ACTE Quality CTE Program of Study Framework

As a result of the pandemic, many secondary and post-secondary institutions are evaluating and changing their educational style and delivery. These changes may include new advances in instructional technology and/or a move to remote or hybrid learning options. There are multiple factors that could be driving this innovation from budget constraints or instructor shortages to demands from students and families for more progressive and engaging learning opportunities. This is particularly true within Career and Technical Education (CTE) where widespread workforce shortages have increased the opportunities for CTE organizations to help their communities address workforce challenges.

While the pandemic brought new opportunities and innovations in instructional technology, it is essential for educational institutions to understand the foundations of a high quality CTE program remain the same. The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) provides an evidence-based model for establishing, maintaining, and evaluating a high quality CTE program in the ACTE Quality CTE Program of Study Framework. The framework describes the 12 essential elements for a high quality CTE program, evaluation tools to help assess CTE programs, and resources for improving deficient performance in any element.

The ACTE Quality CTE Program of Study Framework guides institutions in their quest for new innovative resources and delivery tools while ensuring they maintain a high quality CTE program that serves the individual, industry, and the community.


ACTE Framework Description

ACTE’s evidence-based Quality CTE Program of Study Framework and self-evaluation tool can serve as the foundation of an assessment of program quality, access and equity as part of the Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment (CLNA) or for other continuous improvement activities. With more than 90 criteria organized under 12 elements, the Framework captures the full range of activities across a CTE program of study:

  • Standards-aligned and Integrated Curriculum
  • Sequencing and Articulation
  • Student Assessment
  • Prepared and Effective Program Staff
  • Engaging Instruction
  • Access and Equity
  • Facilities, Equipment, Technology and Materials
  • Business and Community Partnerships
  • Student Career Development
  • Career and Technical Student Organizations
  • Work-based Learning
  • Data and Program Improvement