REVIEW: CTE Online's High School Marketing Curriculum
High school business educators often struggle with finding materials to teach marketing courses that aren’t related to sports or entertainment.
This is because students flock to the ‘fun’ marketing courses, but don’t want to spend time learning the fundamentals of the marketing.
CTE Online is one solution business teachers use to overcome this challenge. It has a course outline specific to teaching those basic marketing concepts in high school.
In this post, we’ll review the CTE Online high school marketing curriculum, look at the pros and cons, and share ideas for incorporating it into your existing classes.
We’ll start with an introduction to CTE Online.
About CTE Online
CTE Online is a website dedicated to providing lesson plans, projects, and other resources to career and technical education teachers.
The site has a ton of resources for the different CTE pathways, including some in the marketing career cluster.
Every resource on the site is provided by educators, so you know the curriculum is practical and relevant.
Any teacher can easily join CTE Online by creating a free account, like many other online communities.
Unlike other online communities, CTE Online has an excellent selection of high school marketing curriculum.
CTE Online’s High School Marketing Curriculum
The marketing curriculum provided by CTE Online is titled “Marketing - CTE Online Model.”
It was created as a 180-hour course, and it was created to “prepare students for entry-level positions in marketing, advertising and/or public relations.”
The expected competencies and outcomes of this curriculum include:
- Understanding the role of America in the international marketplace
- Identifying ways to segment a consumer market
- Describing the scope of marketing
- Explaining the role and types of promotion and advertising
The curriculum has a total of 19 “units” (different topic areas) that each have a number of lessons and activities to teach marketing concepts.
Each unit varies with the number of lessons included — some only have one, while others have more than half a dozen.
Some of the units include:
- The World of Marketing
- Business and Society
- Skills for Marketing
- Marketing Information Management
From the main curriculum page, you can see a short overview of each unit, the number of hours per unit, and the links to the lessons and projects.
Next, we’ll dig into how the lessons are laid out.
How the Marketing Lessons Are Organized
Each lesson in the Marketing - CTE Online Model has the same layout, making it easy to always find the piece of information you need.
The lesson starts with crediting its creator. If you click the person’s name, you can read their CTE Online bio to learn about what courses they teach and other resources they have shared on the site.
Below that, you will see the actual information for the lesson.
Each lesson includes an introduction, approximate lesson time, student objectives / goals, and the instructions for you to follow. Some lessons include extra resources such as student handouts, presentations, and assessment ideas.
The most important section of the lesson is the “Activities in this Lesson” area. This is where you will find all of the instructions and resources you need to teach!
Overall, with the variety in lesson styles you have a lot of options to provide interesting and relevant marketing lessons in your classroom.
What Are the Pros of the Marketing Curriculum?
The marketing curriculum from CTE Online has a number of pluses.
With so many lessons organized and ready to use at your fingertips, there is a lot of work off of your plate. Because practically everything is there for you, that means you can spend less time planning and preparing for your classes.
Another pro to the curriculum is that was created specifically for high school students. Other resources out there could vary in age level from middle school through post-secondary. With CTE Online, you know the content is going to be age appropriate for your high school students.
Finally, this curriculum is great because there are lots of lessons that relate to career readiness skills. These include topics such as interpersonal communication and creating an employment portfolio.
By including skills like these in the lessons, you can be sure to teach them in a context relevant to your students.
What Are the Cons?
Like any free online resource, CTE Online has a few drawbacks.
Some of the lessons reference a specific textbook called “Marketing Essentials,” so if you don’t use that book in your classes, it could cause some bumps. You would either need to spend time adapting some of the lessons or purchase new books to align with the lessons.
Also, the “hours” listed for units and lessons aren’t standardized. In some cases, an “hour” means a short class period (45-50 minutes), and in others it refers to scheduled blocks (80 minutes).
Because of this, you will need to spend extra time reviewing each lesson to ensure your plan your syllabus with the appropriate number of class periods for each topic.
Finally, because these resources are free, there’s no guarantee that they will be available and relevant from one year to the next. You always run the risk of a website becoming outdated or shut down if it’s a free resource for educators.
How to Use the Marketing Curriculum in Your Classroom
So now that you know what the CTE Online Marketing Model looks like, how can you start using the lessons in your classes?
Start by mapping the content to your course standards (if you have any) to get your syllabus organized.
By doing this, you’ll be able to see where you have gaps in content that you’ll need to find other resources to teach.
Using multiple resources is a great way to ensure you are using a blended learning approach in your classroom!
Not sure where else to find resources with marketing lesson plans and ideas?
Check out this article with 8 marketing lesson plans!