PIERRE, S.D. – February is National Career and Technical Education Month. As part of the celebration, 37 student leaders came to Pierre Feb. 4-5, for the South Dakota Career and Technical Student Organizations’ Legislative Shadow Day.
Activities included a social for students, legislators, cabinet members, and state agency staff. Students also shadowed legislators at committee meetings and observed House and Senate floor sessions. Emma Kopplin, State FCCLA President represented Redfield FCCLA and shadowed Senator Brock Greenfield.
“When students engage in career and technical education, they experience hands-on learning that helps prepare them for high-demand careers,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “These groups are great ways for students to expand on their classroom learning, meet peers from across the state, and develop valuable leadership skills.”
Students representing the following CTSOs attended this year’s event: Educators Rising; Future Business Leaders of America; Family, Career and Community Leaders of America; FFA; SD HOSA, a group for students interested in health sciences; and SkillsUSA, an association of trade, technology, and health occupation students.
By participating in CTSOs, students can apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom through competitive events; develop leadership and employability skills; and serve their communities.
Career and technical education seeks to equip students with core academic skills and the ability to apply those skills for careers and life. CTE emphasizes employability skills like critical thinking, responsibility, and technical skills related to specific career pathways.