Proven Success2022-05-23T13:19:15-05:00


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High school students in CTE+CTSOs go on to postsecondary education at a higher rate.

Over 70% of students in CTE+CTSOs pursue postsecondary education shortly after high school. Moreover, students in CTE+CTSOs typically enroll in more vigorous academics than their non-CTE+CTSOs counterpart. This means that they are better prepared for college and university, leading to more students who complete their post-secondary education.

  • Students who enroll in CTE courses are more likely to complete a college-prep curriculum
  • 4 out  of 5 students who enrolled in CTE that graduated and pursued postsecondary education had earned a credential or were still enrolled two years later.
  • 80% of students in college prep and CTE met college and career readiness goals compared to only 63% of students only taking college prep.
  • Taking CTE courses more than doubles the rate of college entrance for minority students.

The average high school dropout rate hovers at 6% nationally, which means more than 1.2 million students drop out every year. However, about 94% of students enrolled who concentrate on career and technical education graduate—that’s about 11% higher than the national average. The importance of earning a high school diploma can’t be underestimated: high school dropout makes $10,000 less than people with a high school diploma and about $36,000 less than those with a bachelor’s degree.

  • 81% of high school dropouts say that real-world learning opportunities would have kept them in high school.
  • High-risk students are 8 -10 times less likely to drop out in the 11th and 12th grades if they enroll in a CTE program.
  • Quality CTE program can reduce a school’s dropout rate by as much as 6%.
  • CTE students are less likely to fail a course or be absent from school.

Today’s economy requires skilled workers in all sectors, which CTE+CTSOs prepare students for as they enter the workforce. Students enrolled in CTE+CTSOs are more confident than non-CTE+CTSO students with their ability to learn real-world skills in school. Moreover, only 2% of CTE+CTSO students feel that they “don’t know” what they will do after high school compared to 8% of non-CTE+CTSO students. CTE+CTSOs give students a leg up on their peers because they already have experience in their desired field of employment as well as opportunities to network with industry professionals.

  • 95% of CTE concentrators who did not enroll in post-secondary education were employed within two years of high school graduation and many worked in occupations related to their CTE concentration.
  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 70% of jobs come from a person’s network. The higher the quality and the more expansive the network, the more likely that graduates will find a fulfilling career that they are excited about and proficient at doing.
  • During the Great Recession, companies spent $12 billion on leadership development. CTE+CTSOs provide leadership training for students.
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For Every $1 Invested in CTE/CTSOs,
There is a $10 Return


CTSOs Work for Alabama’s Economy

With more high school graduates than non-CTE+CTSO students and higher rates of post-secondary education, CTE+CTSO graduates contribute to the economy by learning the skills that translate to well-paid jobs. If the national average for high school graduation reached 90% (the average graduation rate for CTE+CTSO students is 94%), the economy would grow by $5.7 billion and $664 million in federal, state, and local taxes.

  • 46% of employers find difficulty finding skilled talent, which means a loss of $14,000 per unfulfilled job. CTE+CTSO graduates meet this demand because they learn in-demand skills while still in high school.
  • Talented students learn leadership skills and build networks so they can enter the job market quickly and need less time to train on the job.
How Do I Get Involved?2019-08-22T16:23:08-05:00

Our students thrive through partnerships with the community. Active volunteers, leaders, parents, organizations, businesses, and industry professionals all make valuable contributions of time, resources, and funding to CTSOs. To learn more about how you can get involved, contact us!

Every CTSO has a competitive events program that aligns to the program areas of study. Industry professionals are needed to evaluate student’s performances and work product. To serve as a volunteer judge at one of the conferences, email us at

There is a School in My Area That Should Have a CTSO. How Do They Get Started?2019-08-08T23:01:15-05:00

The first step is to explore which CTSO best aligns with the CTE related courses and programs already present on the campus. Once the CTSO(s) are identified, a school administrator and/or teacher from that campus can reach out to the CTSO(s) of interest to learn more and inquire about the process to get started for that specific CTSO. To learn more about and get connected with the CTSOs, visit the Who We Serve page.

How Do the CTSO Competitions Work?2019-09-23T22:29:47-05:00

Every CTSO has a different approach to competition. In general, students engage in competition to showcase their knowledge and abilities before industry professionals. Competitions are executed through different mediums ranging from hands-on demonstrations, to oral presentations, exams, and more. Top performing students earn recognition in the form of awards, scholarships, and qualifications for other levels of competition at the national and international levels.

What Sources of Funding and Resources Make Up the Financial Foundation for CTSOs?2019-08-22T16:23:52-05:00

Federal funding from the newly authorized Perkins V statute of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act is just one form of funding utilized for CTSOs. In addition, CTSOs operate through other sources, including, but not limited to, membership dues, affiliation fees, student-led fundraisers, student out-of-pocket contributions, corporate partners, individual sponsors/donors, and funding allocations from school budgets.


What is the newly authorized Perkins V statute of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act?2019-09-23T22:30:12-05:00

The newly authorized Perkins V statute of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act is the principal source of federal funding and discretionary grants for the improvement of Career and Technical Education programs across the nation.

What Is Career And Technical Education?2019-08-08T22:59:25-05:00

The foundation of CTSOs built upon Career and Technical Education (CTE), education designed to prepare students for their future world of work. CTE can be traced back all the way to the founding of the United States. From the beginning, our founding leaders knew the value of having a skilled and knowledgeable society. Since the 18th century, education in the U.S. has always had a framework that specifically encompassed a connection between education and preparation for the workforce. It was in the early 1900 when vocational education was officially signed into law, launching the public endorsement and funding allocations in Career and Technical Education at the federal level.

What Is A Career And Technical Student Organization (CTSO)?2019-08-08T22:58:58-05:00

With more than 2 million student members combined, Career and Technical Student Organizations integrate into Career and Technical Education programs and courses across the country. CTSOs extend teaching and learning through innovative programs, business and community partnerships and leadership experiences at the school, state and national levels. CTSOs are authorized by the U.S. Congress in the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act. CTSOs are a powerful avenue for helping our nation address key challenges such as workforce development, student achievement, economic vitality and global competitiveness.

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