New data released by the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education (OCHE), indicates a significant increase in the number of high school students from Montana earning college credit through Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in 2023.

Record-Breaking Achievement

According to the OCHE report, 3,371 high school students in Montana earned college credit for their participation in CTE programs last year.

This represents an increase of over 600 students compared to the figures from 2022, highlighting the growing popularity of CTE pathways among Montana's youth.

Initiatives Driving Growth

Several initiatives have contributed to the increase in student participation.

The "One-Two-Free" program, introduced by the Montana University System, allows eligible high school students to enroll in two dual enrollment courses or up to six credits without charge.

Additionally, a federal waiver secured in 2023 by the Department of Labor and Industry and the Montana State Workforce Innovation Board enabled the use of additional federal funds to support dual credit CTE programs like the "One-Two-Free" initiative.

Expansion of Work-Based Learning Opportunities

Last year, Governor Gianforte expanded work-based learning opportunities for Montana students by signing three bills into law.

These legislative measures aimed to support schools in offering internships, apprenticeships, and CTE programs, thereby fostering hands-on learning experiences and industry-relevant skill development.

Celebrating CTE Month

February was celebrated as Career and Technical Education Month in Montana, providing an opportunity for the governor to join students and industry partners across the state in recognizing the importance of CTE in shaping future career pathways and strengthening the state's economy.

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