The STEM Education Blog

Bridging the equity gap when adapting CTE to online environments

Jul 29, 2020 12:00:00 PM / by Rebecca Ellis

During the COVID-19 pandemic, classes transitioned online. While a lot of classes made successful transitions, the quality of many career technical education classes was inhibited due to the inability to provide necessary machinery. According to an article in District Administration, concerns have arisen about how lack of proper CTE training will impact students’ college and career readiness and how much the equity gap will increase.

Canva - Yellow Utility KnivesThe solution could rest in data gathering to focus efforts toward students and courses where the equity gap has seen the largest increase and make resources available accordingly.

This involves tracking student progress to investigate where students have failed to complete their coursework or credentials as well as gathering information from students and their families about what resources they have access to.

While the equity gap in CTE courses like graphic design have been essentially unaffected because the resources are able to be made more easily available, courses dealing with agricultural or mechanical equipment are much more difficult to adapt. Because of this, if the students’ families don’t already have access to that equipment, it can be nearly impossible to keep up with the coursework.

Canva - Green and White Press Drill on TableSome schools have tried to help with this by allowing a select number of students work in the school’s shops or labs at their own designated stations. Others are using Zoom for demonstrations to show students how to use the hands-on equipment.

In this way, the best solution for bridging the equity gap is understanding limitations to create equal instruction for all students and making resources as available as possible for students who may not have access.

Read the full article here: How schools can improve CTE during COVID-19.

For further resources about classroom career training, click here.

Topics: STEM Careers and CTE, STEM Learning Methodologies, Technology, STEMtechnology, Education Technology

Rebecca Ellis

Written by Rebecca Ellis