Postsecondary State CTE Leaders Fellowship

Postsecondary State CTE Leaders Fellowship

The Postsecondary State Career Technical Education Leaders Fellowship at Advance CTE – Sponsored by ECMC Foundation strives to address the growing shortage of state postsecondary Career Technical Education (CTE) leadership by closing racial representation gaps and removing equity barriers to leadership advancement. Through individualized supports, intentional networks and a real-world fellowship project, Advance CTE – ECMCF Fellows are gaining the skills and connection to pursue leadership positions and advance high-quality, equitable state postsecondary CTE systems.

About the Initiative

State Career Technical Education (CTE) systems face the dual challenge of a growing shortage of postsecondary leaders and significant representational diversity gaps, particularly racial diversity. Postsecondary CTE leadership must reflect the 3.5 million learners they serve. 

Advance CTE launched the Postsecondary State CTE Leaders Fellowship at Advance CTE sponsored by ECMC Foundation (Fellowship) in Fall 2021 with a goal of supporting and equipping mid-career postsecondary CTE leaders with the knowledge, tools and network to effectively lead high-quality and equitable postsecondary CTE at the state level.  

Advance CTE designed the Fellowship’s curriculum to meet the defined and evaluated needs of the inaugural cohort of Fellows with continued implementation and application with the second cohort, launched in Fall 2022. The members of the Fellowship are as diverse geographically as they are demographically with 19 states represented across two cohorts, with over 70 percent of each cohort representing marginalized populations 

Fellows gain strategic, equity-minded leadership skills and build networks to address systemic inequities and advance high-quality, equitable state postsecondary CTE systems through:

  • Interactive, in-depth virtual workshop with a curriculum rooted in quality, equity and collaboration
  • Intentional spaces to build relationships with Fellows, national CTE leaders and the ECMCF CTE Leadership Collaborative
  • Individualized coaching 
  • Fellowship participant stipends 
  • Organizational convenings and presentations
  • Completion of real-world fellowship project in their community


The need for this Fellowship was reflected in receiving over 150 applications across the two cohorts. Intentional selection of Fellows representing diverse identities across geography, race, ethnicity, gender and sexual identity, socioeconomic background and more were reflected in over 70 percent of the Fellowship’s participants. Advance CTE-ECMCF Fellows have already leveraged skills and networks gained through the Fellowship to pursue career advancement — five Fellows have been accepted into doctoral programs, and 45 percent of Fellows were promoted during participation in the Fellowship. 

To extend learning from this initiative, Advance CTE developed a suite of resources to assist state leaders with building the knowledge and skills to design equitable state systems and CTE programs for all learners; share the leadership stories and journey of leaders of color; and equip CTE leaders to build structure and culture that foster and sustain diverse CTE leadership pipelines. These resources include a series of brief featuring real-world projects from Advance CTE-ECMCF Fellows.


Each cohort of Fellows is comprised of professionals from diverse career pathways with substantial knowledge of and experience in CTE including aspiring leaders from: state education, labor and workforce agencies; two and four-year colleges and area technical centers; nonprofits and career technical student organizations; and industry.

Additional information about this opportunity can be found in the Fellowship fact sheet

If you have any questions about the Fellowship, contact Senior Advisor Dr. Kevin Johnson at [email protected].