Career Education

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Career Technical Education (CTE) provides students of all ages with the academic and technical skills, knowledge and training necessary to succeed in future careers and to become lifelong learners.

Access:Advance Career and Technical Education


 The Association for Career and Technical Education is the largest national education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for careers. Their mission is to provide educational leadership in developing a competitive workforce.

Access: Association for Career and Technical Education

CTE programs at the high school and post-secondary schools are leading change and making a difference in career and technical education. Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs prepare students to enter the workforce with the academic and vocational skills needed to compete successfully.

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 Iowa Department of Education:  Career and Technical Education (CTE) in Iowa includes organized educational programs offering a sequence of courses that are directly related to the preparation of individuals in employment in current or emerging occupations. These programs include competency-based applied learning, which contributes to an individual’s academic knowledge, higher-order reasoning and problem-solving skills, work attitudes, general employability skills, and occupational-specific skills.

  • At the secondary level, CTE programs are organized within six broad service areas. As defined in Iowa Code section 256.11, subsection 5, paragraph "h”: The service areas include agriculture, food, and natural resources; arts, communications, and information systems; applied sciences, technology, engineering, and manufacturing, including transportation, distribution, logistics, architecture, and construction; health sciences; human services; and business, finance, marketing, and management. Programs within these service areas are further aligned with the National Career Clusters™ Framework. CTE programs at the postsecondary (community college) level are also organized by the Career Clusters™ framework.

Access: Career and Technical Education - Iowa Department of Education

The National Career Clusters® Framework provides a vital structure for organizing and delivering quality CTE programs through learning and comprehensive programs of study. In total, there are 16 Career Clusters in the National Career Clusters Framework, representing more than 79 Career Pathways to help students navigate their way to greater success in college and career.

As an organizing tool for curriculum design and instruction, Career Clusters provide the essential knowledge and skills for the 16 Career Clusters and their Career Pathways. It also functions as a useful guide in developing programs of study bridging secondary and postsecondary curriculum and for creating individual student plans of study for a complete range of career options. As such, it helps students discover their interests and their passions, and empowers them to choose the educational pathway that can lead to success in high school, college and career.

Access: Career Clusters Framework

CTE is working across the nation to enable students of all ages to excel in their schools and colleges, and secure high-demand jobs. This video represents the rich and diverse brand of CTE. It highlights students of a range of talents, backgrounds and ages, and in a mix of industries in which CTE helps student succeed. The 1 minute 30 second video was developed to embody the spirit of our new CTE: Learning that works for America ™ initiative.

Access:  CTE - Learning That Works for America

Learn more about how Career Technical Education prepares learners for their futures while closing the skills gap for employers across the country.

Access:  CTE - What Is It?

Iowa ACTE's mission is to promote and support quality career and technical education for everyone through leadership, advocacy, communication, professional development and partnership..

Access: Iowa Association for Career and Technical Development

The Iowa Collaboration for Youth Development is a dynamic, evolving partnership of state and local entities concerned about youth and youth policies.

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US Department of Education: 

Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) administers, coordinates programs that are related to adult education and literacy, career and technical education, and community colleges. For the latest news and information about career and technical education and adult education, see the "OCTAE Connection newsletter" and the OCTAE Blog.

Access: Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education 

The United States Department of Education offers this one-stop website for resources related to career and technical education.

Access: Perkins Collaborative Resource Network

This page provides a shortcut to information and services the Department of Labor (DOL) offers educators.

Access: United States Department of Labor 

Career education helps a person develop the knowledge and skills they need to choose and pursue a career path. Read on to learn more about career education for students and adults.

Access:  What Is Career Education?  A Complete Overview!


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This page was last updated: 2/7/24