Sade Bonilla gives her take on the evolution of career education

March 22, 2024

Sade Bonilla, an assistant professor in the Policy, Organizations, Leadership, and Systems Division at Penn GSE, illuminates the transformation from traditional vocational training to modern career technical education (CTE) in an article for the Winter 2024 edition of California Schools. Highlighting historical challenges, she points out that past vocational programs often limited opportunities based on class, race, and gender. Bonilla advocates for today’s CTE approach, blending hands-on learning with academic rigor, to prepare students for real-world careers and higher education.

Bonilla’s research reveals significant benefits of CTE programs, such as the California Career Pathways Trust, in reducing high school dropout rates. She notes a notable impact on female students, suggesting this is linked to the rise of health care pathways. According to Bonilla, the practical and engaging nature of CTE promotes greater student involvement and success compared to traditional methods.

Bonilla finishes by emphasizing the critical role of federal initiatives in integrating academic coursework into vocational training, thereby enriching the educational landscape. Through her findings, Bonilla underscores CTE’s potential in fostering equitable educational opportunities, aligning with the needs of diverse student populations.

Read more at California Schools.