Professional Organization Membership, Engagement, and Leadership

One of the greatest assets to any educator, especially administrators, is membership in our professional organizations. For Career Technical Education, in my opinion, are ACTE and NCLA. ACTE is the umbrella organization for NCLA. ACTE resources, information, leadership development, professional development, and advocacy for over 30,000 members. NCLA is an affiliate to the Administration Division focusing on the needs of the Districts’ CTE Local Leaders including administrators, supervisors, and directors. The is especially true during this current pandemic crisis where we are not able to learn, work with staff and students, serve and develop relationships with our industry partners, and advocate with our elected officials as we have during our careers.

Membership is the lifeline for any organization. It provides the financial resources that allows the organization to provide and develop the resources to support the needs of the members. The size of membership is critical to effectively influence our elected officials and encourage the support of our industry partners.

Joining ACTE and NCLA is the essential and first import step of engagement. However, the organization is only effective when it is members actively engage in their activities and initiatives. The question is how does a member engage? The first and easiest step is to participate in the professional activities like attending conferences, join the committees like the Board of NCLA or Policy Committee of the Region to which you are member, or the Administration Division, or at the minimum, attend their Business Meetings. Another way to be engaged is to share your best practices with members of these groups to help other members learn from you. In addition share your needs or the needs of you school with members of these groups so they can help you, your students and/or colleagues.

The highest level of engagement is to seek and serve as leader in the organization represent the members and helping ACTE and NCLA meet he needs of our members, their organizations, and their students. Serving in these positions will help you personally grow, meet individuals across the nation that will share new and innovative practices, and develop lifetime valuable friends as well as professional resources.

My only question to you is what is holding you back for joining and engaging in ACTE and NCLA? I know you will find your membership will be worth a great deal more than your financial and time investment.


Jon Quatman, Candidate for ACTE President-Elect, former NCLA President, and Region I Vice President