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New Manuals Help Strengthen Career Readiness Programs and Bolster Opportunities for Students

November 28, 2017

LANSING – School districts across Michigan have new tools to create and strengthen career and technical education programs; give students a comprehensive look at all their career options; and improving the state’s talented workforce.

The Career Preparation Readiness Manual and the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Playbook were created by the Michigan Department of Education’s Office of Career and Technical Education in partnership with the Department of Talent and Economic Development (TED).

“There are many outstanding CTE programs growing in collaboration with local partners that are making a difference for their students and their communities as a whole,” State Superintendent Brian Whiston said. “These new tools can inspire other districts, and show educators how they can create similarly successful programs in their districts.”

The Career Preparation Readiness Manual helps local school districts create programs for students to explore a variety of career opportunities throughout their K-12 education

The Playbook helps local districts determine what type of CTE education program would be appropriate for their communities and guide school boards and administrators through the steps to create a new program. The Playbook covers what is included in a CTE program; how to apply to be a state-approved program; and expected additional costs.

The Career Readiness Manual shows districts how to incorporate career preparation and career exploration opportunities for all K-12 students, not just those in CTE classes.

Career and Technical Education is defined as high school instructional programs that prepare students for specific careers. Courses build skills for high-wage, high-skill, and in-demand careers.

The goal of CTE is to ensure high school students have strong academic foundations, as well as specific technical skills so they may enter and succeed in their chosen career.

School districts provide career preparation so all students completing the Michigan educational system are provided with the necessary academic, technical, and work behavior knowledge and skills for success in a career of their choice, while promoting lifelong learning. 

Comprehensive career preparation starts in elementary school, continuing through post-secondary education.

The manual and playbook are part of the recommendations from the Michigan Career Pathways Alliance, which includes MDE, TED and more than 100 partners in the education and business communities.

“Closing the talent gap and the career awareness gap are vitally important in continuing Michigan’s economic momentum,” TED Director Roger Curtis said. “We know that districts are interested in building CTE programs. These can serve as a roadmap.”

The manual and playbook can be found on MDE’s web page at For more information on the Michigan Career Pathways Alliance please click here