Crafted in Community: Co-Creating the Next Generation of CTE


North Tower - 1st Floor Garden 3

  • Primary Core Competencies: Community Engagement
  • AIA CEU: 1. 0 LU
  • Secondary Core Competencies: Educational Visioning


Career Technical Education (CTE) programs have existed in American schools in some shape or form for decades. However, these CTE programs — a means of integrating traditional academic knowledge with career-oriented technical skills — are often unconnected to their surrounding communities. This lack of integration leaves CTE programs underutilized, undervalued, and ill-equipped for a rapidly changing future. This session will examine two models of next-generation CTE programs and discuss how they were developed through community efforts. The first model, a school located in central Minnesota, invited its community into the design process of its new high school, creating a dialogue about what local businesses were looking for. The result was a program with access to cutting-edge technology that integrated into the school’s academies, as well as mentorships and internships with local businesses. The second model, located in Colorado, built on the success of an existing CTE facility and program. By looking at what the students wanted, what the parents wanted, and what the community needed, the school was able to create a CTE program with the flexibility — both physical and programmatic — to adapt to whatever future markets and economies may demand. Come hear the leaders of these schools discuss the process, challenges and rewards of working with a community to develop personalized, lasting, cutting-edge CTE programs.

Learning Objectives

OBJ #1  Participants will learn how community engagement is key to integrating academic learning and CTE skills.

OBJ #2  Participants will learn how community partnerships are important for relevant learning and program sustainability.

OBJ #3  Participants will be able to compare two viable models of CTE delivery.

OBJ #4  Participants will learn about the challenges and successes of each model.

Chad Duwenhoegger, Principal, Alexandria Area High School

Margaret Parsons, AIA, ALEP, LEED AP BD+C, Principal Architect, Cuningham Group Architecture, Inc.

Janet Renden, Principal, Bollman Technical Education Center and CTE Director, Adams 12 Five Star Schools