Watch: Educators & Experts Talk About How High Schools Are Innovating to Better Prepare Teens for College & Work

‘Career and technical education is not vo-tech,’ one educator said. It provides meaningful opportunities and prepares students for college and career.

How high schools can use career and technical education and dual enrollment to help students prepare for both college and career was the focus of a recent panel convened by The 74 and the Progressive Institute, featuring voices of educators, experts and a current student.

The conversation included Maryland state Sen. Alonzo Washington; Dr. Julius Davis of Bowie State University; Dr. Daria Valentine, principal of the Academy of Health Sciences at Prince George’s Community College; Dr. Jean-Paul Cadet of Prince George’s County Public Schools; and Sidney Foster, a sophomore at the academy. 

Panelists talked in depth about the Academy of Health Sciences at Prince George’s Community College, an innovative high school that partners with colleges and universities to prepare students for career paths in medicine, teaching and other fields. 

“I need people to understand that career and technical education is not vo-tech, it’s not vocational education,” said Dr. Jean-Paul Cadet, who leads the Career and Technical Education department in Prince George’s County Public Schools. 

“If anything, you can consider it the evolution or the reimagining of project-based learning, because what really happens is students are able to find areas of interest and passion and then they’re able to link up with industry specialists, and [professionals will] say, ‘this is what it looks like to operate on a body, this is what it’s like to build a building from the basement to the roof, this is what it’s like to build a computer from parts on a table,’ ” he said.

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