High-quality CTE: Career and Technical Student Organizations

Click the + sign next to each category below to explore resources that align with the CTSO element of the ACTE Quality CTE Program of Study FrameworkTM.

Examining interview responses from CTSO advisors, this report assesses the COVID-19 pandemic’s short-term impact on CTSOs, including student engagement, advisor professional development, administrative support and student access to technology.

This research study examines how participation in SkillsUSA can impact community college students’ career choices, confidence and feelings of belongingness on campus.

This research analyzes the student learning outcomes from the Texas FFA Spanish Creed speaking event to highlight benefits of culturally responsive teaching in CTSO activities.

Informed by student survey responses, this report outlines how CTE programs impact high school students’ career choices and finds that students who participate in CTSOs, especially SkillsUSA, are more likely to pursue careers in their CTE field of study than non-CTSO participants.

This journal article describes barriers family and consumer sciences teachers in Texas high schools face in becoming FCCLA advisers and affiliating chapters of FCCLA in schools.

This study investigated the impact of FFA membership and participation in FFA competitions on the career decision self-efficacy of high school juniors and seniors in Missouri.

This publication describes a competitive grant process to address discrepancies in access to and participation in career and technical student organizations.

This research study demonstrated that DECA members show significant increases in overall academic grade point averages during their memberships.

Research findings reveal that CTSO and CTE experiences provide benefits above those offered through general education alone, particularly for girls and students of color.

This study examines how CTSO event preparation aligns with academic state goals and summarizes the information students need to know to prepare for competitions.

Researchers studied HOSA, FFA and SkillsUSA competitions to outline how CTSOs can and are using experiential learning to prepare for national competitions.

This study surveyed school administrators to determine the impact of CTSO participation on employability skills and academic success.

This research finds a positive association between CTSO participation and academic motivation, academic engagement, grades, career self-efficacy, college aspirations and employability skills.

This toolkit developed by the Iowa Department of Education outlines steps to starting, designing and implementing a high-quality CTSO and provides CTSO-specific resources.

This guide explains the responsibilities of state advisors, state officers, local institutions and chapter advisors and offers resources and ideas for meetings, professional development activities, community service, fundraising and more.

The guide was designed to help CTE leaders make difficult decisions as they offer remote, blended and socially distanced learning during COVID-19. It is organized around the elements of the ACTE Quality CTE Program of Study Framework, including guidance related to CTSOs.

ACTE’s Virtual Conference Planning Guide features detailed tips and procedures for hosting virtual conferences, including CTSO events.

This handbook walks advisors through multiple steps to creating a high-quality CTSO, including classroom integration, creating a strong chapter presence, training chapter officers, planning meetings and developing a program of work.

CTSO-specific Resources

This book is a comprehensive guide designed to help students and advisors navigate and excel at CTSO competitions. It includes the expertise of eight former competitors, advisers and judges on topics such as competition preparation, selecting the right competitive event and improving communication skills.

This webinar features a panel of CTSO leaders, chapter advisors and alumni who discuss how CTSO involvement can help students become more engaged in their studies and inspire their career decisions.

Part of the Iowa Department of Education’s CTSO Advisor Academy, this webinar serves as an overview of CTSOs by reviewing their role in a high-quality CTE program, advisor responsibilities, curricular integration and basic CTSO operations.

In this webinar, Rachael Mann, author of The CTSO Competition Companion, and panelists address why students should compete in a CTSO event, winning strategies, public speaking advice, guidance for written components and more.

In this webinar, a panel of experts discusses how to offer CTSOs in remote, blended and socially distanced learning environments.

This webinar from SkillsUSA Oklahoma describes a virtual awards ceremony and celebration event (password: 7p$.*0.8).

Iowa HOSA hosted a virtual conference in March 2020 with only a few days’ notice. The advisers discuss how they pulled it off and lessons learned on this webinar recording.

This webinar from SkillsUSA Tennessee describes a virtual interview contest and virtual meet the employer event (password: 6u?g0^=X).

Deonna Anderson, an engineering teacher at Franklin Technology Center in Joplin, Missouri, guides this webinar to discuss the value of CTSOs in every CTE program.

This panel discussion with Rachael Mann and student Lennon Audrain provides advisors and teacher leaders with the tools needed to equip students to succeed and advance in public speaking and presenting during CTSO competitions.

This free module unpacks how the tools used to organize and complete a project in the classroom can be applied by students in CTSO activities, including service learning. CTSOs provide an excellent environment for students to develop global workforce readiness and project management skills. Adding a global connection to these activities will provide students an advantage in the interconnected workplace as well as when they are competing with students across the country—or the world—in CTSO competitions.