Career and technical education (CTE) provides many opportunities for students and communities

High-quality, cost-effective career and technical education is the bridge between students learning the skills they need to succeed at work and businesses finding qualified employees.

New credential widens pathway to graduation

Now students across New York state have the opportunity to gain the skills they’ll need to go on to college or directly into the workforce. The Board of Regents adopted a regulation in June 2016 that allows students to graduate with a Career Development Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential. Prior to this, the CDOS credential was available only to students with disabilities.

What’s the value of BOCES CTE programs?

  • Connects academics to real-world success. Valuable hands-on opportunities can unlock those “aha” moments when students see connections between what they’re learning and how they can apply those skills in the real world. These experiences, in turn, help students choose their college majors or career paths or help them earn industry certifications.
  • Helps students get a head start on college while saving money. Students can earn post-secondary credits in high school and enter college in advanced standing, saving money on tuition and books.
  • Provides connections to satisfying careers. While sharpening their technical and people skills during internship and job shadowing experiences, students also make connections with local businesses — including potential future employers.
  • Supports students with disabilities to graduate. A recent report from Advocates for Children of New York found that students with disabilities are more likely to graduate if they are enrolled in career and technical education programs. In fact, the report found that more than 75 percent of students with disabilities who completed at least two-thirds of a CTE program went on to graduate.

CTE: An investment in student success and New York’s economy

Career and technical education plays a critical role in creating a skilled workforce that contributes significantly to the state’s economic growth.

Jobs are changing, and the state’s 37 BOCES are keeping up

  • The number of construction and trade industry jobs are expected to rise over the next decade especially among positions in skilled trades, such as plumbers, electricians and carpenters. This growth is largely attributed to pending retirements and a need to upgrade existing infrastructure.
  • Health care occupations are expected to be in demand over the next decade as our region’s population continues to age. This increasing demand will be in ambulatory health care services (e.g., home health
    aids, medical assistants, physicians) and hospital services (e.g., licensed practical nurses, medical and clinical laboratory technologists).
  • Possibilities abound in manufacturing. Most regions around the state are expanding their existing manufacturing operations or trying to identify and pursue emerging manufacturing opportunities, such as chemical manufacturing, food manufacturing, machinery manufacturing and computer and electronic product manufacturing, among others.

BOCES are continuously developing and evolving their CTE programs to align with the economic development priorities in their respective regions so that students graduate with the skills their communities need.

[Data compiled from the Technical Assistance Center of New York’s Regional Economic Labor Outlook
Alignment reports (]

Collaboration with business is key

BOCES has a vast network of education and industry professionals that help foster career skills in emerging fields such as nanotechnology, which are driving New York state’s burgeoning high-tech economy. In 2016-17, representatives of more than 4,000 businesses served on advisory councils for BOCES, with more than 80 new career programs initiated as a result of these cooperative efforts. These partnerships provide a pipeline of skilled workers and circulate millions of dollars back into their local economy.

Additional support needed for CTE programs

One of the significant roadblocks to providing access to BOCES CTE programs to students is state funding. The existing state aid formula reimburses school districts for a portion of a BOCES instructor’s salary — the first $30,000. Since this limit was established in the early 1990s, it has not been adjusted to keep pace with the actual salary costs for CTE instructors.

Shifting more of the costs of providing valuable CTE courses to local taxpayers is a concern when business and industry around the state demand strong BOCES CTE programs to meet their workforce development needs now and in the future.