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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

Advocacy Toolkit

Social Media and Mobile Advocacy

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Sharing your thoughts with your Senators or Representative on a routine basis will keep CTE in the front of their minds. By using advocacy as a tool, we can influence Congress to continue and improve successful programs like Perkins, ESEA and the Workforce Investment Act.

Social media advocacy is one of the quickest and simplest ways to spread the CTE message to your Members of Congress. You can share about the benefits of your CTE program, activities your students are involved in, or your thoughts on key policy issues. You can even post pictures to illustrate your points.

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Saving CTE is as simple as receiving a text! In addition to using social media for advocacy, you can receive advocacy alerts on your mobile phone when urgent action on CTE issues is needed. To sign up, click here or text CTEALERT to 88202. You will only be contacted when it is vital that you act; for instance, when important legislation is coming up for a vote.


There are several ways to communicate your story:

  • Twitter: Share your story in 140 characters or less, and be sure to include hashtag #CareerTechEd.
  • Facebook: Write your story on your legislator's Facebook wall. You can also post it on the ACTE Facebook wall or post on your own wall/status.
  • Blog: Share your experiences on your blog and send us the link.
  • Video: Post a video to YouTube and send us the link.

Check out ACTE's Social Media as an Advocacy Tool presentation to see how effective social media advocacy can be.

Advocacy Guidelines

  • Do not post personal attacks on public figures or make negative comments about any political or public figure. This could damage any future dialogue between you and your representative.
  • Do not post any false information about a politician, candidate or piece of legislation.
  • If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to ACTE’s Public Policy Department with any questions you may have before engaging policymakers.

Twitter Tips

  • Post a tweet directly to your legislator by adding @ and your legislator's twitter handle before your message. For example:
    • @SenatorReid my #CareerTechEd students can’t afford another cut! We need a balanced approach to sequestration!
     
  • When posting to an account, always include hashtag identifier “#CareerTechEd”. This is the official ACTE hashtag and will be used to track and retweet posts. 
    • ex: students w/ industry cert. earn more money #CareerTechEd
     
  • When mentioning or quoting a person, use his or her Twitter handle with any character(s) listed before it (a preceding character before a mention allows the post to show up on both your page and the pages of the followers of the person mentioned, doubling our reach):
    • ex: At a rally for CTE today with @edheadsteve #CareerTechEd
    • ex: .@edheadsteve “career and technical education is an economic building block”
     
  • If Twitter handle is unknown, identify with title and last name (include state for members of Congress). No preceding character necessary.
    • ex: Rep. DeWitt (NC) “CTE will cure the economy!” #CareerTechEd
     
  • Before attending events, identify all event speakers and their Twitter handles, as well as the event specific hashtag. Twitter can be a great tool to tell your followers what a speaker is saying.
    • ex: @edheadsteve is speaking at the #sequestration rally! #CareerTechEd
    • ex: @edheadsteve “CTE should be fully funded” #cteworks #CareerTechEd
     

ACTE Hashtags
Hashtags are used across multiple social media platforms to organize the conversation around a keyword. When used properly, these tags allow users to find and follow updates around a topic or an event.

Here are examples of hashtags that ACTE uses:

  • #CareerTechEd (our main hashtag)
  • #Skillsgap
  • #WkDev
  • #VISION12
  • #CTEMonth
  • #EdChat
  • #EdReform
  • #EdTech
  • #CTE
  • #ACTE
  • #STEM

Sample Tweets

  • By 2018 the US will need more than 4.7mill new workers with postsec certificates. #CareerTechEd can make that happen!
  • CTE prepares students with college- and career-ready skills to be successful in today’s economy. #CareerTechEd
  • Funding for CTE programs are critical to keeping US’s economy moving in the right direction. #CareerTechEd
  • CTE plays a critical role in educating America’s future workforce and improving the US’s economy. #CareerTechEd
  • #CareerTechEd will create our workforce of the future.
  • America's economy and job growth depends on #CareerTechEd

Facebook Tips

  • Facebook does not use hashtags, so using #careerteched is not necessary.
  • There is not character limit here, so your messages can be longer. Don’t go word-crazy, though. This is a chance to use proper spelling and grammar when crafting your message.
  • When directing a message at your legislator, be sure to post the message on his or her page.

Sample Messages

  • CTE offers 14.4 million students a wide range of careers in entrepreneurship, automotive, architecture, carpentry, medical, food and fiber production, agribusiness, culinary arts, management and life skills, marketing, technology and engineering.
  • A person with a CTE-related associate degree or credential will earn an average of $5,000-$15,000 more a year than a person with a humanities or social sciences associate’s degree—and those with credentials in such high-demand fields as health care can average almost $20,000 more a year.
  • CTE prepares students for the rigor and expectations of postsecondary curricula, reduces the need for remediation, increases student motivation through added relevance, and streamlines the K–16 educational system to avoid duplication of courses.
  • CTE programs support and retrain workers who are unemployed and underemployed, and will help to decrease the unemployment rate and improve the economy by ensuring a skilled, relevant and adaptable workforce can support current and future industries.

Blog Tips

Teachers and Community Leaders

  • Tell readers how your program uses Perkins funding and its impact in your community. For example, your community college receives $50,000 from Perkins and you have implemented a program to encourage males to enter health care careers. Because of this program, you have been able to train 30 more students each year and students from this program have a 95 percent success rate of landing a job. Outline the impact this has on your community, the return on investment CTE has in your state, and how the program is helping the economy and building a qualified workforce.
  • CTE’s impact on reducing the dropout rate and helping students continue on to postsecondary institutions or training.
  • Tell readers how you develop new CTE programs that are filling workforce needs. If you are using Perkins funds, then describe how that funding has impacted the program.
  • Tell readers why you are a CTE teacher.
  • Tell readers about your favorite CTE classes to teach.

Students

  • Tell readers why you are a CTE student and the impact CTE has had on your education and career.
  • Tell readers about the best CTE classes you’ve taken.
  • Discuss the impact of CTE in your life including: technical and employability skills, how you are college- and career-ready, your involvement with career and technical student organizations, and how CTE courses effectively teach students the academic skills to be successful.

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Who We Are

The Association for Career and Technical Education is the nation’s largest not-for-profit education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. Founded in 1926, ACTE has more than 25,000 members; career and technical educators, administrators, researchers, guidance counselors and others involved in planning and conducting career and technical education programs at the secondary, postsecondary and adult levels. ACTE provides advocacy, public awareness and access to information on career and technical education, professional development and tools that enable members to be successful and effective leaders.

What We Do

ACTE is committed to enhancing the job performance and satisfaction of its members; to increasing public awareness and appreciation for career and technical programs; and to assuring growth in local, state and federal funding for these programs by communicating and working with legislators and government leaders.

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