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Career and Technical Education

Dawson Career Education has contracted services for School Improvement with SREB  under the accountability requirements of Perkins IV.  By implementing the HSTW 10 key practices, Dawson is building a strong network for collaboration and model projects for “Best Practices” to share across all DESC Perkins Consortia Schools.  An SREB Coach, Donald Westerman works at Dawson, as well as on-site with each school to customize the Best Practices to local needs and create action steps for each school’s leadership team. 

We strive to work within state and national key initiatives to create harmony to best serve children for college/career readiness.


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The Association of Career and Technical Education is the largest national education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for careers.  This area offers information about the history, mission and structure of ACTE, as well as details on our annual awards program. 

             WHO WE ARE:  What is the Association of Career and Technical Education?

Founded in 1926, the Association of Career and Technical Education is the largest national education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers.


CTE Funding:

The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) was most recently reauthorized in August 2006.  The purpose of Perkins is to provide individuals with the academic and technical skills needed to succeed in a knowledge and skills-based economy.  Perkins supports career and technical education that prepares its students both for postsecondary education and the careers of their choice.

Federal resources help ensure that career and technical programs are academically rigorous and up-to-date with the needs of business and industry.  The federal contribution to career and technical education, about $1.3 billion annually, supports innovation and expands access to quality programs.  State and local funding supports the career and technical education infrastructure and pays teachers’ salaries and other operating expenses.  Federal funds provide the principal source for innovation and program improvement, and help to drive state support through a “maintenance-of-effort” provision in the federal law.




High Schools That Work is the nation’s largest school improvement initiative for high school leaders and teachers.  More than 1,200 High School That Work (HSTW) sites in 30 states and the District of Columbia currently use the framework of HSTW Goals and Key Practices to raise student achievement and graduation rates. 

HSTW is nationally recognized for its effectiveness and has led to several related school improvement initiatives.  Chief among them, Making Middle Grades Work has helped make SREB states among the first in the nation to implement strategies that help students make stronger academic transitions into high school.  Technology Centers That Work helps career/technology centers in SREB states improve student readiness for college and careers.


Common Career Technical Core + Common Core State Standards

Career Ready/College Ready


The Common Career Technical Core (CCTC) is a state-led initiative to establish a set of rigorous, high-quality standards for Career Technical Education (CTE) that states can adopt voluntarily.  The standards have been informed by state and industry standards and developed by a diverse group of teachers, business and industry experts, administrators and researchers.

The CCTC includes a set of standards for each of the 16 Career Clusters and their corresponding Career Pathways that define what students should know and be able to do after completing instruction in a program of study.  The CCTC also includes an overarching set of Career Ready Practices that apply to all programs of study.  The Career Ready Practices include 12 statements that address the knowledge, skills and dispositions that are important to becoming career ready.

Why do we need a set of common state standards for CTE?

As the economy has changed in the past decade, many CTE programs transitioned from helping students prepare for an entry-level job to helping students prepare for a career.  Recognizing the need for more consistency in today’s global marketplace, in the spring of 2010 CTE State Directors united around a vision to develop a shared set of standards that meet a quality benchmark for students in CTE programs, regardless of where they live or which delivery system they use.  (Arkansas has adopted this initiative.)