By Gary Wixom
Assistant Commissioner for Career and Technical Education
Utah System of Higher Education
What will the year 2013 bring? If you search the Internet you find predictions for the New Year in almost any area you are interested in exploring. Predictions for what will happen to the economy, predictions for what will happen in politics, predictions for what will happen in education, predictions for the latest in technology, and you can even read about predictions on what the predictions will be! We often use the start of the calendar year as a time to do a little predicting of our own future and make resolutions about how to be “better”, to be “richer”, or to be “smarter.” Then, as the months slip away, we often settle in to what is comfortable and make little change in our lives.
A good way to start off the year 2013 is to make a goal to learn something new every day. After all, we are learning creatures—we come into the world needing to learn everything, and we spend the first years of our life focused on learning, so making a lifelong practice of learning is what makes humans unique. Today, learning is easier than ever before. We are confronted with loads of information on a daily basis. Information on any subject is just a click away on the Internet. What we do with that information is the key. Let’s make the year 2013 a year of learning no matter what station of life you find yourself in.
Did you know that nearly 30,000 high school students not only are learning in high school, but at the same time they are earning college credit through the concurrent enrollment program? Last year students earned over 194,000 college credits while still in high school and got a head start on their college/career pathway.
Research is showing that students who participate in concurrent enrollment courses improve their chances for success. Career and Technical Education (CTE) is a great place to begin a concurrent enrollment experience. Students who participate in CTE concurrent enrollment courses reduce the likelihood of dropping out of high school, they generally obtain more academic and technical skill than other students, transition to postsecondary training at a higher rate, and have a greater opportunity to obtain employment leading to a livable wage.
There will be many opportunities to “learn” during 2013. If you are still in high school, look into the many career pathways that are open to you, and take advantage of the concurrent enrollment program. If you have moved beyond high school, choose a career pathway that will lead to good employment and personal fulfillment. In the year 2013, let’s make it a year that we learn something new every day.