Medford schools looking to expand CTE courses

Medford, Ore.- In a room full of teachers, business leaders, and parents it’s hard to miss Brian Josephson.

“I’m a senior at South Medford High School,” Josephson said.

Josephson was the only student who attended the Medford School District’s career technical and education town hall, Wednesday night.

He’s been taking CTE courses since his freshman year.

“I did business,” he said.

Josephson says it’s important to get students enrolled in CTE programs early.

“I think it’s vital to continuing the success of students, as well as getting students into those high paying and in high needing jobs,” Josephson said.

In Medford schools, kids who take CTE classes are 94 percent more likely to graduate. That statistic has school leaders itching to expand the courses they offer.

“We are seeing that it works. It connects kids to the classroom, it keeps them motivated, and they have a line of sight for the future,” Natalie Hurd, Medford School District spokeswoman said.

The hope is to add more programs so students like Josephson will be set up for the path they want to pursue come graduation day.

“Get involved in those programs and if you find something that you like stick with it,” Josephson said.

The Medford School District currently offers more than a dozen career and technical education courses, such as culinary, automotive, early childhood education, and marketing. It is looking to add courses in carpentry, electrical, heating ventilation and air, as well as plumbing. At least some of these courses will launch this fall.

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