Career & Technology Education Programs in Macomb County Help Students Decide Their Future Professions

If your high schooler is interested in trying a trade, look into Career & Technology programs as an option.

Not every student wants to go to a four-year university or two-year college. If your child is in high school and thinking about other career options, look into signing them up for the Career & Technology Education Program (CTE) in Macomb County.

Abby Kempski knew she didn’t want to go to college or choose a career sitting at a desk all day. She had her sights on being a police officer when she initially thought about doing a CTE program her junior year at Lakeview High School. 

What are some reasons to choose a CTE Program?

Abby and her mother Nicole first saw information about the CTE program while Abby was flipping through a class catalog during her sophomore year. 

“I really chose the program on a whim,” says Abby. 

She chose the law enforcement program to do during her junior year and learned so much, including the fact that she wanted to try the firefighting program the next year. 

“Before the police program, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do,” says Nicole. “The law enforcement program exposed her to things that would be a great fit for her, so we were very thankful for that.”

The law enforcement program and firefighting program worked together on some activities together, so Abby decided to try the firefighting program her senior year. 

What is some advice for students considering CTE?

Photo courtesy of Abby and Nicole Kempski

There are so many CTE programs for students to choose from. CTE is state-funded and offerings vary by district in Macomb County. Some programs to choose from are:

  • Agriscience and Natural Resources
  • Allied Health Technologies
  • Business Services & Technology 
  • Child & Adult Care Services
  • Cosmetology
  • Hospitality & Food Services
  • Life Management Education/Family & Consumer Sciences
  • Marketing Education
  • Trade & Industry

“CTE programs were a lot more responsibility than their regular courses,” says Nicole. “Students should be responsible and independent enough for the commitment.”

How can CTE benefit your child’s future?

Both of Abby’s CTE programs greatly benefited her future. Her peers are figuring out what college they want to attend and what majors they will choose. Abby, on the other hand, is ahead of them already being certified and ready to start her career. 

“She has graduated from Lakeview High School and graduated from the Center Line Fire Academy,” says Nicole. “Now, she is just waiting for her written test results from the state of Michigan and getting everything together to begin her EMT program.” 

She is doing all of this without acquiring debt from attending a two-year college or four-year university.

“To have the opportunity for your child to be ready to enter the workforce and with zero debt is an amazing feeling,” says Nicole. “She’s ready to take her next step and go out into the workforce and if she chooses to expand her education, she will now have the ability to pay for that herself.”

Abby has also gained a lot of hands-on experience through the program that she wouldn’t necessarily have received otherwise. 

Photo courtesy of Abby and Nicole Kempski

“Through this program she got to experience skills competition,” says Nicole. “She and her teammate are going to Houston to compete in the national competition in Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA).”

How can parents can help their child pursue other career options

“I will tell anyone who will listen to have their kids look at their high school CTE programs,” says Nicole. “It doesn’t seem to be advertised or encouraged as much as college prep programs are.”

She explains that students can always change their mind and try out a traditional college later on, but CTE gets them ahead of their peers and alleviates some of the debt they would accrue going straight to college. 

“Now that I’ve graduated from high school and the academy, I’m just waiting on test results from the state,” says Abby. “It’s been a crazy couple of months, but now I can enjoy my summer and not stress.” 

For more information on living and learning in Macomb County, visit Make Macomb Your Home. Find more articles like this at Metro Parent’s A Family Guide to Macomb County.

Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano is a mom of one and Metro Parent's Audience Development Coordinator. She tracks down the best events every week and shares the inside scoop with families in print and online. She enjoys reading, traveling and exploring metro Detroit with her son.

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