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ND Career and Technical Education Director says most high school students are taking CTE courses

The director of North Dakota’s Department of Career and Technical Education said the number of high school students enrolling in CTE courses has been steadily increasing.

Wayde Sick said around 28,000 students are taking at least one CTE course. He said that’s around 75 to 80 percent of North Dakota high school students.

"We've seen a steady increase of about 1000 to 1500 students every year over the last three to five years," said Sick.

Sick said one of his goals is to have every student be a CTE student.

"Every occupation out there can originate in a CTE program," Sick said. "What a great way to explore and find out what the world has to offer in the world of work."

Sick said the mind-set of CTE courses has been changing.

"So often, we think of career and technical education as the trades," Sick said. "But career and technical education includes information technology, health careers, business education, marketing. So there's opportunity out there, and I'm excited about where we're going."

A number of school districts are opening new CTE centers. Sick said when those centers open, there may not be a big jump in student enrollments.

"But what we're probably going to see is students taking advantage of courses they never have had the opportunity to take before," Sick said. "That's the intent of a CTE center, is to provide more and different opportunities, to find student interest, and offer access that students may not have had."

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