Bridging the Gap

Career and Technical Education (CTE) is helping our nation meet the very real and immediate challenges of economic development, student achievement and global competitiveness. Some 14 million students are enrolled in CTE—encompassing every state, with programs in nearly 1,300 public high schools and 1,700 two-year-colleges.


A Model for Success

CTE programs are organized by 16 Career Clusters™ and 79 Career Pathways. CTE offers a complete range of career options for students, helping them discover their interests and the educational pathway that can lead to success in high school, college and their chosen career/profession.

FACT: The average high school graduation rate for students concentrating in CTE programs is 87.9 percent compared to an average national freshman graduation rate of 76.9 percent.

Making a Difference

Nationwide, CTE programs are changing, evolving and innovating to create an environment of opportunity within our nation’s schools. Increasing the relevance and impact of student’s education. Improving graduation rates in high school and college. Actively helping students gain the skills, technical knowledge, and the rigorous academic foundation and real-world experience they need for high-skill, high-demand, high-wage careers.

FACT: 91% of high school graduates earning 2-3 CTE credits subsequently enrolled in college.

Working for America

With leadership from CTE State Directors and a dedicated army of educators, counselors and administrators, CTE is delivering outcomes through higher education and greater skills—and ultimately providing a skilled, sustainable workforce to enhance the performance and global competitiveness of American business and industry.

FACT: Skilled trades workers, accounting and finance staff, nurses and technicians are some of the top jobs employers are having trouble filling in the U.S., and CTE plays a critical role in training workers in these areas. (Manpower Group, Talent Shortage Survey Results, 2016-17)


Partnering with Business

CTE actively partners with employers to design and provide high-quality programs founded in the standards students must meet to compete in the job market. Through advisory committees, internships, teacher externships, workplace experience and other interactions, employers are able to share information about expectations, technical requirements and workplace behavior—driving innovation and world-class performance.


Investing in America

The federal investment in CTE is authorized by what is commonly referred to as “Perkins”. Effective July, 2019, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) replaced the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006. Perkins reflects the 100-year federal commitment to CTE by providing federal support for CTE programs. All 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories rely on this funding to help support secondary, postsecondary and adult CTE programs. Investing in CTE is vital to meet the urgent challenges of economic development, student achievement and global competitiveness—and keep America working.


Washington State’s Goals for Career and Technical Education

In order for students to succeed, we need to prepare them for the ever-changing world of work, which means not only college readiness, but career readiness. Students with access to postsecondary education and skills attainment possibilities will be prepared to achieve in the 21st century.

CTE needs to be an integral part of every student’s education in order that every student might graduate from high school globally competitive for work, prepared postsecondary education, and ready for life as positive, contributing members of society in the 21st century. With CTE, students succeed.

The goals are to:

1. Improve the access to and quality of Career and Technical Education, which prepares students for lifelong learning and employment through the development of adaptable skills and knowledge.

2. Ensure that every student receives comprehensive career guidance that leads to a personalized Program of Study.

3. Require CTE teachers and administrators to be fully prepared and supported in their roles as educators’ instructional leaders.

4. Ensure that Career and Technical Education is a results-driven education system so as to demonstrate a positive return on investment.

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