Hiring and Onboarding New CTE Teachers

04.12.2024 | Credentialing

Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs offer amazing ways to help students jumpstart into well-paying careers. Through hands-on learning, students learn real-world skills in specific industries, giving them the practical experience they need to land apprenticeships, internships, and jobs.

These students need quality CTE programs to launch them into successful careers efficiently. The current CTE teacher shortage has made finding and hiring CTE instructors challenging for many school districts. NOCTI’s tools and resources can help with pre-employment skills testing and ongoing professional development.

The CTE Teacher Shortage

According to the US Department of Education, at least 28 states are experiencing a CTE teacher shortage for the 2023-24 school year. Unless something changes, the problem is about to get worse: a disproportionate number of CTE teachers are nearing retirement. The Department of Education reports that 12.7% of CTE teachers are 60 or older, compared to 7.9% across all public teachers.

Almost two-thirds of CTE instructors come to CTE after working in the private sector, using alternative certification programs to enter a teaching career. This can create challenges with hiring and onboarding new teachers unfamiliar with the world of education.

The US Department of Education recognizes the detrimental effects of the widespread teacher shortage and is making an effort to address the issue, encouraging states to “bring more people into the education profession through high-quality pathways.” To provide high-quality pathways, high-quality tools are essential.

How to Help New CTE Teachers Succeed

After working in the private sector, the field of education may feel very foreign to new CTE teachers. Hiring skilled candidates and giving them the tools they need to thrive in this new setting is critical to improving teacher retention and sustainability.

NOCTI is dedicated to helping CTE programs achieve success. NOCTI’s national network of area test centers supports the licensure and recruitment of teacher candidates through State Education Agencies (SEAs). This network supports efforts to evaluate someone’s CTE skillset and in some models identify and provide opportunities for professional development.

Education Professional Certifications for CTE Teachers

There are many facets to keeping an organized CTE classroom, from student management to safety to instructional planning. With NOCTI’s Principles of CTE Teaching credentials, you can understand more about a candidate’s skills before you hire them or use the resulting scoring data to support new teacher onboarding and professional development activities. Like many of NOCTI’s credentials, the test development team worked with a panel of subject matter experts to identify the core competencies required for CTE teachers.

And that’s just the beginning.

NOCTI developed eight Education Professional credentials for CTE educators, with two levels for each professional area. These credentials were designed for CTE teachers, administrators, data professionals, and work-based learning coordinators.

Level 1 credentials can be used as a pre-employment and onboarding tool, and the level 2 credentials can be incorporated into professional development plans. They can also be used as part of state-level licensing processes.

For more information about these certifications, you can look at the Blueprint Index and get a better sense of the competencies measured by each test.

Networking and Mentorship Opportunities

Building a support network is an excellent way for teachers to share ideas and receive feedback on instructional strategies. CTE networking can be slightly more challenging since most teachers are the only ones in their building to teach their subjects. Thankfully, several national and statewide CTE associations offer online networking opportunities. ACTE is a national association that supports CTE professionals with daily email briefings and facilitates a LinkedIn group of CTE educators.

Some schools and states offer Teacher Induction Programs (TIP) with mentorship and professional development opportunities. In the book, Your First Year in CTE: 10 Things to Know, the authors note that a TIP program in California with workshops and weekly communication between mentors and students decreased teacher turnover rate and improved classroom instruction.

Books for CTE Professional Development

While there are many books that help new teachers survive their first year of teaching, they are typically not directed toward CTE instructors. Since CTE is such a unique and valuable field, having specific resources for these teachers makes a big difference. Helping new teachers thrive in their field can increase their effectiveness as instructors and keep them committed to a career in education.

Together with ACTE, NOCTI has developed a series of books for new CTE teachers, especially those joining the field following a private sector career. Each book in the series explores ten things to know to thrive as a CTE teacher, within their classroom, school district, and region. These cover such topics as:

  • How to help students succeed
  • How to build and support a successful CTE program with community support
  • How CTE can succeed in the broader community, including impacts of state and federal legislation.

A second series of books for CTE administrators also provides indispensable information on fundamental skills and resources for CTE leadership.

Learn More About These Essential Tools for New CTE Teachers

To help find and retain effective CTE teachers, you need effective tools and training. NOCTI is happy to work with you on how to implement Education Professional credentials as part of your pre-employment process. The NOCTI client service team is available to provide more information on using the credentials or the book series as part of your district’s professional development plan.

NOCTI knows how important it is to build successful CTE programs to equip students for successful, lucrative careers. Contact us today with any questions or information about NOCTI’s resources.