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Why We Believe in the Impact of Career and Technical Education

Why We Believe in the Impact of Career and Technical Education

If you’re an educator, you probably have experience with Career and Technical Education (CTE) lessons. More and more districts are putting emphasis on providing students with real-world skills and occupational knowledge on top of core academic knowledge. We’re very excited to see CTE programs growing as we believe in the impact that it can make on students.

Where traditional vocational schools of the past focused mainly on skilled trades, CTE programs also involve pathways like healthcare, entrepreneurship, engineering, and more. We have connections and clients in a vast spread of industries in North Dakota and beyond; their skills are all amazing and unique. Some of their industries are in dire need of attracting fresh faces, and CTE is one way they can inform, attract, and prepare students to become members of their industry or company. CTE students are prepared to hit the ground running with the applicable competencies for entry-level positions in their industry of interest. 

 

What Makes Up High-Quality CTE?

There are aspects that make Career and Technical Education unique above the coursework. Many CTE programs have special industry-specific facilities, equipment, and materials to allow students to get hands-on while on school grounds. Work-based learning opportunities that get students onsite experiences in different career fields are another element of high-quality CTE. Course progression and accreditation that will transfer to postsecondary educational institutions is an additional facet that is quite attractive to students interested in participating.

Schools can help facilitate CTE with a standing network of business and community organizations that support and mentor students in their endeavors. Many will offer internships, apprenticeships, or entry-level positions to students with the right fit and passion. Some of these industry partners may also assist in curriculum by advising faculty, keeping them up-to-date on industry developments and opportunities. These businesses and organizations invest time and resources to inspire students to work and live in their local communities. They can truly make not only a lasting, positive impact on individuals’ career paths, but also the local economy.

 

Gold Star Qualities

What kind of impact does CTE programming have on students? One of the most obvious benefits of CTE is that students are exposed to many career options, making it easier for them to plan goals for their career roadmap and further education. They may learn about a job that they had never heard of that turns out to be a great fit for their interests and abilities. Most of us have probably pivoted slightly (or majorly) from our original career plan for one reason or another. These programs get individuals as up close and personal to careers as they can, offering a realistic view of what one can expect. They are able to make the call on if they are interested, or not interested, in certain jobs before investing an immense amount of time and money.

We love that Career and Technical Education and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) curriculums work hand in hand as well. CTE programming can be used to make STEM content more relevant and inspire students’ interest in STEM career pathways. CTE uses project and problem-based learning to show off the power of STEM disciplines with fun activities like robotics clubs, coding bootcamps, biology and nature clubs, and even esports clubs.

Students have been observed to be more engaged and interested in the classroom when CTE is implemented. Students involved in CTE coursework also achieve higher graduation rates. CTE lessons instill effective communication, critical thinking, research strategies, and teamwork among other skills. Students are learning the competencies that are sought after by employers before they’re working in the industry! On top of skills, many CTE programs allow students to earn and study towards certificates and college credits that make them even more ready for their career pathway of choice.

 

Room To Grow

Arguably some of the most exciting days for students are field trips and job shadow experiences. But if 2020 taught us anything, being in-person isn’t always feasible and learning must go on, no matter the circumstances. 

School districts face significant and unique challenges when employing CTE practices and programming in the classroom. In a perfect world, every school district could offer every aspect of high-quality CTE to every student. In the real world, financial, geographical, and time constraints make in-person job shadows and facility tours difficult to impossible. 

With budget cuts and grant dollars going elsewhere, students lack access to modern job exploration tools. Not every district has the opportunity to bring new technology and resources to their students. Some schools have been relying on older or minimal CTE content and technology. 

Geographical and location restrictions are also a factor that inhibits school districts and their students. Chauffeuring multiple classes-worth of students and chaperones on a single field trip is very costly. Of course, mother nature is not always mindful of field trips; less than ideal weather can put a damper on itineraries of special days for students too. Job facilities and sites aren’t always open to the public either—let alone students—due to industry secrets and safety concerns. If a student is interested in an industry that doesn’t allow tours or job shadows, how can they get an honest look into a professional’s day-to-day experience at work?

School districts have a lot to juggle over the course of a single school year. Faculty and teachers need to dedicate time to facilitate and organize CTE lessons, clubs, and outside of the classroom experiences. There are only so many days and hours in a school year and they have to balance what is most important. In order to meet certain guidelines and goals laid out, there may be minimal time that can be dedicated towards CTE content.

 

Looking for a way to employ CTE?

CareerViewXR is a career exploration solution for the modern classroom. CareerViewXR experiences use 360-degree technology to produce interactive web-based tours and companion virtual reality videos that get viewers into the heart of a career. 

