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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

The Importance of Career and Technical Student Organizations

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April 16, 2013

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I just recently returned from Kansas FCCLA State Leadership Conference. While there three of my students competed in STAR events and all brought home silver medals. What a great experience for these students. This opportunity gives students the chance to practice public speaking skills, organizational skills, time management and allows them to gain confidence outside the classroom. FCCLA is only one of many career and technical student organizations that provide these, and numerous other, necessary skills to succeed in life.

I personally have a great interest in CTSOs. FCCLA, for me, was the place I felt welcome and knew I could succeed at the events offered to me. It was through FCCLA that I honed my public speaking skills and gained the confidence to follow through with my goal of becoming a teacher. I truly believe that without FCCLA, I would not be the successful teacher I am today.

By joining FCCLA in high school, I learned early on the importance of professional organizations. This led me to join organizations in college and then in my career. These organizations have helped me continue my growth as a leader by taking on executive council positions and committee work.

My experience with CTSOs and professional organizations has made me encourage my own students to join a CTSO that relates to their chosen pathway. I want each and every student to get out of these organizations the same thing I got out of them. By being part of a group students can learn to be leaders, communicate effectively, and be successful students and/or employees.

Marla Sterling is an ACTE Fellow from Region V.

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