U.S. Presidential Scholars Program Expands to Honor Career Technical Education Students

June 23, 2015 - Silver Spring, M.D. – Yesterday, President Barack Obama signed Executive Order 11155 to expand the existing U.S. Presidential Scholars Program to include a new Career Technical Education (CTE) component. The announcement is the result of a year-long campaign led by Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Rob Portman (R-OH) who encouraged President Obama to incorporate CTE into the scholars program in a bipartisan letter sent to the White House last year.
“I am incredibly excited to see President Obama sign this Executive Order at the urging of our policymakers and the CTE community,” said Kimberly Green, Executive Director of the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc). “This is an acknowledgement from our nation’s highest leadership of the value of CTE and the need to recognize students who represent the best and brightest in the CTE community.”
“It is very encouraging to see this recognition and commitment to CTE from the President,” said Rod Duckworth, Chancellor, Division of Career and Adult Education, Florida Department of Education and NASDCTEc Board President. “It is vital that policymakers recognize the importance of Career Technical Education to preparing students for high-demand and high-wage careers.” 
The Presidential Scholars Program was developed during the President Lyndon B. Johnson administration to honor the nation’s top graduating high school students, and was expanded in 1979 to include those students who demonstrate outstanding abilities in visual, creative and performing arts. Beginning in the Spring of 2016, up to 20 CTE scholars will be recognized as part of the program.
This announcement will also be followed by a convening next week at the White House recognizing students, teachers and administrators who have demonstrated leadership and commitment to high-quality CTE.
The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) was established in 1920 to represent the state and territory heads of secondary, postsecondary and adult Career Technical Education (CTE) across the nation. NASDCTEc, through leadership, advocacy and partnerships, aims to support an innovative CTE system that prepares individuals to succeed in education and their careers, and poises the United States to flourish in a global, dynamic economy. www.careertech.org.