Expose students to a variety of field trip and job shadow experiences for less than the cost of taking a single class on a single field trip. This affordable platform is great for working around time, geography, and financial constraints. High-volume classrooms can explore the growing content library 24/7 from devices school districts already own. 

Not only is CareerViewXR great for CTE, it’s useful for:

  • Employment agencies
  • Recruitment professionals 
  • Industry organizations
  • Corrections facilities
  • And more!

Michael Bush

Creative Lead

Maddysen Boecker

Maddy has a variety of creative experience under her belt from over the past few years and enjoys learning new things. She has been involved in video and podcast editing, copywriting, email campaigns, social media management, website design, and more. Her experience and understanding of many aspects of pre-production, production, and post-production helps her be an asset for the team at any stage.
B.S. Animation, minors in Film Production and Graphic Communication – MSUM May 2020
Member of Team BMC since April 2022
Primary Roles:
  • Highlights company news through email and social media campaigns
  • Composes unique and thoughtful copy for blogs, press releases, and other needs
  • Assists in the creation of flyers, ads, and other collateral.

Kryss Geray

Kryss has worked in several different industries, including as a test engineer at a local Fargo company.  As a test engineer, she helped with quality assurance to ensure all products met the highest standards, tested and documented all products, and collaborated on more effective and efficient ways of completing these tasks. She is proud to have worked on agricultural equipment such as acoustic material flow sensors and electronic motor and hydraulic controls, along with aviation equipment such as the Stratus ADS-B Receivers, and recoverable data modules.
Education
Member of Team BMC since March 2022
Primary Roles:
  • Oversees initial processing of all 360° media
  • Provides quality assurance for 360° photos and video content
  • Proofreads tour content meticulously

Michael Bush

Creative Lead

Drew Swenson

Drew is a passionate media enthusiast and self-proclaimed audiophile and cinephile. His creative journey spans music, podcasts, experimental video, film photography, and 3D printed Polaroids. Initially studying musical theatre at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, Drew discovered media production in his upperclassman years. He is half the creative force behind the band Hawthorne Park, created NDSU’s SODAA “Reviewable Content,” a free content library  with over 100 videos, and hosted the podcast Quarantine Soup.

A licensed drone pilot, Drew brings a unique aerial perspective to his projects and actively contributes to the local film community as a member of The North Dakota Film Society. Venturing into Virtual Reality (VR), Drew continually pushes the boundaries of his creative expression.

B.F.A. Musical Theater, minor in Media Production – UWSP May 2018
Member of Team BMC since August 2021
Primary Roles: 
  • Leads direction for all 360° media scouting trips and shoots
  • Supervises production team
  • Oversees creation of audio assets
  • Inventory Management
  • Equipment R&D

Maddy

Creative Lead

Michael Bush

B.A. 2D/3D Animation – MSUM May 2020
Member of Team BMC since February 2021
Primary Roles:
  • Dynamically animates in 2D and 3D
  • Meticulously designs UI and UX elements
  • Formulates graphics for print and web use
  • Champions XR research & development
  • Guides efforts of the creative team

Matt Chaussee

Matt is the Chief Executive Officer and co-owner of Be More Colorful. He has extensive experience in technical services administration, higher education, teaching, and technology training initiatives. While Matt’s role is primarily focused on business development and outreach, he is a self-professed lifelong learner who feels he has found his life’s calling in being able to learn about, explore, and share the amazing diversity of careers available to students today.
B.S. Mathematics minor Music and Psychology – NDSU December 2005
Masters of Business Administration – NDSU May 2009
Cofounded Team BMC in August 2016
Primary Roles:
  • Spearheads business development
  • Nurtures sales efforts
  • Amplifies community outreach
  • Coordinates workflow development

Katie Chaussee

Majority Owner, Co-Founder, Chief Administrative Officer
Katie is the Chief Administrative Officer and majority owner of Be More Colorful. She has a strong background in customer service and a keen eye for creating captivating visuals, both defining characteristics of the company. Katie was Be More Colorful’s first VR photographer and has served the company as an image processor, experience builder, and quality assurance specialist. In her current role, Katie is the key administrator for Be More Colorful’s in-office operations where she works to adapt and refine workflows for a talented team of creative professionals.
B.S. Psychology minor Art – NDSU May 2003
Cofounded Team BMC in August 2016
Primary Roles:
  • Coordinates workflow development
  • Oversees various aspects of office management
  • Manages various purchasing decisions
  • Maintains HR and payroll functions
  • Formulates creative marketing ideas

Michael Bush

Creative Lead