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Career and Technical Education


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Career and Technical Education (CTE) in Iowa includes educational programs offering a sequence of courses that prepare individuals for employment in current or emerging occupations. Programs include competency-based applied learning, which contributes to an individual’s academic knowledge, higher-order reasoning and problem-solving skills, work attitudes, general employability skills, and occupational-specific skills.

At the secondary level, CTE programs are organized within six broad service areas, as defined in Iowa Code section 256.11, subsection 5, paragraph "h." The service areas are:

  • agriculture. food, and natural resources
  • arts, communications, and information systems
  • applied sciences, technology, engineering, and manufacturing, including transportation, distribution, logistics, architecture, and construction
  • health sciences
  • human services
  • business, finance, marketing, and management

Programs within these service areas are further aligned with the National Career Clusters Framework. CTE programs at the postsecondary (community college) level are also organized by the framework.

Career & Technical Education Quarterly News & Updates

Career and Technical Education Quarterly News and Updates is a quarterly newsletter for administrators and teachers in CTE.

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February 2023 Bureau of Career & Technical Education Quarterly News and Updates

Iowa Quality CTE

Recognizes the high skill and technical requirements of current and future careers and fulfills the following: career and academic planning; programs of study; career and technical student organizations; work-based learning; equity and special populations; and regional planning partnerships and regional centers.

Perkins V

The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, commonly referred to as Perkins V, was signed into law on July 31, 2018. This federal law reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006, which provides almost $1.2 billion in federal support for career and technical education (CTE) programs in all 50 states and U.S. territories, including support for integrated career pathway programs for students. Iowa receives nearly $12 million annually in federal funds, divided between secondary and postsecondary CTE programs delivered through public school districts and community colleges.

CTE Technical Assistance

A variety of technical assistance materials to help program providers administer CTE programs.

CTE Contact Information

Iowa Department of Education contacts for CTE grant administration and program areas.

Condition of Secondary CTE Education

An annual report providing information on trends trends in secondary CTE courses and programs, enrollment, student characteristics, and instructors based on data collected by the Iowa Department of Education.