Equitable and Inclusive CTE

Equitable and Inclusive CTE

Advance CTE is committed to equipping state leaders with knowledge and resources to achieve a high-quality, diverse, inclusive, accessible and equitable career preparation ecosystem. In pursuit of this goal, Advance CTE supports a range of initiatives that promote equity in CTE to ensure that our systems are designed for all learners to access, feel welcome in, fully participate in and successfully complete a high-quality CTE program of study.

Equity is a foundational commitment within CTE Without Limits. Importantly, Advance CTE recognizes and seeks to address all dimensions of equity, including educational, racial, socioeconomic, gender and geographic, and meeting the unique needs of each individual learner. We have a number of efforts and resources available to advance equitable access and success across the nation.

Advance CTE focuses on turning our tools into action by providing cross-state and individual technical assistance around closing opportunity gaps, elevating learner voice in CTE, supporting special and historically marginalized populations, and facilitating conversations about race and racism in CTE.

After reviewing the resources available at Advance CTE please use the Technical Assistance Interest and Request form to speak with an Advance CTE staff member to discuss additional training and technical assistance opportunities. 

Advance CTE is committed to advancing equity in CTE, to ensure that systems support each learner in accessing, feeling welcome in, fully participating in and successfully completing a high-quality CTE program of study.

We stand by the following Statement on Equity in Career Technical Education, as approved by our Board of Directors:

Historically, Career Technical Education (CTE)—once called vocational education—was an alternative educational option for learners who were considered non-college bound. As a result, a disproportionate number of low-income learners, learners of color, learners with disabilities, female learners and other historically marginalized populations were “tracked” into terminal vocational programs that denied their full potential and left them with limited opportunity.

Today, the quality of CTE has vastly improved, making it a preferred path for many secondary and postsecondary learners. Yet even today, many learners do not have access to high-quality programs of study in their communities. The same systemic barriers that contributed to tracking in the 20th century—implicit and overt biases, resource inequity, school segregation—result in inequities today.

State leaders have a critical responsibility to ensure each learner has opportunities for career success and is supported in identifying and realizing his or her goals. State leaders must identify and dismantle historical barriers and construct systems that support each learner in accessing, feeling welcome in, fully participating in and successfully completing a high-quality CTE program of study. This means:

  • leveraging data to identify and address equity gaps,
  • building trust with historically marginalized communities,
  • establishing feedback loops to ensure each voice is heard,
  • allocating resources appropriately to expand access to high-quality CTE
  • and putting measures in place to support each learner to achieve success.

Once the right systems are in place, CTE can be a powerful tool for closing achievement and opportunity gaps. High-quality CTE programs of study can prepare each learner to earn a credential of value that enables him or her to achieve economic and social mobility, obtain employment in a career of choice with family-sustaining wages, and access opportunities for advancement and lifelong learning. It is only through such an intentional focus on equity that states will be able to truly put learner success first.

Advance CTE's Continuum of Equity-Centered Resources

Achieving an equitable, inclusive and high-quality CTE system is an ongoing journey of development, reflection and continued growth. Advance CTE is committed to developing tools, resources and training opportunities to support the field to ensure all learners have access to high-quality CTE programs and limitless opportunities.

Advance CTE recognizes each individual’s equity journey is different. Regardless of your equity journey, Advance CTE is committed to supporting systems to more equitably serve learners by equipping leaders with equity-centered tools and resources, empowering leaders to implement equitable policies and practices and elevating promising equitable initiatives across the country.

Discuss Racial Equity in Career Technical Education

This guide walks participants through critical self-reflection to develop awareness, knowledge and skills to discuss racial equity in CTE.

Identify and Address Gaps in Access to High-Quality CTE

While high-quality CTE programs of study across the country are delivering positive outcomes for learners, the reality is that not all learners have access to these programs. Train the Trainer: Opportunity Gap Workshop provides training, resources and support to help state leaders identify and address gaps in access to high-quality CTE.

Achieve Inclusive CTE

The Achieving Inclusive CTE Goal-Setting Tool strives to equip state and local CTE and career pathways leaders to approach program participation and outcomes data and goal setting with an inclusive and representative lens. 

We’re happy to support you in your equity journey.

Complete our Technical Assistance Interest and Request form to connect with an Advance CTE staff member and talk more about your needs.