CTE Month, February, celebrates CTE as well as can be used as a recruiting event for next year’s courses. Many schools are having students request courses in February or soon after. While you may be exhausted from all the CTE-ness, promoting and recruiting for your program is not over.

Most schools will base their master schedules on these first course requests, but students will still change their schedules. Depending on where you are, some schools allow students to change up to two weeks AFTER the following school year has begun.

In the short term, those class changes won’t impact your master schedule. But, adding those students can impact your courses for the following years. Think long-term here.

Keep Promoting and Recruiting By Celebrating Students

The end of the school year brings many different ways to celebrate students. If you haven’t started yet, highlight those students regularly.

This can be done with a weekly student spotlight. You’ll want to take their photo and gather a testimonial. 

Here are some questions to ask:

  • What is your career goal?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • Why did you decide to take [cours name]?
  • What was your favorite part of [course name]?
  • What advice would you give to future [course name] students?

Additional information about spotlighting students can be found here.

Be strategic in how often and the order you post them. Want to recruit more female students? Post your female spotlights more frequently. 

Make sure your students and your parents see these spotlights, even if you need to send them via email. Families love to brag about their students being spotlighted. Let them do the sharing for you.

As you get closer to the end of the school year, celebrate the post-secondary choices your students are making. Are they choosing to go to a technical college? Will they be signing on with a trade union? Are they starting an internship?

Keep Promoting and Recruiting By Showcasing Final Projects

Conducting mental health check-ins can be simple if added to a routine that you are

Now that your students have learned most of your content, it is time for them to apply that knowledge. This can be in the form of the final project. With your students working more independently, you have more time to take photos and videos. Many of these photos can be used next year–not just now.

We are fascinated with the before and afters of just about everything. (Example: where it started, where we are.)

Do you have a sample of what your level one students are creating versus your advanced students? Better yet, do you have a beginning project and an advanced project from the same student?

What have your students been working all year or semester on? Typically your end-of-level projects are the big projects that combine all the skills the students have mastered since being in your course. 

Your students will love to show off what they are working on. Have them describe their project in a video that you can use to promote your program or transcribe for a website write-up. 

This is a great time to show all the behind-the-scenes. Your students are also at the point where they can teach or explain to others what they are doing. Have your students give a tour of your lab or shop?

Keep Promoting and Recruiting By Highlighting the Next Step in the Career Journey

Right now is a great time to show the next steps for your current students. Continue to show your current students where they go from here. Is there a specific class they should take next? 

Connect with post-secondary options to highlight for your current and future students. Technical colleges, trade schools, universities, and unions would love to visit your classes as guest speakers. 

In addition, other great options for guest speakers are former students who are working in your career field or are only a step ahead or two of your current students. Your students want to know what it’s like to be a nursing student, a freelance designer, or a pipefitter. 

Whether these are guest speakers, field trips, or virtual speakers, take photos and video. Get a bio from your speaker. Write down all the questions and answers for “frequently asked questions.” 

Prepare your guest speaker by asking them the following questions:

  • What made you interested in [career]?
  • How did you choose [trade school/university/apprecticeship]?
  • What is your advice for a student who wants to go into [career]?
  • If you were to do it again, what changes would you make?
  • What surprised you the most about post-secondary education?
  • What other possibilities will there be with your education?

In Summary

Our students are begging for connection. They are feeling all sorts of emotions that

The end of the school year is a great time to get photos and videos to promote and recruit for your program. Spend time creating student spotlights that show diversity in gender, race, disabilities, and interests. 

While students are working on end-of-level projects, create behind-the-scenes videos. Have your students explain what they have learned. Use this time to show the next steps for your current and future students. Invite guest speakers who are one to two steps ahead.

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