WASHINGTON D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today introduced legislation to encourage high school juniors and seniors to experience a course in career and technical education at a local community college. To help students better understand their options for post-high school, Loebsack’s legislation, the Collaboration for Today’s Education (CTE) Act, establishes a grant program within the Department of Education to provide students with the experience of taking a class in the career and technical education fields at a local community college. The legislation has been endorsed by the National Education Association (NEA).
“Whether it is at a university, community college or receiving a certificate, getting an education beyond high school is more important than ever in our 21st Century economy,” said Loebsack. “Getting an education in career and technical fields often leads to vital, high demand, high paying jobs that many students do not know exist and may align with their passions. Having students explore career and technical education programs will help encourage them to seek careers in these high demand professions that they may not otherwise consider.”
“We thank Congressman Loebsack for introducing a bill that will strengthen high school students’ achievement in career and technical education (CTE) programs by exposing them to CTE programs at community colleges,” said Marc Egan, Director of Government Relations at the National Education Association. “We know that CTE students graduate from high school at a higher rate and have higher earnings over time; this bill will only enhance these outcomes for students.
Specifically, The CTE Act establishes within the Department of Education a grant program awarded to secondary schools who establish a unique collaborative with a local community college to encourage students in their junior and senior years of high school to experience career and technical education courses.
To be eligible, a secondary school must form a partnership with a community college. The secondary school receiving the grant may use it to reimburse third parties, including the community college with which the secondary school has partnered. One year after the grant is awarded the school must submit a report analyzing the effect the grant had on encouraging their students to experience CTE. Two years after the enactment of the bill, the Secretary of Education must submit to Congress a report detailing the results of this grant program.