The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) today released “Expanding Career Readiness Through Career and Technical Student Organizations.” The paper illustrates how students participating in career and technical student organizations (CTSOs) strengthen their career readiness through co-curricular programming in such areas as leadership development, academic and career development, professional development and community service.
National dialogue has escalated around the concepts of college and career readiness but most of the focus has been on academic skills alone. The paper is part of ACTE’s Career Readiness Series, which concentrates on how elements of the CTE system support students’ academic, technical and employability skill development. CTSOs provide students with different opportunities to learn all three skill sets, which American business and industry say are necessary in today’s workforce.
More than 1.5 million students participate in a CTSO, and research has shown that participating in CTSOs has a definite impact on students’ overall career readiness:
- Students who participate in CTSOs demonstrate higher levels of academic engagement and motivation, civic engagement, career self-efficacy, and employability skills than other students, and the more students participate in CTSO activities, the better the results.
- In a study of student performance measures, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) high school seniors significantly outperformed their non-FBLA counterparts on four performance measures: ACT scores; SAT scores; GPA; and graduation rate.
- According to the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, participating in leadership and professional development activities in a CTSO raises students’ educational aspirations.
- Students who participate in school organizations in 10th grade have higher high school grade point average and are more likely to be enrolled in college at 21 than other students.