Engage Families & Learners

Engaging Families and Learners

Advance CTE, with support from the Siemens Foundation, supports states and communities across the country in their efforts to attract and recruit learners into high-quality Career Technical Education programs of study.

Advance CTE has become a national leader in Career Technical Education (CTE) messaging research and support for state and local leaders to communicate effectively with learners and their families. 


While enrollment in CTE programs has remained resilient in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, enrollment is still too stagnant given CTE’s importance to our nation’s economy and workforce. This is in part because of outdated perceptions and lack of awareness and understanding of the value and impact of CTE programs. Developing effective, equitable recruitment practices that fully empower and inform learners about the value and benefits of CTE is critical to increasing recruitment into CTE programs. 


Since 2017, Advance CTE has conducted two rounds of national research to find out the messages and themes that most resonate with learners and their families, and piloted the communications research with 15 states through four state cohorts.

Three teenage engineering students of color working on a project and standing around a table

Communicating Career Technical Education: Learner-centered Messages for Effective Program Recruitment

In 2020, Advance CTE commissioned a national survey to test messages for attracting students and families to CTE to determine what matters most to families in their education, and measure message resilience in the midst of significant learning and economic upheaval. The new research was conducted with an equity lens through an oversampling of Black, Latinx and families experiencing low income to more accurately measure message emphasis and impact by race, ethnicity and income level.

Resource Library: Empowering Students through Career Technical Education and Career Advising

This resource library aims to provide school counselors and other advising professionals with impactful information and resources to expand existing strategies for effective career advisement and empower learners to skillfully navigate their path to career and college success. This professional development opportunity consists of six asynchronous modules with corresponding facilitation materials.