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Career and Technical Student Organizations. CTSO’s. Historical Overview of CTSO’s … how it all began. In the 18 th and 19 th centuries, the concept of an organization designed to support students learning a vocation began as trade guilds and apprenticeships.

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Career and Technical Student Organizations

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Career and TechnicalStudent Organizations


Historical Overview of CTSO’s… how it all began

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the concept of an organization designed to support students learning a vocation began as trade guilds and apprenticeships.

Later – about 1917 – career and technical education and its youth organizations began with different federal laws.

Federal Laws

Smith-Hughes Act (1917) – signed by President Woodrow Wilson

Often referred to as the “Granddaddy Act” of vocational education, it provided funds for Agriculture teachers whose duties included advising and supervising vocational student organizations.

“George Acts”(1929, 1934, 1936, and 1946)

A series of laws that supplemented and continued funding for vocational education started with Smith-Hughes Act.

(Federal Laws – continued)

“George Acts”

Of the 4 acts, the most important to youth organizations was the George-Barden Act of 1946, also known as the Vocational Education Act of 1946.

It was the also the first act to mention a vocational student organization by name and funds specifically related to the vocational agriculture student organization.

More about laws…

Public Law 81-740 (1950)

Federally chartered a vocational student organization (established relationship between the student organization and the educational program) and tied the U.S. Office of Education to them. Established pattern of treating existing

and future vocational student organizations as

integral parts of vocational education.

Vocational Education Act of 1963


(and subsequent acts of 1968 and 1976)…

Specified that vocational student organizations were an essential partof vocational instruction.

Therefore, vocational education became a legitimate recipient of federal and state grant funds for the purpose of providing leadership and support to VSO’s and their applicable and appropriate activities.

Carl D. Perkins Vocational &Technical Education Act of 2006

(Updated version of earlier Perkins laws passed in 1984, 1990, and 1998)

Provides federal support for career and technical education.

Provides resources to secondary and postsecondary

career and technical education programs to support

innovation and program improvement.

Increased focus on academic achievement of career and technical education students.

CTSO’s Today…

CTSO’s are highly regarded as an integral part of career and technical education.

CTSO’s play an important role in preparing young people to become productive citizens in their communities.

CTSO’s provide a unique program of career and leadership development, motivation, and recognition for secondary and postsecondary CTAE students.

FFA – Future Farmers of AmericaFoundedin 1928

Programs: Agricultural Education

Local chapters: 7,358

Total annual membership: 557,318

All 50 states, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands

Next national conference: 10/30-11/2, 2013 – Louisville, Kentucky

FEA (FFEA) -Future Educators AssociationFounded in 1937

Programs: Teacher Assisting

Local chapters: Unknown

Total annual membership: 11,000+

42 States, Germany, Northern Mariana Islands

Next national conference:

4/11-13, 2014 Minneapolis, Minnesota

FBLA – Future Business Leaders of AmericaFounded in 1942

Programs: Business, Management & Administration

Local chapters: 6,000

Total annual membership: 235,000

46 States, DoDDS Europe Mariana Islands, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico

Next national conference:

6/2 – 7/2, 2013 Nashville, Tennessee

FCCLA - Family, Career and Community Leaders of America Founded in 1945

Programs: Family & Consumer Science

Local chapters: 7,000+

Total annual membership: 200,000+

50 States, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Japan

Next national conference:

7/6-10, 2014 San Antonio, Texas

DECA – An Association of Marketing StudentsFounded in 1946

Programs: Marketing

Local chapters: 6,000

Total annual membership: 185,000+

50 States, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Korea, Mexico, Puerto Rico

Next national conference:

5/3-6, 2014 Atlanta, Georgia

SkillsUSA – (formerly VICA - Vocational Industrial Clubs of America)Founded in 1965

Programs: Industrial Arts

Local chapters: 15,000+

Total annual membership: 255,331+

50 States, Guam, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands

Next national conference:

6/22-27, 2014 Kansas City, Missouri

HOSA – Health Occupations Students of AmericaFounded in 1976

Programs: Health Science

Local chapters: 2,700

Total annual membership: 143,000+

47 States, Puerto Rico

Next national conference:

6/2014 Orlando, Florida

TSA – Technology Student AssociationFounded in 1978

Programs: Industrial Arts

Local chapters: 2,000

Total annual membership: 180,000

47 States, Scotland, Germany, Peru

Next national conference:

6/27 – 7/1/14 Washington, D.C.

(National Harbor, Maryland)

FPSA– Florida Public Service AssociationFounded in 1990

Programs: Criminal Justice, First Responder, Teacher Assisting

Local chapters: Unknown

Total annual membership: Unknown

Next national conference: 4/2014

CTSO’s are Co-curricular

…part of a program/course’s curriculum according to state frameworks.

What does Co-curricular mean?

A Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) is an integral PART of a specific program of study/courses.

This is different than other “clubs” at your school that you may join based on a certain interest or service. (i.e. Chess Club, Key Club, Environmental Club, etc.)

Why should I join my CTSO?

Many positive benefits of CTSO Membership!

Career understandingPersonal growth

Scholarship opportunitiesNetworking/meet new people

Leadership developmentRecognition

Social events/activitiesTeambuilding skills

Resume enhancementTravel and FUN!!!

Statistics show that CTSO members:

  • Earn better grades

  • Have improved school attendance

  • Are significantly more likely to pursue postsecondary education (college or technical schools)

  • Gain valuable career knowledge and skills, including networking and teambuilding skills, important in the workplace

  • Improve not only their leadership skills, but their speech and presentation development as well

  • Have increased scholarship opportunities available

  • Benefit from having positive role models and a group to identify with and belong to

General CTSO Vocabulary

  • CTSO – Career and Technical Student Organization

  • vocation

  • trade guild

  • apprenticeship

  • Smith-Hughes Act

  • George-Barden Act of 1946

  • chartered

  • vocational

  • Carl D. Perkins Vocational & Technical Act of 2006

  • resources

  • integral

  • FFA

  • FEA

  • FBLA


  • DECA

  • SkillsUSA

  • HOSA

  • TSA

  • FPSA

  • co-curricular

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