Association for Career and Technical Education

Association for Career and Technical Education

The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is the largest American national education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. ACTE's core purpose is to provide leadership in developing an educated, prepared, and competitive workforce.

ACTE is a diverse organization, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, representing approximately 30,000 career and technical educators, administrators, researchers, guidance counselors and others involved in planning and conducting career and technical education (CTE) programs at all levels of education.

ACTE is committed to enhancing the job performance and job satisfaction of its members; to increasing public awareness and appreciation for career and technical programs; and to assuring growth in local, state and federal funding for these programs by communicating and working with legislators and government leaders.


In 1926 the National Society for Vocational Education and the Vocational Education Association came together to form the American Vocational Association (AVA).

In 1998 AVA members voted to change the organization’s name to reflect the increase in academic and technical courses being offered. AVA became the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), and programs that were once called vocational education are now called career and technical education.


ACTE is the largest professional association serving educators in the career and technical education profession. Members include secondary and middle school teachers and administrators; postsecondary instructors, faculty, administrators and deans; teacher educators; guidance professionals; and state government education professionals.

The basic [ individual membership] plan is the $60 per year Professional Membership for individuals actively employed in or concerned with career and technical education. Individuals who are retired from active employment in CTE and have been an ACTE member for at least five years are eligible for $31 per year retired membership. Individuals who are enrolled as full-time students preparing to become career and technical educators and who are not employed full time in the education system as a teacher, counselor or administrator are eligible for a $10 per year student membership.

[ Educational Institution membership] is available to any school district, technical and career center, curriculum center, community college or university. Representatives from ACTE Educational Institution Members receive all of ACTE’s publications. In addition, ACTE sends the Educational Institution Members a special electronic publication with advanced information on upcoming activities on Capitol Hill and a recap of ACTE’s speaking and partnership activities. For their contribution to ACTE and the CTE industry, members receive acknowledgement in ACTE publications and at the Annual Convention and Career Tech Expo. They also receive a plaque and may use the ACTE Educational Institution Member logo.

[ National Affiliate Organization membership] is available to any national organization that has a professional interest in activities that foster the improvement and expansion of CTE. ACTE also has [ National Associate members] : corporate/business entities, government agencies and branches of the military.

Member benefits include::In-depth analysis, classroom tools, and best practices :CTE news :Quality networking and professional development:Instant access to thousands of colleagues:Timely legislative updates:Classroom help :Professional recognition :Unique book titles:Classroom resources:Buying support :Career advancement :Peace of mind (accidental death and dismemberment insurance)


The Association's policy is determined by a 19-member elected Board of Directors, including a President, President-Elect, Past President and 16 Vice Presidents.

ACTE members are organized into 12 [ Divisions] or segments of career and technical education that help align each individual’s field of expertise with professionals who either teach or hold positions in the same industry. These Divisions hold multiple conferences of their own throughout the academic year and over the traditional summer break.

The Divisions are: : [ Administration] : [ Adult Workforce Development] : [ Agricultural Education] : [ Business Education] : [ Engineering and Technology Education] : [ Family and Consumer Sciences Education] : [ Guidance and Career Development] : [ Health Science Technology Education] : [ Marketing Education] : [ New and Related Services] (includes customized industry training services, cooperative work experience, policy, professional development, public information, school-to-work careers, research and tech prep): [ Trade and Industrial Education] (includes construction, HVAC, automotive technology, CAD and cosmetology)

There is also an Emerging Division for [ Special Populations] for academic and/or economic disadvantages/disabilities, limited English proficiency, current or past incarceration, long-term unemployment or underemployment, teenage pregnancy and parenthood, lack of education (dropouts or dropout risks) and nontraditional students.

In addition to ACTE’s 12 Divisions, 47 states plus the Bahamas and Puerto Rico have [ state associations] , which may or may not be affiliated with the national organization. There are also five geographic [ Regions] covering all 50 states and the territories. The states and Regions hold multiple conferences of their own throughout the academic year and over the traditional summer break.

The Regions are:: [ Region I] - Connecticut, District of Columbia, Federal Vocational Educators, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York State, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia: [ Region II] - Alabama, Bahamas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, U.S. Virgin Islands: [ Region III] – Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin: [ Region IV] – Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas: [ Region V] – Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Republic of Palau


One of the primary duties of the Association is to [ advocate for CTE] with the U.S. federal government, to educate members about policy issues, and to encourage members to advocate on a grassroots level. ACTE’s advocacy efforts have resulted in restoring funding to such important CTE legislation as the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.

