What is career and technical education? CTE has a long and rich history in the United States. Today’s CTE has evolved from a limited number of vocational programs available at the turn of the 20th century into a broad system that encompasses a variety of challenging fields in diverse subject areas that are constantly evolving due to the changing global economy.
Today’s CTE provides students:
- academic subject matter taught with relevance to the real world
- employability skills, from job-related skills to workplace ethics
- career pathways that link secondary and postsecondary education
- second-chance education and training
- education for additional training and degrees, especially related to workplace training, skills upgrades and career advancement
Each state administers CTE in a different manner and ACTE has produced a set of CTE State Profiles to provide clarity and context to these multifaceted and diverse systems. In many cases, state and local CTE programs are “leading the way” with regard to important public policy issues such as high school reform and secondary-postsecondary transition.
Also, consider the important work of career and technical student organizations, which are organizations that reinforce CTE instruction through co-curricular activities that prepare young people to become productive citizens and leaders.
ACTE collects data and research that supports better understanding of today’s CTE systems, programs and services, and highlights the potential that CTE provides students related to technical skills, academic achievement and career guidance. View the CTE Research Clearinghouse to identify current research information across a range of topics from journals, studies and articles, or use our Fact Sheets for citations and quotations from sources supporting the value of CTE.
ACTE is the dissemination arm of the National Research Center for CTE and will continue to update information and promote the best practices in CTE as it continues to evolve.