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Let’s face it, you need to feature your CTE program. Your program is not naturally getting featured on the internet or social media. In my school district, sports dominate school websites and social media. Every once in a while, there will be an academic feature, but it’s rare that I see something about CTE.
Why is this? Your school social media manager is always looking for content. In fact, I’m in a group right now with over 350 school social media managers. The group admin asked what was the biggest challenge we were facing and over 50% said it was getting content.
So, from a school social media manager’s perspective, sports stories are easy content. The events happen often, so if they have nothing else, that’s what gets posted.
This needs to change! The majority of our programs and students are not getting seen or featured.
In this post, we’re going to talk about some ways that you can get your CTE program featured on social media. We’re going to start by talking about your CTSOs. Then how to use special spotlights for your advanced students. Followed by featuring your former students. And finish off by discussing how to highlight stats about your program.
Feature your CTE program by showcasing your CTSO
One of the easiest ways to feature your CTE program is to showcase your Career and Technical Student Organization (or CTSO). If you are a CTSO advisor, then you know how much goes into those organizations.
Your community may or may not know your CTSO exists and if they do they have no idea what it is.
When I was in high school, my best friend who was a year older than me, convinced me to join FCCLA. I thought, “well, I have nothing better to do, so why not?” I ended up becoming an officer a couple of years later and even went to nationals.
My mom still calls it “FCCLMNOP” and has no idea what the acronym stands for.
Just so you know, it’s Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America–formerly Future Homemakers of America.
Use your school website and social media to explain what your CTSO is, and who it is for.
Consider taking photos of your officers planning and running an activity. Showcase a service project the members participated in. Include the before and after or the reasons why the students chose the project.
You can also highlight your current, future, or former members and officers. And of course, let your community know how your members did at local, state, and national conferences.
Feature your CTE program with special spotlights for seniors or advanced students
Parents and students love when their students are spotlighted. As I mentioned earlier, only a small percentage of your school’s student body is getting featured.
In Episode 14: Spotlight Students on Social Media in 3 Easy Steps, I go over how to create these student spotlights.
Currently, we are nearing the end of the school year. You can take this time to highlight specific seniors or advanced students.
- Where are they planning to go from here?
- What did they enjoy about your course?
- Why did they sign up in the first place?
This is also the time of the year where seniors in high school are making some pretty big decisions about the future. SkillsUSA has named May 4, 2021, as National Signing Day for students going into a skilled or trades occupation or post-secondary training.
You don’t have to have an official day to do a signing event. You can decide on a date and have your seniors take part in an event where they say what they are doing after high school.
I’ve even seen where a school has created a background for students to stand in front of to take photos.
Feature your CTE program by featuring former students
Another fun student spotlight is to feature former students. Using the same ideas as the student spotlight, highlight your former students.
- What did they do after high school?
- Where do they work and what do they do?
- What was the most valuable thing they learned from your classes?
- What advice would they give current or future students?
Include photos of them then and now including photos of them on the job.
Jared, my welding teaching husband, recently asked his former students to fill out a survey and send some photos. He’s been able to collect about 40 responses–including photos–in a few days.
As a bonus, the former students are allowing him to use their photos. Some of the on-the-job photos that they sent are so good that he’s planning on using them in other posts, under quotes, or welding career stats.
Feature your CTE program by highlighting stats about your program
Every parent wants to know that they made the right choice in the school their child attends. They want to be able to brag about their choice to others.
Providing your community with stats is a great way to feature your CTE program online.
- How many students pass an industry exam?
- How many of your students graduated with honors?
- Do you know how many of your students completed a pathway?
- How many different colleges or universities do your students plan to attend?
- Are any of your current students working in a related job?
What I learned in my statistics class, is that by using the right stats, anything can be made to look great. Advertising and marketing agencies use stats all the time to get us to buy things.
Summing it all up
We talked about using your CTSOs description, events, and members to feature your program. We also went over how to use student spotlights and former student spotlight as well. Finally, we discussed how stats can be used to show how awesome your program is.
You have no excuses for not knowing how to feature your CTE program online and on social media. These ideas can be used whether you have your own social media accounts for your program. So now it’s up to you to get your program featured.