ACTE has also worked with the [ CTE Congressional Caucus] . In April 2007, Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA) and Rep. Phil English (R-PA) launched the caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. The mission statement is: “The Career and Technical Education Caucus is a bi-partisan group of Members of Congress created to enhance awareness in Congress of the importance of career and technical education in preparing a well-educated and skilled workforce in America.” The caucus serves as a promotion vehicle for legislation, ideas, and information related to CTE.


ACTE communicates the latest news and addresses important topics in CTE through several media. " [ Techniques] " is an award-winning magazine, published eight times a year, that brings all members news about legislation affecting career and technical education, in-depth features on issues and programs, profiles of educators and other newsmakers, notices of new products, ACTE events and more. ACTE also produces a variety of e-newsletters such as the monthly ACTE News, the [ Legislative Alert] and the daily [ Career Tech Update] produced with U.S. News.

ACTE also writes [ issue briefs] on topics such as CTE’s role in secondary-postsecondary transition, CTE’s role in dropout prevention and recovery and CTE’s role in American competitiveness.

In addition, ACTE produces a series of [ Webcasts] or videos designed to showcase the best of what is happening in CTE. This series travels the country to cover the best programs and ideas in career and technical education. Other ACTE Webcasts have focused on pressing legislative issues such as an explanation of the reauthorization of the Perkins Act in 2006.

ACTE’s podcast series are [ Career Tech Talk] , which features conversations with leaders and innovators in the field, and [ TechNotes] , which summarizes CTE news from across the country.


ACTE hosts two major events each year. The [ Annual Convention and Career Tech Expo] is a preeminent event for career and technical educators and administrators and features three days of high-profile speakers, sessions on various aspects of CTE, an exposition and events such as a networking reception and local school tours. The Convention is traditionally held in November or December and alternates cities each year.

The [ National Policy Seminar] , traditionally held in the spring in Washington, D.C., educates career and technical educators and administrators on CTE policy issues and advocacy and helps them visit their legislators on Capitol Hill. The Seminar also features speakers and sessions on CTE legislative and advocacy topics.


ACTE has several resources for CTE educators, administrators and researchers. The ACTE [ Lesson Plan Library] is a searchable database of lesson plans. Educators can submit their own lesson plans to the database.

ACTE also developed the [ Research Clearinghouse] to provide teachers, school and program administrators, CTE researchers and policymakers a site to find current research from across CTE topics and issues.

ACTE’s [ Communities of Practice] is a members-only Web site where ACTE members can join communities and discuss topics of interest, post news and resources, and participate in polls. Communities include Education Reform, Career Academies and Small Learning Communities, Workforce Preparation and Certification Use, and many others.

CTE Month

[ CTE Month] occurs every February throughout the United States. Schools and school districts celebrate on a local level with school tours, visits from legislators, displays, expositions, conferences, speakers, career days and more. On the national level, [ Annual National Job Shadow Day] gives children the unique opportunity of an up-close look at the world of work. CTE Month concludes with [ National Entrepreneurship Week] , celebrating the importance of entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurs.

ACTE sells CTE Month products to help schools and school districts celebrate this month. For CTE Month 2008, ACTE held its first student-produced video public service announcement. The winning videos were posted on the Internet and sent to TV stations.

Other Initiatives

ACTE has a [ Book Store] that sells books, videos and other products to help the CTE educator or administrator.

ACTE also hosts a [ Job Bank] with career and technical education job listings. Job seekers, both members and nonmembers, can search for free, and employers/recruiters can list jobs and purchase resumes.

The [ CTE Support Fund] supports the advancement of CTE through a broad array of activities, including development of research-based materials focusing on the value of CTE, building and sustaining a national coalition of CTE leaders, and organizing public awareness campaigns to support CTE. These efforts are critical to supporting and advancing the cause of CTE and donations to this purpose are tax deductible.

External links

* [ ACTE's Web site]
* [ ACTE's Communities of Practice]
* [ ACTE on MySpace]
* [ ACTE on Facebook]
* [ ACTE flickr photo gallery]
* [ ACTE on YouTube]
* [ ACTE on SchoolTube]

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