), and construction, or validate necessary skill sets like Adobe Creative Suite or Microsoft Office that are preferred when seeking employment.