A lot of attention has been paid to the importance of parental engagement in academic education contexts. But parents are often overlooked in conversations regarding career and technical education (CTE). In this blog post I’ll share research from three different studies which underscore just how important parents are for student success in career and technical education.
A study published in the journal Techniques: Connecting Education and Careers found that:
The most influential people upon a student regarding a decision to enroll, or not to enroll, in CTE are friends and parents…Strategies specifically addressing parents should be a high priority for CTE educators and stakeholders. Whether it is letters sent home to parents of potential students inviting them to open houses and other events, or material sent to them explaining the benefits of a career and technical education—both financially and academically—the influence of parents is significant and must he addressed if enrollment in CTE is to flourish.
Another interesting study is entitled School Engagement as a Mediator of Academic Performance Among Urban Youth. This study found that parental support for students through general encouragement as well as help and guidance in exploring potential careers has significant benefit for students in preparing for careers and for being engaged in their schoolwork.
An article in the Journal of Career and Technical Education shared the findings of a study done at Bowling Green State University on How Parents Influence African American Students’ Decisions to Prepare for Vocational Teaching Careers. The conclusion of this study was as follows:
All parental influences derived from this study have implications for vocational education. These influences, which include parents serving as role models of altruism, parental support for career goal achievement, high grade expectations, introductions to the positive aspects of teaching and vocational subject matter, parents involving children in hands-on learning experiences, and the creation of environments that nurture the discovery of vocational content are all important in creating interest in vocational education and vocational teaching.
Parents, you are so important. Regardless of what your student is studying or planning to do as a career, your influence is significant and essential. By walking alongside your student, you can help your student discover his or her vocation and figure out how to utilize their talents to contribute positively to society.