Career and Technical Education (CTE) offers students an enticing pathway by providing practical learning experiences, enhancing engagement, and preparing them for diverse careers. Research shows that participation in CTE is linked to higher high school graduation rates, increased enrollment in two-year colleges, and greater earning potential (Source 1). The evolution from traditional vocational education to modern CTE began in the 1980s and continues to expand, with California alone boasting 647,608 secondary CTE participants in 2021-2022 (Source 2).

California’s significant investments in CTE underscore its importance for students statewide. For instance, Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2023 executive order aims to create a Master Plan on Career Education, emphasizing the need for students to explore well-compensated careers, gain hands-on skills, and access education that reduces financial burdens (Source 1).

And recently, Governor Newsom and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced the awarding of $470 million to 302 local educational agencies through the Golden State Pathways Program (GSPP) (California Department of Education, 2024). This funding aims to enhance student opportunities and workforce preparedness by integrating college preparatory coursework, career exploration, career technical education courses, and work-based learning. The GSPP focuses on high-wage, high-skill, high-growth areas such as technology, health care, education, and climate-related fields, enabling students to transition smoothly from high school to college and careers. Governor Newsom emphasized, “Every student in California deserves the opportunity to build real-life skills and pursue the careers they want. This funding will be a game-changer for thousands of students as the state invests in pathways to good-paying, high-need careers—including those that don’t require college degrees.” (California Department of Education, 2024).

In order for CTE programs to succeed, we need well trained teachers who are also subject matter experts in their field of technology and professions. CTE programs cover various industry sectors, each offering unique learning opportunities. To obtain a CTE teaching credential, individuals must have three years of work experience related to each industry sector included in the credential. This requirement ensures that CTE teachers possess the expertise needed to effectively educate students in their chosen fields.

A sampling of CTE subjects:

  • Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Arts, Media, and Entertainment
  • Building and Construction Trades
  • Business and Finance
  • Education, Child Development, and Family Services
  • Energy, Environment, and Utilities
  • Engineering and Architecture
  • Fashion and Interior Design
  • Health Science and Medical Technology
  • Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation
  • Information and Communication Technologies
  • Manufacturing and Product Development
  • Marketing, Sales, and Service
  • Public Services
  • Transportation


Bridging the Gap: How EnCorps Supports CTE Teachers

Historically, CTE teachers have often lacked comprehensive training upon entering the teaching field, contributing to a high attrition rate. Research cited in Kappan Online emphasizes the need for further professional development among CTE educators, highlighting challenges such as integration into school communities and relationship-building with administrators (Boone & Boone, 2007; Deever et al., 2020) (Source 4). Addressing this gap is a focal point for EnCorps, which provides tailored training, support, and mentorship/community.

For nearly two decades, EnCorps has successfully supported STEM professionals interested in transitioning to or exploring careers in education. Approximately 15% of our Fellows have successfully pursued and secured careers as CTE teachers. We guide them through every step of the process, offering comprehensive training that includes pedagogy and classroom management. Additionally, we help prepare them for interviews, make connections with school districts, and support them in securing teaching positions. By providing ongoing support and resources, we ensure that our Fellows are well-prepared to excel in their new roles, making a significant impact on students’ lives and careers.

One notable example of our success is our collaboration with the San Diego Unified School District, where we have trained and placed numerous CTE teachers. Among them are Raquelle Hogge, a Marine Biologist teaching environmental engineering at Madison HS, Jacob Barrett, instructing health science at Logan HS, Krisztina Hagey, an Engineering Teacher who now trains other EnCorps CTE teachers, and Jeremy Jeffries, an Engineering Teacher and Aerospace Engineer at Lincoln HS.

Jeremy’s journey highlights EnCorps’ significant impact on STEM professionals seeking a career change. As an EnCorps Fellow, he received pedagogy training and a connection with SDUSD, securing a position as an engineering teacher and wrestling coach.


Here is why STEM professionals looking to transition into education should consider partnering with EnCorps:

  • Comprehensive Training: Stemming from our successful collaboration with the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD), EnCorps provides tailored training to STEM professionals venturing into CTE teaching. This training covers crucial areas such as creating a positive and inclusive classroom environment, effective classroom management, lesson planning, and conducting project-based learning sessions, with contributions from experienced educators like EnCorps Fellow Krisztina Hagey (SDUSD). This comprehensive approach ensures that CTE teachers are well-equipped to excel and deliver top-tier education to their students.
  • Mentorship Program: In partnership with certain districts, EnCorps provides a program that pairs new CTE teachers, many of whom are STEM professionals, with experienced mentors who offer guidance and support, helping them navigate the complexities of the classroom.
  • Personal Fulfillment: For STEM professionals seeking a rewarding career change, CTE offers a fulfilling path that combines their passion for STEM with the opportunity to make a difference in students’ lives.
  • Support for CTE Teachers: EnCorps provides ongoing support and resources, ensuring they have the tools and assistance needed to thrive in their roles and deliver high-quality education to their students.
  • Community Impact: By joining EnCorps and becoming CTE teachers, STEM professionals enrich the educational experience for students and make a tangible impact in their communities, inspiring the next generation of STEM leaders. These professionals bring invaluable expertise to their teaching roles, enriching CTE programs and offering students practical, real-world insights.


In conclusion, EnCorps is leading the charge in revolutionizing CTE education, providing comprehensive training and mentorship programs to empower STEM professionals to become certified CTE teachers. Stay tuned for exciting news about new district partnerships for our CTE training!




1 Sherrie Reed Bennett, Audrey Boochever, Michal Kurlaender, (2023, November). Career Technical Education Among California High School Graduates. PACE.

2 Perkins Collaborative Research Network:

3 California Department of Education. (2024, May 31). Governor Gavin Newsom, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond announce grant awards for Golden State Pathways Program [Press release].

4 Cameron Anglum, Andrew R. Diemer, Walter G. Ecton, Tuan D. Nguyen, (2023, February 27). We Need to Know More About CTE Teachers. Kappan Online.