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Highland puts technical students onto career path

Highland Community College joins community colleges throughout the state to celebrate Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month. This is an integral component for business and community partners to work alongside Highland Community College to make CTE programs exceptional.

CTE programs offer flexible scheduling, work-based learning, and stackable credentials that provide a pathway from education to employment not only for recent high school graduates, but also for returning adults, veterans, and incumbent workers. Success in CTE programming is amplified by academic support services, work-based learning opportunities, and business engagement. CTE’s reach in Illinois’ workforce continues to be expansive; currently, there are more than 4,300 different CTE program offerings across the community college system.

In December, Highland invited area high school students to spend the day on campus learning about a variety of CTE fields. The event was designed to give high school freshmen and sophomores an opportunity to try out different careers through four interactive breakout sessions.

“The day gives these young people some in-depth, hands-on experience directly related to some core career pathways,” said Scott Anderson, Dean of Business and Technology. “Exposure is key when considering a technical career.”

Scott Anderson explained that during two of the sessions, students were introduced to possible nontraditional fields, such as young women in Automotive and young men in Cosmetology. “At first, many students are hesitant by being removed from their comfort zone. However, once in the hands-on activity, each student completely embraces the experience,” he said.

The CTE experience connects individuals to high-skill, in-demand fields. Last year, roughly two-thirds (62.2 percent) of all Illinois community college graduates earned a CTE degree or certificate.

“Anyone interested in getting into a career that pays well and is in high demand should look into CTE programs. CTE programs are working with business and industry leaders around the state to fill their needs for skilled employees,” said ICCB executive director Dr. Karen Hunter Anderson.

For more information about postsecondary career and technical education programs and services at Highland Community College, contact Scott Anderson at 815-599-3604 or To learn more about statewide career and technical education initiatives throughout Illinois, visit

Photo of Technical Students

Photo captions: High school students enjoyed hands-on CTE experiences while spending a day visiting Highland’s career and technical programs.