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CTE At-a-Glance

Career 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. (1)

  • A Model for Success

    CTE programs are organized by 16 Career Clusters™ and 79 Career Pathways. CTE offers a compete 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 90.18 percent compared to an average national freshman graduation rate of 74.9 percent. (2)

  • 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: Seventy percent of students concentrating in CTE areas stayed in postsecondary education or transferred to a four-year degree program, compared to an average state target of 58 percent. (3)

  • 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: Experts project 47 million job openings in the decade ending 2018. About one-third will require an associate’s degree or certificate, and nearly all will require real-world skills that can be mastered through CTE. (4)

  • 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 the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (commonly referred to as Perkins). All 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories rely on this funding to 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.

Click here to learn about the CTE Vision and the five principles that are leading change, transforming expectations and making a difference in education and the economy.

(1) National Center for Education Statistics

(2) U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006,Report to Congress on State Performance, Program Year 2007-2008

(3) U.S. Department of Education, Perkins Consolidated Annual Reports, 2009-2010. Office of Vocational and Adult Education

(4) Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce via Harvard’s Pathways to Prosperity report, p 29. http://cew.georgetown.edu/