Across the United States, schools join together to celebrate the National Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month. The month of February is used yearly to promote and inform students about the benefits of CTE programs. UVSC is no exception.

"Career and technical education is about providing students the opportunity to learn marketable skills that are in high demand in the marketplace," Greg Loebel, recruiting and retention specialist with UVSC’s CTE Department, said.

The CTE department on campus joined in the festivities by setting up an information booth in the Sorensen Student Center Friday, Feb. 15. It was open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This same booth will resurface on Feb. 19, 21, 22 and 25.

"I think it is a good thing they are doing," Jennifer Clegg, assistant to the dean for finance and operations, said. "A lot of students and employees think, for some reason, that we are getting rid of our technology programs, but the booth is helping them say ‘We are still here’."

The original purpose of this monthly celebration is to raise awareness among high school students about to enter college campuses, but UVSC’s funds are spent focusing on those already attending.

To further support beyond a booth, the college is also holding an institution-wide scavenger hunt the final week of February – complete with prizes – along with a traditional and expected CTE Faculty "thank you" luncheon and reception Feb. 25.
During the reception a presentation of the future goals and strategic plans involving the Career and Technical Education department will be given and discussed.

The end result expected from CTE efforts is that students are presented with the opportunity to explore a variety of career areas. It hopes to introduce them to the lesser-known CTE programs at UVSC.

Some of these programs include culinary arts, accounting, automotive technology, business management, cabinetry and architectural woodwork, air conditioning and refrigeration technology, dental hygiene, art and visual communication, education, child and family studies, legal studies, and nursing.

"Armed with high demand skills in a discipline that fits their passions, students can earn higher wages and move strongly forward in attaining their life goals," Loebel said. "Earning vocational certificates or AAS/AS degrees in career and technical education programs essentially becomes a shorter path to a higher paying job and college success."

Students are encouraged to stop by the information booth in the Sorensen Student Center for more information about CTE programs and to sign up to participate in the scavenger hunt.

Each participant in the scavenger hunt will receive two free mp3 downloads. The prizes mentioned earlier include an iPod Touch, which will be given to the 1st place winner. Two runners-up will receive an iPod Shuffle