Note: NASDCTEc has launched a new blog series called, “Getting to Know …” We are using this series to help our readers learn more about specific states, State CTE Directors, our partners and more. Check out our first entry about Florida!
State CTE Director: Patty Cantu, State CTE Director, Office of Career & Technical Education, Michigan Department of Education (MDE)
Postsecondary Counterpart: None. Michigan may be the only state in the nation that does not have a state agency or governing body responsible for higher education. MDE and the Workforce Development Agency work collaboratively with the deans of the colleges and universities to foster and promote postsecondary CTE connections.
About Michigan CTE: In the Great Lakes State, secondary CTE is delivered through comprehensive high schools and career centers. In 2011, 33 percent, or 115,214, of juniors and seniors were enrolled in CTE programs, with 19 percent of those completing their CTE program. Of the 16 Career Clusters® in the state, Business, Management and Administration; Marketing Sales and Service; and Health Science are the three most popular programs within secondary CTE. The state’s graduation requirements often forced CTE to compete for space in a student’s schedule. In 2014, lawmakers made changes to the state’s graduation requirements to allow CTE course equivalencies to count toward graduation in science, physical education and foreign languages as well as math, in some cases. State officials expect this change to boost the number of students taking – and completing – CTE programs.
Postsecondary is delivered largely through community colleges. With more than 200,000 students enrolled across all programs, the most popular are Health Science; Business, Management and Administration; and Law, Public Safety, Corrections, Security.
About the state CTE office: MDE is the sole agency responsible for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) and has 26 people on staff. The state’s Perkins funding is divided with 60 percent dedicated to secondary CTE and 40 percent for postsecondary. MDE has a memorandum of understanding with the state’s Workforce Development Agency to distribute the federal postsecondary CTE funds to the state’s community colleges.
Programs of Study (POS): Education in Michigan is governed heavily through local control, meaning that all programs of study are locally developed. However, to garner state approval, CTE programs of study must have strong postsecondary connections. In recent years, the number of statewide articulation agreements has grown. The state posts all secondary CTE standards on the website, CTEnavigator.org, which state officials say has helped encourage these statewide agreements.
Notable in Michigan: Prior to 2006, Michigan had just two early/middle college high schools, which is a five-year high school that allows students to earn a high school diploma and substantial transcript college credit. Then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm targeted early colleges as a way to bolster the state’s talent pipeline in the health field, where there was a growing need for skilled workers. Granholm and lawmakers allocated funding to launch early colleges with a healthcare focus, and once state funding faded away, school districts continued to establish these early colleges. Today, there are 90 early colleges in Michigan, with many of them having an explicit CTE focus and the rest offering CTE courses for students.
Gov. Rick Snyder has long promoted CTE as a critical piece of the state’s economic development strategy, which led, most recently, to his proposal to designate $18 million funding for early colleges in his 2015 budget. Snyder also continues his effort to boost the skilled trades, including a $50 million grant program for the state’s community colleges. Last week, Snyder launched a new campaign to highlight the skilled trades with help from TV host Mike Rowe. The campaign includes videos targeting K-12 students and addresses common myths of trade careers.
Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate