In conjunction with National Career and Technical Education Month, nearly 40 student leaders came to Pierre, Feb. 10-11 for the South Dakota Career and Technical Student Organizations’ Legislative Shadow Day.
Students, legislators, cabinet members and state agency staff kicked off activities with an evening social Feb. 10. The next day, students shadowed legislators at committee meetings and observed House and Senate floor sessions.
Among the students was Molly Connot, president of the Winner High School Chapter of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America and FCCLA State Vice President of Membership.
“CTSO Legislative Shadow Day is always a special day in Pierre,” said Tiffany Sanderson, director of career and technical education for the South Dakota Department of Education. “Students get a taste of the political process and learn about opportunities for public service. Legislators enjoy the chance to share what they do and learn about these young leaders’ experiences.”
Five CTSOs are active in South Dakota: DECA – an association of marketing students, Future Business Leaders of America, FCCLA, FFA, and SkillsUSA – an association of trade, technology and health occupation students.
CTSOs allow students to 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.