News: Quick Takes

State Superintendent, Community College president promote alternatives to four-year universities

State education leaders are promoting career paths that don’t involve attending four-year universities.

State Superintendent Mark Johnson and N.C. Community College System President Peter Hans announced February Career Pathways Month. In a news conference Monday, Feb. 4, Johnson and Hans spoke about the importance of pursuing alternative paths to careers to fill the demand in a variety of industries across the state.

“The path to a successful and fulfilling career is not just reserved for those with four years of college,” Johnson said. “Students have the opportunity to find a great career through apprenticeships, technical training, the military and a two-year associate degree, just to name a few.”

Johnson spoke about how the traditional four-year university isn’t for everyone. Other pathways, including apprenticeships or community colleges, can lead to good-paying jobs.

The Career and Technical Education division of the NC Department of Public Instruction collaborates with public schools and community colleges to devise career pathways for students to follow. There are eight programs: Agricultural Education; Business, Finance and Information Technology Education; Career Development; Family and Consumer Sciences Education; Health Sciences Education; Marketing and Entrepreneurship Education; Technology Engineering and Design Education; and Trade and Industrial Education.

“North Carolina’s community colleges are dedicated to helping students obtain the necessary skills and training that are in demand today by employers,” Hans said. “In working closely with North Carolina’s public schools, we can help them get on the path to a great career.”

Gov. Roy Cooper declared the last week of January Career Pathways Week. Regional NCWorks teams hosted several workshops across the state to raise awareness about career readiness and provide information about the various career pathway programs.