Senator Loughran Cappel

SPRINGFIELD – The achievements and accomplishments of Career and Technical Education programs across the state will be recognized this February under a measure sponsored by State Senator Meg Loughran Cappel that passed the Senate Thursday.

“College isn’t for everyone and I want graduating seniors to know about the practical, affordable, career-focused options that trade schools provide,” said Loughran Cappel (D-Shorewood). “Trade schools open the door for additional career opportunities that can help students achieve their goals and build a successful future for themselves.”

Senate Resolution 85 declares February as Career and Technical Education Month in Illinois. Under the resolution, high school educators and counselors will be encouraged to assist each student to determine an appropriate post-secondary plan based upon their skills, strengths and goals and help them implement the best practices that improve career readiness after high school so that they can find an appropriate pathway.

CTE offers education and advanced training to support high-wage, high-skill, and in-demand occupations, including careers in health care, information technology, agriculture, finance and education. About 12 million high school and college students are enrolled in CTE across the nation. Advance CTE reports that the high school graduation rate for students who concentrate on CTE is about 90% – 15 percentage points higher than the national average.

“National research shows students with 3 or more CTE classes in high school are far more likely to persevere in college and obtain a degree if they choose to pursue a college education,” said Brian Gordon, Director of Three Rivers Education for Employment System. “Career and Technical Education coursework keeps students in school by involving students in engaging work and authentic assessment.  It also teaches critical thinking and problem solving in "real world" situations.”

Senate Resolution 85 was adopted by the Senate Thursday.