According to the American Institutes for Research, career and technical education (CTE) is an educational strategy for providing young people with academic, technical, and employability skills and knowledge to pursue postsecondary training or higher education and enter a career field prepared for ongoing learning. This is aligned with the emerging recognition that college is not for everyone. Vocational education consisting of low-level courses, job training, and single electives is now being replaced with academically rigorous, integrated, and sequenced programs of study that align with and lead to postsecondary education.
Many afterschool and summer learning programs are taking up the CTE mantle. They take students on field visits to college campuses, guide them in college selection and the college application process, and help families with financial assistance applications. Other youth programs have activities that help youth learn about careers, and participate in apprenticeships or work experiences. Sometimes employers are partners with Out-of-School Time (OST) programs, helping to inform the curriculum or even hiring youth out of the programs.
This topic of the OST Hub is divided into the following sections. Each section provides free materials and resources to download on a range of OST career and technology education topics and approaches for OST programs.