Focusing on Career and Technical Education Now Reaps Long-Term Benefits for the Future


\"john-willis-2\"By John Willis, MIAT College of Technology Houston President

The month of February has been designated as Career and Technical Education Month by the Association for Career & Technical Education. As president of MIAT College of Technology Houston campus and as chairperson of the Houston Independent School District CTE Advisory Council, focusing on career and technical education every day of every week of every month of every year is my highest priority.  I am a staunch advocate for CTE and the lifelong benefits it can provide students.  I would like to share the following excerpt of an article that explains the value of Career and Technical Education:

Career and technical education is a term applied to schools, institutions, and educational programs that specialize in the skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies, and career preparation. It was formerly (and is still commonly) called vocational education; however, the term has fallen out of favor with most educators.

Career and technical programs frequently offer both academic and career-oriented courses, and many provide students with the opportunity to gain work experience through internships, job shadowing, on-the-job training, and industry-certification opportunities. Career and technical programs—depending on their size, configuration, location, and mission—provide a wide range of learning experiences spanning many different career tracks, fields, and industries, from skilled trades such as automotive technology, construction, plumbing, or electrical contracting to fields as diverse as agriculture, architecture, culinary arts, fashion design, filmmaking, forestry, engineering, healthcare, personal training, robotics, or veterinary medicine.


 Source: The Glossary of Education Reform for Journalists, Parents and Community Members

To access the complete article, please visit

Fire fighters, nurses, medical imaging technicians, law enforcement officers, welders, pipefitters, electricians, pilots, aviation maintenance technicians, and wind energy technicians are just a few of the job titles that are high demand. High schools in the greater Houston area, throughout the state of Texas and across America have an opportunity to expose young people to professions such as these that do not require a traditional four-year college or university degree or advanced post-graduate degree for career success. By design, members of our HISD CTE Advisory Council include representatives from the Houston Fire Department, local hospitals, manufacturing, transportation and mechanical industries.   The goal of the Council is to equip high school students, faculty and staff with specific information relative to the roles and responsibilities of “skilled workers” in a broad range of industry sectors. This council is responsible for hosting job fairs and field trips as well as providing guest speakers and viable programs such as the aviation maintenance technician program that MIAT supports at Ross Sterling Aviation High School in Houston.

MIAT maintains positive relationships with many local school districts and employers throughout the greater Houston area.  We encourage high school and middle school students, Girl Scout troops, Boy Scout troops, parents, teachers, military veterans, industry and professional groups, regulatory agency representatives, elected officials, business leaders, and community organizations to visit our Houston campus by appointment.

If your schedule allows, please join me, faculty and staff for an open house on Saturday, March 1, beginning at 10 a.m. Central Standard Time. We are located at 533 Northpark Central Drive in Houston, approximately 11 miles from Bush Intercontinental Airport between Interstate 45 and the Hardy Toll Road. Reservations are not required, and admission is complimentary. Guests will be able to tour the campus, meet faculty, and see demonstrations of equipment used by our students.

Plan A versus Plan B

Rather than “Plan B,” career colleges and vocational-technical schools like MIAT can and should be the first choice for people of all ages and in all stages of life who want to be “workplace ready” in a shorter period – typically with lower costs and more direct involvement with instructors and fellow students. MIAT campuses in Houston and in the Detroit metropolitan area offer certificate programs that students can complete in as few as seven months. We also offer associate degree programs that can be completed in 24 months. To accommodate students with work schedules, we offer both morning and night sessions. (See We provide tuition and housing assistance along with a broad range of other services. (See

For those who know that the career and technical education approach is right for them, MIAT is ready and able to support them in implementing their “Plan A.”  To schedule a private tour at our Houston campus or to speak with one of our advisors, please visit or call 1-888-547-7047.

Thank you for your interest. Please share this blog with others who might find this topic helpful.