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Policy and Advocacy

ACTE E-Advocate Recognition


ACTE's public policy department is recognizing its most active CTE Action Center e-advocates! Beginning on July 1, 2014, the top five action takers during each of the eligibility periods listed below will be recognized as leaders in CTE advocacy on the ACTE website and in ACTE publications.


Any ACTE member who has taken a minimum of 10 actions to advocate for CTE to federal policymakers is qualified for recognition. Actions must be taken through the CTE Action Center on ACTE's website. Of those individuals who have taken the minimum number of qualifying actions, the top five most active will be recognized.

Actions considered eligible for recognition must be taken during one of two eligibility periods:
  • Summer recognition: January 1 through June 30
  • Winter recognition: July 1 through December 31

Qualifying Actions:

The top five "e-advocates" will be determined solely on the number of actions taken through the CTE Action Center.

Qualifying actions to be considered include:
  • E-mails
  • Letters
  • Faxes
  • Petitions
  • Phone calls

Phone calls will only be counted if logged through the CTE Action center as part of an organized campaign or individually.

ACTE Public Policy staff will utilize only reports taken from the CTE Action Center administrative site to determine the top five action takers. Data reports generated will be reviewed by ACTE Public Policy staff for accuracy.

Members who have built personal relationships with Members of Congress and contact staff in those offices directly, outside of our CTE Action Center, may instead submit themselves for the "Advocate of the Year Award."

Additional Information:

  • In the case of a multi-way tie for a spot in the top five, all individuals will be recognized.
  • Recognition of winners will be determined by reports drawn from the CTE Action Center administrative page and verified by the ACTE Public Policy staff following the end of the eligibility period.
  • The top action takers will be recognized in January and July for actions taken in the previous eligibility period.
  • Winners will be recognized on the ACTE website through the CTE Policy Watch Blog and may be recognized in ACTE's Techniques magazine based on its publishing dates.
  • All winners will receive notice prior to being recognized in Techniques or on the website and may decline recognition.
    • In the case that an action taker declines recognition, the next-most-active individual will be recognized if a fifth spot must be filled.

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Policy and Advocacy

Hosting a Site Visit for Policymakers

Techniques Advert Events Partners You have a superb CTE program. NOW is the time to show it off for your public officials. Your policymakers’ understanding will go a long way with an up-close and personal tour of programs. These are the people who can help you EXPAND and IMPROVE your program by ensuring funding and effective policies. A successful tour needs meticulous planning. ACTE has developed 10 STEPS to help you conduct a successful legislative tour of your school: GET PERMISSION Before you begin any planning, get permission from school officials. Keep everyone informed.   DETERMINE GOALS What type of impression do you want the policymaker to have of your school? What programs do you want to highlight? Brainstorm and select the most important features you want to show off.   DEVELOP A DRAFT AGENDA Most importantly, make sure school is in session for the tour. Plan a short and concise introductory presentation about the school and programs the policymaker will see. Following the brief presentation, schedule an organized tour.   INVITE POLICYMAKERS Now that you have your agenda, the next step is to invite your targeted policymakers. Fax or mail a brief letter to the policymaker at his or her local office at least six weeks before the scheduled date (you can find contact information for your federal Members of Congress by visiting ACTE’s Legislative Action Center). Briefly introduce yourself, your program, and state the purpose of the letter. Explain why you would like the official to visit your program (to see how an example of a CTE program can work in the community, the importance of supporting such initiatives, etc.). Include specific information about the visit (date, time, location, others who may be invited, whether the media will be invited, what activities are planned for the visit). Public officials have very busy schedules, so you’ll need to be as flexible and accommodating as possible.   FOLLOW UP WITH THE SCHEDULER The policymakers’s scheduler should be contacted seven to 10 days after you have mailed the letter. You should keep in mind that you need to be flexible with the date and tour arrangements. You should take every step to accommodate the policymaker. NOTE: Federal legislators will most likely be in their home districts Mondays, Fridays, and on the weekends.   DETERMINE PRESS ACTIVITIES Work with the policymaker’s press secretary, if they have one, to determine appropriate press activities. Send a press release to the local media inviting them to attend the tour. In addition to giving the policymaker publicity, it will increase the community’s interest in your program. Be sure to follow up with the media to make sure that they attend since the policymaker will be expecting them! Take plenty of photographs. If you are unable to have the media present during the tour, send the local reporters a follow-up summary and a photograph for their use. (ACTE can help you with your media activities! Please visit the "Targeting the Media" section of ACTE's Action Center.   CONDUCT THE TOUR The day has finally arrived! When the policymaker and his or her staff arrive, distribute descriptions of your programs, success stories about students and any other relevant information you feel promotes your program. Make sure that your name, address and phone number are on every document so staff can contact you later. Let the policymaker know the scope of the program: how many people you serve and what impacts the program has on families, the community, local businesses and the local economy. Explain why continued funding for CTE is important to students, jobseekers and businesses in the state or district. Encourage interaction between the policymaker and students. It is helpful for policymakers to make connections with those who benefit from the program and see the changes in people’s lives that good CTE programs make.   INCLUDE SUPPORTERS Have a few supporters present, such as parents, students and business partners, to help you make the case.   MAKE YOUR PITCH Emphasize how additional resources could benefit students. While you have the policymaker’s undivided attention, make a pitch for support. Ask the lpolicymaker to support your programs through increased funding and effective policies. Remember to be specific if current legislation is pending.   FOLLOW UP Congratulations! You conducted a successful tour, but you have another important step to take. Before you do anything else, make sure you: Send thank you letters to the policymaker and any staff who attended, reiterating the need for additional funding and more effective policies for your program. Include copies of press coverage. Include a photo of the policymakers with your students and supporters to remind them how important CTE is to your community.

House/Senate CTE Caucus

In 2007, former Reps. Brian Baird (D-WA) and Phil English (R-PA) launched the Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. Today, the House caucus is chaired by Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI), and serves as a promotion vehicle for legislation, ideas and information related to CTE.

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) serve as co-chairs of the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus to bring attention in the U.S. Senate to improving and strengthening access to CTE. 


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