Excellence in Action Award

Advance CTE's annual Excellence in Action award recognizes and honors superior Career Technical Education (CTE) programs of study from across the nation. Selected programs of study will exemplify excellence in the implementation of the Career Clusters, show a true progression from secondary to postsecondary education, provide meaningful work-based learning opportunities, and have a substantial and evidence-based impact on student achievement and success.

Do you think you have one of the best CTE programs of study in the nation? Apply for the 2019 Excellence in Action award to showcase the amazing work of your students, instructors and faculty at the national level. We want to make sure that you submit a complete application, so we have provided this checklist to ensure you and your colleagues get all of your materials in before the application deadline of November 21, 2018 at 5 p.m. ET.


Watch the recodring of our webinar to learn more about the application process and get tips on how to apply from a 2018 award winner!

Why Apply?

Not only will your program be featured in the media and an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. in the spring, you’ll also be contributing to a positive image of CTE programs. In its sixth year, this award showcases innovative programs of study to policymakers, employers and education leaders and lets them know that CTE is for all learners and prepares them for a lifetime of college and career success.

Winners Receive

  • A banner to hang in their school or institution;

  • A digital banner to use in email and print materials as they so choose; 

  • Travel and one hotel room for one night in Washington, DC for a representative to be recognized at the awards ceremony to be held theweek of April 8-10, 2019; and 

  • Discounted rate to the Advance CTE Spring Meeting.

Winners Will Be Featured In:

  • A national press release, which will be distributed to media.

  • A winner-specific press release to distribute to local media.

  • A standalone one-pager.

  • A standalone blog post on the Learning that Works blog.

  • Representation on the Advance CTE website.

  • Many past winners have been featured in national conferences, in briefs and reports, on webinars in the media and even at the White House!


Download the application and use this form to apply.


Selected programs will exemplify excellence in:

  • Implementing Career Cluster®-based programs of study;

  • Maintaining effective employer and business partnerships;

  • Demonstrating alignment to rigorous and relevant college- and career-ready expectations;

  • Demonstrating a clear progression of knowledge and skills and learner transitions across secondary and postsecondary systems;

  • Integrating successful career guidance and advisement;

  • Integrating high-quality work-based learning experiences;

  • Highlighting alignment to workforce and employer needs in the community;

  • Providing concrete data on the program of study’s impact on learner achievement, success at both the secondary and postsecondary levels and meeting the needs of underserved populations; and

  • Delivering high-quality and effective instruction.


  • This award is open to any public secondary or postsecondary schools or colleges in the United States. Your school or institution may submit one application per Career Cluster;

  • The program of study must have at least one full graduating class;

  • Your program must be eligible to receive funding from the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act;  

  • Applications that do not include data to demonstrate positive impact on learner achievement will not be eligible for consideration.

  • If your program has received in an Excellence in Action award from Advance CTE in the past, you may not apply for that same Career Cluster. However, your school or institution may apply in a different Career Cluster.


Complete applications will contain the following:

  • A completed application including supplemental materials by the application deadline of November 21, 2018 at 5 p.m. ET.  

  • At least one letter of support from an employer or business partner supporting the program of study; and

  • At least one additional letter of support from a partner (education, community or business) of your choosing.

  • Optional: Supplemental materials including photos, videos, news articles, etc., are welcome but not required.

The application must be submitted using this form. The application must be submitted in a Microsoft Word format.
Supplemental materials, including the letters of recommendation, must be combined and submitted as one PDF document.


For any questions please email awards@careertech.org.

Learn more about our past award winners: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014

Spread the word! Share this tweet with the image below!

Does your #CTE program prepare learners for the real world? Apply to @CTEWorks Excellence in Action award https://careertech.org/excellence-action-award.