Career and Technical Education (CTE)

CTE provides meaningful, real-world work-based learning opportunities to support students’ postsecondary education and employment goals. It should be combined with services with Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), general and special education, and secondary CTE to increase students with disabilities participation in CTE with the ultimate goal of competitive integrated employment.



What is Career and Technical Education (CTE)?

  • combination of academic and technical skills with knowledge and training that are provided in a variety of learning environments where students obtain workplace competencies for a wide range of high-skill, high wage, and high-demand jobs .
  • prepares students with employability skills for success in the workplace and in further education, and are aligned with the Common Core Standards (CCSS) and common industry standards.
  • provides students an advantage to learn workplace competencies in hands-on work-based learning experiences.
  • creates an opportunity for students to earn industry certification and licenses, postsecondary certificates, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees and higher.

Did You Know........

  • Enrollment in CTE is a predictor of positive secondary education and employment outcomes for students with disabilities (Jeon, et al., 2016).

  • Students with disabilities who have taken 4+ CTE courses in one pathway are more likely to graduate on time and be employed after high school compared to those who did not concentrate in CTE programs (Theobald, et al., 2017).

LEARN MORE ABOUT  Perkins V: Strengthening Career & Technical Education for the 21st Century Act 


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Related Topics

Interagency Collaboration

Best practices for interagency collaboration to increase opportunities for competitive, integrated employment for students and youth with disabilities. More about Interagency Collaboration.

Secondary Education

Educators should collaborate within schools/districts to align transition planning, graduation requirements, and CTE.  More about Secondary Education.

Pre-Employment Transition Services

Training to begin exploring jobs and career interests through additional VR services and in collaboration with state and local education agencies to students with disabilities. Explore options on how to make available to all students with disabilities who need those services. More about Pre-Employment Transition Services.


Competitive, integrated employment in a career area of one’s choice is an anticipated outcome for all students with disabilities. More about Employment.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Students with all types of disabilities can participate in CTE. These resources can help approach diversity and inclusion. More about justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.