Invalid username and/or password.

Forgot Password?

Header Logo


What Is CTE?

CTE Information



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.

Join Sq


Login above for access to member information


Join/Renew · Learn About Membership


Divisions · Regions · State Associations

CTE Research

CTE Clearinghouse: Postsecondary Pathways and Credential Completion

Techniques Advert Events Partners Countdown Pathways within postsecondary education, leading to attainment of certificates and degrees, foster student success today and in the future. The following resources include best practice articles, research reports, podcasts, Webinars, policy papers and presentations that address strategies CTE programs have used to foster attainment at different levels of the postsecondary system. ACTE Resources Techniques Articles  An Education for All Seasons of Life  Postsecondary Partnerships: Valdosta State University Partners with Regional Technical Colleges  Postsecondary Partnerships: UW-Stout's Bachelor's in Industrial Management  Manufacturing Careers, Skilled Workers and the Economy  Launching Students into Their Decade of Transition (All Access)  The Certification Advantage  Ensure Portability and Transferability of Credits and Skills Attained  Issue Brief  CTE’s Role in Worker Retraining  VISION Presentations  Using Adult Career Pathways Models to Meet the Needs of Adult Learners—Richard Hinckley (2010) NRCCTE Resources Research Reports  Relative Impact of Interventions to Improve Achievement and Retention in Postsecondary Occupational Programs  Moving Beyond the GED: Low-Skilled Adult Transition to Occupational Pathways at Community Colleges Leading to Family-Supporting Careers – Research Synthesis  Career and Technical Education Pathway Programs, Academic Performance, and the Transition to College and Career   Podcasts  Moving Beyond the GED  Career and Technical Education Pathway Programs, Academic  Performance, and the Transition to College and Career  Reports Advancing by Degrees - A Framework for Increasing College Completion (California State University–Sacramento Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Policy (CSUS IHELP)) Policy Brief - Career Opportunities: Career Technical Education and the College Completion Agenda – Parts I and II (CSUS IHELP)  Certificates Count: An Analysis of Sub-baccalaureate Certificates (Complete College America)  Complete to Compete: Improving Postsecondary Attainment among Adults (National Governors Association) Replenishing Opportunity in America: The 2012 Midterm Report of Public Higher Education Systems in the Access to Success Initiative (Access to Success) Certificates: Gateway to Gainful Employment and College Degrees (Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW)) The College Advantage: Weathering the Economic Storm (CEW) The Undereducated American (CEW) A Stronger Nation through Higher Education: How and Why Americans Must Meet a "Big Goal" for College Attainment (Lumina Foundation for Education)  Modeling the Role of Community Colleges in Increasing Educational Attainment and Workforce Preparedness. BHEF Working Paper (Business-Higher Education Forum) Leaving No Worker Behind: Community Colleges Retrain the Michigan Workforce--and Themselves (Jobs for the Future)  Overcoming Obstacles, Optimizing Opportunities: State Policies to Increase Postsecondary Attainment for Low-Skilled Adults (Jobs for the Future) Guide to Adult Education for Work: Transforming Adult Education to Grow a Skilled Workforce (Jobs for the Future)  Employers, Low-Income Young Adults, and Postsecondary Credentials: A Practical Typology for Business, Education, and Community Leaders (Workforce Strategy Center)   Adult Education and Postsecondary Success. Policy Brief (National Commission on Adult Literacy) The Adult Learner and the Applied Baccalaureate: Emerging Lessons for State and Local Implementation (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Office of Community College Research and Leadership) Help Wanted...Credentials Required: Community Colleges in the Knowledge Economy (Community College Press) A Model for Accelerating Academic Success of Community College Remedial English Students: Is the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) Effective and Affordable? (CCRC Working Paper No. 21) Turning the Tide: Five Years of Achieving the Dream in Community Colleges (CCRC) What Can Student Right-to-Know Graduation Rates Tell Us About Community College Performance? (CCRC Working Paper No. 6) What We Know about Community College Low-Income and Minority Student Outcomes (CCRC) The Condition of Education 2012 (National Center for Education Statistics) College Completion Tool Kit (United States Department of Education) Peer Reviewed Research Journal Articles  Degree Aspirations of Two-year College Students (Community College Journal of Research and Practice (CCJRP), $) The Applied Baccalaureate Degree: The Right Time and Place (originally published in CCJRP) The Community College Baccalaureate Movement: Cutting-edge Dissertation Research (originally published in CCJRP) Hispanic Community College Students and the Transfer Game: Strikes, Misses, and Grand Slam Experiences (CCJRP, $) Transfer Between Community Colleges and 4-Year Colleges: The All-American Game (originally published in CCJRP) The Career Pathway Model: Small Steps to Big Leaps (originally published in CCJRP) Pathways and Persistence: Basic Skills Students at One Washington State Community College (CCJRP, $) Attrition, Completion, and Graduation Rates in Georgia Technical Colleges Before and After the Initiation of the HOPE Grant (originally published in Career Technical Education Research)  

CTE Clearinghouse: Work-based and Service Learning

More and more, schools are turning to work-based and service learning methods to improve academic performance and student engagement as well as to help the community. The following resources include best practice articles and research reports on how CTE has used work-based and service learning to support and improve outcomes for students, businesses and the community.


ACTE Calendar

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

IL ACTE Conference 2016

Monday, February 29, 2016

National Policy Seminar 2016

View All Events