The director of the state department of Career and Technical Education said offering courses during the recent shutdown of schools has been a challenge.
And Wayde Sick expects the challenge to continue, as school districts are looking at either opening school doors, continuing distance education or a “hybrid model,” combining both on-line and in-person instruction.
"We're going to have to figure out what that looks like, and how we cannot lose the importance of 'hands-on' education that comes in career-tech ed," Sick said.
Sick said under a hybrid model, some of the theory can be done virtually, while CTE would bring students in, in maybe smaller groups or for longer periods of time, for some of the hands-on activities.
"We learned at the end of the 2019-2020 school year that we can teach CTE virtually," Sick said. "But instructors and administrators are getting ready to provide the hands-on experience."
Sick said the demand for CTE education is growing in North Dakota. He said at the same time, Governor Doug Burgum is asking his agency to submit a budget with a 10 percent reduction. Sick said it will be challenging, but Burgum and state legislators support the program.
"I'm optimistic we will be able to continue to provide that education, whatever it may look like," Sick said.