CTE Pathways: Challenges and Solutions

Edited Admin Edge

On March 14th, Indiana Online hosted our final Administrative Edge webinar for the 2023-2024 school year, diving into the topic of Career and Technical Education (CTE) and the challenges faced in providing them to students. Our presenters included Indiana Online Executive Director, Kim Hendrick, Instructional Leadership Manager, Melissa Bardack, and Instructional Design and Curriculum Manager, Laura Garmire.

After giving an overview of our accredited program, we opened up a discussion on the current CTE priorities and challenges schools are facing in Indiana. The attendees were highly engaged, sharing barriers like teacher shortages, keeping up with graduation pathway requirements, master scheduling difficulties, and a need for more robust CTE offerings.

Melissa highlighted the Personal Financial Responsibility and Preparing for College and Careers requirements under IC 20-30-5-19 and IC 20-30-5-14. She encouraged schools to consider utilizing our highly qualified online teachers if scheduling these courses is a roadblock for them. Executive Director, Kim Hendrick mentioned that many schools offer these courses in the summer with Indiana Online, as a way to open up student schedules during the school year. 

Melissa commented, “The goal of CTE priorities is to grow student exploration opportunities prior to selecting their pathways and make sure that the CTE courses and options are accessible to students regardless of geography, socioeconomic status, etc.” 

Laura then walked through Indiana Online’s rigorous process for developing high-quality, Indiana standards-aligned online courses, including our CTE courses. She said, “Indiana Online has 27 CTE courses and I want to build that up. But in order to build more courses, we need licensed subject matter experts who go through rigorous training to understand our course development process. And this just kind of floors a lot of people, but it takes us 6 months to develop a one-semester course.” 

While we currently offer initial pathways in Business Administration as well as Banking and Investment, Laura expressed our biggest challenge in building out a wider array of CTE courses. She said, “I have been trying to get a subject matter expert for Topics in Computer Science for over a year. So one of our barriers is trying to get highly qualified subject matter experts for our courses”.

Attendees participated in a rich dialog providing constructive feedback on the CTE areas and courses they need most – principles courses across multiple career areas such as healthcare, human services, agricultural basics, and more. Laura is committed to prioritizing the development of these foundational courses to support schools in establishing full pathways.

Kim shared, “At Indiana Online we’re educating differently. We are trying to do things a little differently and help schools implement all of the state initiatives that they are working on including CTE. We are working hard to make sure we’re trying to help meet those needs.”

Throughout the webinar, we reiterated our non-profit mission to supportively partner with schools. Indiana Online aims to fill gaps and expand our online CTE catalog based on the feedback and needs expressed by our schools. The input received in this webinar was invaluable for shaping our CTE course development roadmap for the future. We appreciate the open collaboration with our partner schools as we navigate this landscape together.

We invite you to view the recorded webinar (passcode: A6e@6A$L) and the presentation. If you would like to discuss how you can partner with Indiana Online, please contact our Outreach Specialist, Amy Jones at ajones@indianaonline.org or call her at (463) 276-7847.


  • Ally Swensen

    Allynn “Ally” is the Marketing and Partnerships Coordinator with Indiana Online. Ally oversees marketing initiatives to further the growth and development of Indiana Online as well as project management of other internal initiatives. Ally has 20+ years experience in various roles in online learning.

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  • Amy Jones

    Amy Jones is an Outreach Specialist with Indiana Online. Amy focuses on the growth of Indiana Online by building district relationships and working with schools to find out their specific needs. Amy also contributes to new marketing initiatives to further the growth and development of Indiana Online. Amy is an experienced educator with almost 20 years of experience in Southeastern Indiana.

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