Maritime Career and Technical Education

Career Technical Education (CTE) is a program of study that integrates academics with technical and occupational knowledge. CTE provides students of all ages with the skills and training to succeed in future careers and to become lifelong learners. Currently, about 12.5 million high school and college students are enrolled in CTE programs in the United States.

CTE was formerly (and is still commonly) called vocational education, although that term has fallen out of favor with many educators. PMA’s program will offer both academic and career-oriented courses, and will provide students with the opportunity to gain work experience through internships, job shadowing, on-the-job training, and industry-certification opportunities.

In PMA’s CTE program students will learn how core school subjects like math, science and writing apply to real life problems. The program will take the form of a distinct “school within a school,” which offers a career-oriented curriculum in which academic coursework is aligned with Maritime Engineering career paths.

Many advocates believe that CTE is an underutilized path which could increase the educational engagement and achievement of some students who do not excel in traditional academic programs. These students may be more interested in the practical learning experiences that are often provided in career and technical programs.  Some advocates further argue that CTE programs relieve some of the weaknesses of traditional programs. Rather than learning from books and taking tests, students gain marketable skills that set them on an employable path post-graduation.

Students enrolled in CTE programs must meet the same academic standards that apply to students in other schools. In the United States, CTE has sometimes been stigmatized, with a perception that these programs can provide a lower quality education or that students who attend such schools are less capable or have lower aspirations. There is no concrete evidence that such perceptions are valid, and many studies have shown that students enrolled in career and technical programs can and do outperform students in more traditional academic settings.