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What is CTE?

Career and Technical Education is designed to take learning beyond the classroom, teaching students the theory, then bringing them out to the lab, workshop or worksite to apply that knowledge to real-world applications. This blend of rigorous academics and applied learning provides students the opportunity to explore their interests, talents and ambitions in a dynamic and interactive setting.

CTE career-focused education allows students to jumpstart their college and career plans by taking a more targeted and strategic approach to their high school education. CTE programs prepare students for success in the rapidly evolving 21st century economy, teaching them to become agile, lifelong learners, self-driven to continuously improve their skills, knowledge and professional traits.

Today’s next-generation CTE Career Pathway education is a huge advantage to high school students who face some big life decisions come senior year:

  • 80% of CTE students say CTE classes helped them “know where they’re headed”
  • More than 78 % go on to college after graduation

CTE Prepares Students for Success

College Ready – Students can earn college credits at little or no cost through dual and concurrent enrollment opportunities such as Early College and Running Start

Professionally Skilled – Students can earn internationally-recognized industry certifications and credentials

Workplace Ready – Students develop the valued skills employers seek out by participating in job shadows and internships, meeting accomplished professionals, competing in state and national skills competitions, and assuming student leadership roles through Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs)

Focused – Students receive college and career guidance – including college and industry site tours, as well as detailed performance feedback from CTE teachers, most of whom are accomplished industry professionals with long careers and robust professional networks

Engaged – Students work hand-in-hand, befriend and learn from fellow students who share similar career interests and ambitions

CTE History

Career and Technical Education celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2017. The federal Smith-Hughes National Vocational Education Act signed in 1917 marked the first nationwide investment in career training at the secondary level.

That initial investment was continued through the Vocational Education Act, authorized in 1963, which was renamed the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act in 1984. Congress has reauthorized that act four times since then. The latest reauthorization, Perkins V, was signed into law in 2018, and nearly doubled the annual federal commitment to CTE to about $2.1 billion by 2021.

New Hampshire received $6,148,797 in federal CTE funding in 2019, which was distributed by the NH Department of Education to support the state’s 27 CTE centers, serving more than 9,200 students across the state.